UoN hosts civic and faith leaders for Black History Month


October 10th, 2023

On Saturday 7 October 2023, the university hosted a Black History Month breakfast in partnership with the Majority Black Led Churches in Nottingham.

The event brought together more than 80 civic and faith leaders across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, focusing on learning from the past and shaping the future. 

As part of the event, leaders from different sectors committed to working in partnership across our region to address systemic inequalities and celebrate the achievements of those from Black heritage.  

Some of the attendees included the High Sheriff of Nottingham, Veronica Pickering; Councillor David Mellen; local Members of Parliament Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) and Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East); and the Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, Mel Barrett.  

Alongside these political leaders, Bishop Paul Williams and the leaders of the Majority Black Led Churches were also in attendance, as were representatives of Nottingham Trent University, The Police, Nottingham University Hospitals, and Nottingham Citizens.

Also in attendance was Donna Ockenden, chair of the independent review of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), who used the occasion to encourage the church leaders to support the review.  

You can view a gallery of images from the event below.

Every year, we celebrate Black history, culture, and achievements during Black History Month in October. This is a time to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of Black people to British society and beyond. It also serves as an opportunity to inspire and empower future generations. 

This year’s national theme is ‘Saluting our sisters’ – highlighting Black women’s critical role in shaping black history, culture and communities. We took the opportunity to celebrate some of the Black women in the room and their achievements.

These included Veronica Pickering – High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire; Audra Wynter – Deputy Leader Nottingham City Council; Penelope Siebert – NTU Senior Lecturer; Donna Sherratt – Programme Manager Small Steps Big Changes; Sabrina Taylor – Nottingham Healthwatch; Claire Bale – EDI Lead – Girls School Trust and Denise McClean – Senior Technical Specialist University of Nottingham.  

During the event, Pastor Dr Ezekiel Alawale said: “The Majority Black Led Churches is committed to creating partnerships with all sectors of civil society to raise the aspirations of Black people in the city of Nottingham.”

He added: “Change doesn’t just happen. People make it happen. We need to take collective responsibility and make sure from what we’ve heard today we are a part of that change”.  

Professor Katherine Linehan, Pro-vice chancellor for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and People at the university said: “It was a huge pleasure to host breakfast for our key partners here at the university. We are committed to working together to enhance opportunities for young people from black communities in Nottingham and beyond.

“We will ensure we go beyond words and take meaningful action to address systemic inequalities in the university and within our local society”. 

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