October is Black History Month in the UK, a time to honour and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people throughout history and in the present day.
As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, the D&I ERC Focus Group organised a number of events to raise awareness and bring us together as an inclusive community.
BHM Quiz Night Event – Wednesday 11 October, London and Leeds offices
Attendees were treated to an evening of ‘edutainment’, first through a testing and inspiring quiz, devised and hosted by our charming and highly entertaining quizmaster, Reg Amoah.
Congratulations to the winning team, the Humane Regulators, who fought hard for their prize copies of Poems about Black British History in four tough quick-fire rounds ranging from ‘black sistory’ – a fantastic reference to this year’s theme for UK Black History Month, ‘Celebrating our Sisters, Saluting our Sisters, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements’ – to the ‘vinyl round’.
These recitals demonstrated the influence of poetry as a creative and expressive way to appreciate the beauty and power of words and to celebrate black voices and experiences.
The room then exploded into a riot of joyful colour and sound; everyone gently encouraged to join in the dancing and singing to Three Little Birds, aka ‘Don’t Worry About a Thing’.
To accompany the quiz night, a delicious dinner of traditional and mouth-watering Afro-Caribbean dishes including jerk chicken, rice and peas, curry goat, plantain fritters and mac & cheese was served in both offices.
Judging by the feedback, understandable tech frustrations aside, the evening was very positively received with reports of specific things learnt, such as the origins of carnival, the Cheddar Man discovery, the pyramids in Sudan, and the South Asian contribution to Caribbean culture. We also heard some expressions of how the event had changed or enhanced perspectives on Black history and culture, as well as improved allyship.
Many mentions were made of Sheba’s explanation of the origins of carnival and Caribbean and African dance and on Reg’s closing remarks about building the house – both of which clearly left a deep impression.
Other celebrations of BHM 2023 at Stewarts
As well as our quiz, poetry, dance and feast night, other BHM events at Stewarts included:
- Our podcast to mark both BHM and World Mental Health Day in which psychotherapist Nathaniel Oke PgDip explored, among other things, intersections of Black identities with mental health. He shared some practical tips on how to be better colleagues, really seeing and understanding those around us, as well as how to protect our own mental health – including the appealing idea of a self-date (including some fantastic ideas around what that date might look like!).
- Internal articles showcasing Margaret Busby, Yrsa Daley-Ward and Jean Breeze’s influence on British literature and various city-wide events taking place in London.
Our hope is that these events were as educational as they were enjoyable, helping us all appreciate, learn about and celebrate the diversity and depth of black history, culture, achievements and struggles.
We also focused on trying to ensure our BHM events truly reflected and fostered inclusion and belonging, as well as ways in which we can better support each other.
Black History Month may be over, but our celebration of Black history and culture is not.
Let us keep striving for a more diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, respected and included; and keep building a stronger and happier community where everyone can thrive.
You can find further information regarding our expertise, experience and team on our Diversity and Equality pages.
Subscribe – In order to receive our news straight to your inbox, subscribe here. Our newsletters are sent no more than once a month.