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Every October, the UK celebrates Black History Month – a time to recognise and value the inspirational individuals and events that have shaped African and Caribbean history, and to celebrate arts and culture. Black History Month was introduced in 1987 as part of the African Jubilee Year, and has gone from strength to strength, with a huge focus in 2007 to make the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
Black History Month 2018 is an opportunity to reflect on the contribution black individuals have made to society and with this we celebrate work done, currently done and for those working to better the future.
2018 has been a year of creativity, breaking down barriers, development and for people in different communities to come together to make an impactful change. Diversity is about inclusiveness, celebrating our differences but most importantly allowing those to bring communities together.
Sodexo and Black History Month
Various parts of Sodexo celebrate Black History Month. In 2017 we featured the activities from our team at HMP Bronzefield, after they put on a fantastic awareness campaign, with a series of vibrant educational boards for staff and residents in the prison’s main street.
Look out for more features to mark Black History Month on this site and read the Origins blog about Black history month and World Mental Health Day.
Sodexo and race equality
Sodexo is committed to understanding and engaging ethic minority communities. We’re a member of ‘Business in the Community – Race Equality Campaign’ whose aim is to promote:
Diverse leadership on boards and at senior level
Diverse representation and progression in the workplace
Reduction of ethnic minority youth unemployment.
Find out more at www.raceforopportunity.bitc.org.uk/
Black History Month – notable individuals, books and movies
Contribution to society: human rights and equality rights advocate
Late Kofi Annan was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the General of the United Nations. In his tenure Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy and launched the UN Global impact, he worked hard to help find a resolution to ongoing conflict the UN faced. Kofi Annan was a human rights and equality advocate, his work led to his Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 which he shared with the UN.
Contribution to Society: First black president and Obama Healthcare
Barack Obama is the first African American President and the 44th President of the Unites States. Obama passed landmark bills into law creating reforms such as the ‘Obamacare’, Taxpayers relief, and Job Creation Act 2010. Following a successful first year in office Obama won the re-election and served a second year as President, amongst other successes part of his main achievements in his second year included his advocating for same sex marriages and inclusiveness for the LGBT community.
Contribution to Society: World class tennis athlete
Ranked number one Serena Williams holds the most Grand Slams titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles among her peers. Dominating a male sport Williams has won the Sportsman of the Year award four times in 2003, 2010, 2016 and 2018, and after only a few months giving birth Serena trained and went back to playing tennis showing her passion and commitment to the sport.
Books to read
Slay in our lane by Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke: Inspiration in a book, a motivational guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to make lemonade out of lemons, and find success in every area of their lives.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, for which Adichie won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Fiction award. Americanah tells the story of a young Nigerian woman, sharing her experiences in relationships and studies as she struggles with the experience of racism in American culture, and the many varieties of racial distinctions.
Movies to watch
BHM honorary list
Kofi Annan for his humanitarian work
Aretha Franklin for her contribution to the music and arts
Here is a list of trailblazers. Innovative individuals working on projects that contributing to their industries.
Virgil Abloh is a fashion designer, amongst other talents, is currently working as the first African American artistic director for Louis Vuitton. In 2018 Abloh was listed as one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people in the world.
Edward Enninful OBE is the first Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue of African descent. Described as an influential figure in fashion Mr Enninful’s work in fashion continues to break boundaries and moulds the fashion industry to be more diverse and inclusive.
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE: Is a British space scientist born of Nigerian descent. Working on projects that include warning missile system to landmine detectors for the Ministry of Justice she also carries out philanthropic work by visiting schools to encourage students into STEM careers.
Join the Origins network
Have you thought about joining our Origins Network?
Origins promote inclusion of all cultures and origins throughout the year, host networking events, and provide resources and advice.
Visit the Black History Month website
There are some fantastic interviews, photos and videos on the official Black History Month website.
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