Black History Month posterWiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council are joining forces to mark this year's Black History Month with a free online conference open to its employees and the public.

The event is being organised by the staff networks of both organisations; the Wiltshire Ethnic Police Association and Wiltshire Council's BME (Black & Minority Ethnic) staff network and is co-sponsored by Wiltshire Police and Hydrock Consultants Ltd.

It takes place on Tuesday 20 October from 2pm to 5pm and is open to all. It will feature talks from leading author Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE, Rob Neil OBE, Head of Embedding Culture Change at the Department for Education and Organisational Psychologist John Amaechi OBE, the first British basketball player to have a career in the US National Basketball Association.

Participants will be able to learn about the history of multiculturalism in the UK, the contributions of black Britons, and how to create a more inclusive work culture and society for everyone.

Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, who is supporting the event said: "I am proud to see us teaming up with partners for Black History Month. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate the diversity of people who live and work in our county and important whilst we strive to ensure that Wiltshire Police truly reflects the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon."

Leader of Wiltshire Council, Philip Whitehead said: "I'm delighted that alongside our partners, we're celebrating the diversity of this country. Black History Month is an extremely important event in the calendar and is vital in bringing communities together. I encourage you all to register for the free online conference and learn from some inspirational people".

Black History Month is an annual global event observed in the UK in October to celebrate the culture, history and achievements of African Caribbean communities. This year's Black History Month is more relevant than ever due to the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in the US and the subsequent protests around the world, as well as the inequalities in our healthcare system exposed by COVID-19. 

It is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and positive contributions from black and other ethnic minority communities and address inequalities that still exist in society today.

To register for the event please visit www.wiltshirebme.eventbrite.co.uk

BACKGROUND 

More about Wiltshire's black history, including audio, animation and other resources, visit the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre's website http://www.wshc.eu/seeme.html

More about Black History Month UK https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

Black History Month started in 1969 in the United States and is celebrated every February in the US. In the UK it was first celebrated in October 1987, organised by Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo who worked for the Greater London Council. 

Its aim was for local communities to challenge racism and educate themselves about black history which was not taught in schools.

Black History Month aims to:

·       Promote knowledge of black history, culture and heritage

·       Disseminate information about positive black contributions to British society

·       Heighten confidence and awareness of black people to their cultural heritage

Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council are committed to the principles of equality and being fair, supportive and inclusive employers.  Both organisations are bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between communities.  

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