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BASW’s voices for Black History Month…and beyond

Imtiaz Kala - member of the Black and Ethnic Minority Professionals Symposium

Black History Month is a brilliant opportunity for organisations to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black workers and the community both on a national and local scale.

Schools, colleges, services and agencies across the sectors can showcase the contributions made by the Black community to British Culture and how the diverse sections of the Black Community has been integral in the successes across the communities.

Tokenistic gestures, reduction in funding to inclusion services, losing Equality & Diversity leads, lack of staff forums, poor staff training and wider poor culturally competent leadership are some of the challenges.

Lack of black male and female workers, bullying, redundancy, isolation, lack of Black senior leaders and a lack of strategic objectives/direction on the Inclusion agenda can lead to a lack of welcoming workplace cultures.

Investment is needed in Black staff, opportunities for Black managers in senior roles, wider regular initiatives to celebrate wider cultures, Black forums within services, strategic priorities at service level to meet the needs of minority communities.

Meanwhile, culturally appropriate training, challenging biases, discrimination, anti-racism practice and others can promote some reforms.

Others include challenging and following up race hate crimes and reducing other inequalities around health, education, employment, housing, mental health and offending for example.