Social Responsibility

Marking 30 years of Black History Month

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:51:00 GMT

On 26 October staff and students from across the University joined a whole host of guest speakers at an event organised by the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) to mark 30 years of Black History Month.

The evening was hosted by Professor Paul Mativenga, Vice Dean for Social Responsibility, Equality and Diversity in FSE. The event was both positive and thought-provoking as the achievements and proud voices of the University’s black staff and students were celebrated while the level of progress made towards race equality within the University and wider society was questioned.

Georgina Lewis and Berrisford Edwards, co-chairs of the BAME Staff Network at Manchester, spoke about the importance of connecting through such groups and also highlighted that the University has a way to go before reaching its staff equality and diversity targets.

The view to ‘be who you are’ shared by Riddi Viswanathan, the Students’ Union Diversity Officer, was echoed by recipients of the Equity and Merit scholarship. Sophia Kununka said: “I cannot be away from my culture, so I will bring African sociability to my PhD office.”

Dr Dawn Edge, Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, asked the audience whether we need to rethink the impact of Black History Month and summed up the sentiment of the evening, saying: “There’s a lot to celebrate but lots of change still to come.”

Current student Jonah Ogbuneke spoke about his campaign Love For The Streets which is raising awareness of the homelessness crisis in Manchester, and Yusuf Tarajia’s spoken word poetry performance finished off proceedings in style.

For a full event summary, visit the Science and Engineering Hub.

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