In the UK, October is Black History Month, which is a whole month dedicated to celebrating, acknowledging and learning all aspects of black history.
Black History Month originally began back in 1926 by African American scholar and historian, Carter G. Woodson, and has now developed into a globally recognized awareness month, focused on diversity, pride and education.
Black History Month is an opportunity for us to learn more about the achievements, struggles and sacrifices that black people face, and to appreciate and celebrate their culture.
This year’s theme is “Proud To Be”, which is a campaign encouraging black people to be proud of who they are, what they’ve accomplished, and their history.
At Wigan Youth Zone, we are #ProudToBe a supportive and welcoming environment for all young people throughout the Wigan and Leigh borough. Diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of our organization. We will continue to educate and celebrate black culture which is embedded into our core offer.
What are we doing for BHM…
This Black History Month, we have worked with our members to develop a varied programme of activities that will enable us to continue to embed anti-racist values and showcase positive black identity work.
In celebration of Black History month, we have numerous sessions surrounding role models, history and other aspects of black culture. These sessions are open to all of our members to actively encourage and educate the importance of Black History Month, whilst allowing the opportunity to experience and appreciate black culture in a positive and nurturing setting.
For example, we have our “Tuesday Topical Talks” which are discussion-based sessions, aimed at allowing our members to talk about pressing issues and openly voice their thoughts and opinions while being able to learn about the topics at hand.
Our sports department are going to be hosting a podcast that aims to discuss racism in sports and will encourage our members to join in and voice their opinions also.
There are many more sessions in store.
Black History Month is so important to the youth work calendar and serves as a reminder to all of us about how much proactive work we need to continue to do in order to make sure all of our black community members are safe, have opportunities, and thrive.
Of course, this work isn’t just about this month, it is a year-round effort to ensure Wigan Youth Zone reflects and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the UK by creating opportunities for our young people to experience diversity beyond the Wigan Borough. For example, we connect with other Youth Zones throughout the country via the OnSide Network which then allows our young people access to education, culture, and support no matter who or where they are.
We’re committed to ensuring that the backgrounds of our team of youth workers reflect the children who need us the most and that these staffs are provided with the support and opportunities that enable them to progress to be the leaders that inspire the next generation.