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01 October 2020

Black History Month 2020

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Dig deeper. Look closer. Think bigger.

October is Black History month. It’s an opportunity for us to: Dig deeper. Look closer. Think bigger.

There can be no denying the significant achievements and influences of Black people throughout our collective history. And although we’ve all known for some time that racism has been alive and well, this year we’ve seen some of the most appalling events in memory right at the moment that we should all be uniting together to keep ourselves safe from the pandemic.

This year, Accord’s Equality Diversity & Inclusion group have several biographies of people that we think you should know more about, along with how they’ve influenced and shaped us. We’ll post them here each week throughout the month.

What Accord's doing throughout October

Accord has long held the values of dignity and equality. Our members should be free of all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair treatment. Nobody should have to go to work and face bullying or harassment. That’s what we’ve launched a survey — which will run until the end of October — to hear your experiences at work. We’ll use this to build plans to work with employers to stamp out discrimination — token words or training alone will not address these imbalances.

The survey is now closed.

We hosted an online event on the 14th October — Black History Month 2020, a conversation with Roger McKenzie. Roger is an Assistant General Secretary at Unison (the largest union in the UK). You can catch the replay below (this may not work on some bank provided equipment).

Watch the recording

"Black History month is a time to reflect but also to celebrate achievements of often forgotten or hidden Black figures who we owe so much to." - Chris Rimell

Other events of interest

The TUC Northern working with Show Racism the Red Card have developed an anti-racism programme which is open to members, union reps and activists. The online workshops are running across six consecutive Tuesdays from the 13th October to the 17th November (12:00–13:15). Find out more and register if this is something you’re interested in — and please do give us feedback.

You’ll find many more interesting events on the Black History Month website. I’d definitely highlight the online lecture hosted by York St Johns University on the 21st October 2020 — An evening with Jeffrey Boakye, which promises a challenging and insightful dialogue surrounding issues of racism and social justice.

In 2021, the TUC Black Workers’ Conference is being held on the 19th — 21st of March. We’re expecting this to be an online event, which for the first time will be open to all colleagues that identify as Black or from an ethnic minority or have an interest in this aspect of equality. Accord can submit one motion to this conference, and we’d ask anyone interested in attending to let us know. We’ll be in touch again when we’ve got more information about the conference.

The TUC have also launched some guidance for reps and members on tackling antisemitism which is well worth a look.

About the Accord ED&I Group

The Accord Equality Diversity & Inclusion group’s aim is to ensure every individual has the right to an equal opportunity to maximise their potential, regardless of background, and to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s a place where diversity is celebrated, and all contributions are welcomed and cherished without prejudice or judgement. It’s also a chance to collectively learn from our experiences, allowing us to remove barriers and enrich each other’s lives.

The group will be holding further events throughout the remainder of 2020 across a broad spectrum of topics. If you’re interested, why not get involved — email us at [email protected]

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