What is Black History Month?
Black History Month (BHM) was first celebrated in the UK in October 1987. It began in London, and aimed to enable people in the local community to challenge racism and to educate themselves and others about the British history that was not being taught in schools. BHM was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a co-ordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council.
Today, BHM has expanded beyond its original Afro-Caribbean focus to celebrate the history of all black people.
Why is Black History Month important?
BHM is about recognising and celebrating the culture, history and the many positive and significant contributions and achievements that black people have made, both within the UK and across the globe.
Black history is an integral part of British and world history. For black people in the UK, in the quest for inclusion and diversity, and the ongoing pursuit of racial equality in the workplace and worldwide, it is important that past, present and future black excellence is recognised, accepted and appreciated.
Here at OAS, we’re committed to working collaboratively to address the multiple and complex Equality Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) challenges that have resulted in the underrepresentation of particular groups within the engineering industry and the broader Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) workforce. Our ultimate goal is to improve inclusive access to apprenticeships, and then to provide additional support to ensure all apprentices are empowered and supported to complete their programme.
Marking and celebrating key events in the diversity calendar is part of this commitment as we engage with stakeholders throughout our local communities to raise our ED&I profile, improve awareness, and increase diversity in apprenticeships.
What are we doing to celebrate Black History Month at OAS?
This year, we’ll be running information and education activities throughout October as well as getting involved with national events. We’ll also be running the Tilley Shilling & OAS Webinar Series – EPIC / BAME in STEM on 13 October.
You can also visit the BHM website to find out more about this year’s theme and to have a look at the online and face-to-face events happening across the UK.
Keep an eye on our social media channels to see what we’ve got in store and how you can join in!