University of Northampton celebrates Black History Month

This October, the University of Northampton is inviting you to listen, learn and get involved with its hand-picked events programme to celebrate this year’s Black History Month.

Through a schedule of lectures, events, and discussions, UON’s campus will come together to reflect, learn, and honour the achievements and history of black people in Britain.

Dr Marcella Daye, Co-Chair of the Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) which is the staff network representing Black, African, Asian, Brown, and dual-heritage staff members at UON,  introduces the event: “Here at the University of Northampton, we are proud to be marking Black History Month 2022 with a variety of events focused on celebrating black history, heritage and culture, to remember the iconic figures that have contributed so much and to celebrate the people today who are achieving and contributing to the social, political, economic and cultural development of the UK.

“This year, as well as hosting a number of events which members of the public are invited to get involved with, the GEM network will be engaging with our local schools and community to shine a light on how black history has shaped our university community and town.

A snapshot of key events taking place throughout the month of October are listed below.

To keep up to date with events taking place throughout the month at UON, follow us @uninorthants.


Black in the Ivory Conference and Award Celebration – October 19

To mark its third annual Black in the Ivory conference and awards celebration, the GEM network will host the first Colloquium of Women Professors of Colour.

Led by the University of Northampton’s race equality staff network, the Global Ethnic Majority (GEM), the Colloquium will feature thought-leading presentations from three women Professors of Colour from across the UK in tribute to the work of female academics who have championed the cause of race equality both within and beyond the Academy. Each presentation will run for 20 minutes and at the end of the talks, there will be a facilitated question and answer session. Vice Chancellor Professor Anne-Marie Kilday will give the opening statement for the conference.

The Colloquium will be staged at the University of Northampton at the Town Hall in the Creative Hub Building on Wednesday, October 19 commencing at 1pm.

Following the conference, starting at 6pm at the Leathersellers’ Hide of the Learning Hub at Waterside, the Black in the Ivory Awards Celebration will feature a presentation of the GEM Phenomenal Woman Award to eight women in Northamptonshire who have earned notable success and impact in entrepreneurship, community development, women’s rights advocacy, the public service, and education.

Feminist pioneer of the Black British Women’s Movement and renowned educationalist, historian and author, Stella Dadzie will be the patron and guest speaker for this event.

Members of the public are warmly welcome to attend the Black in the Ivory conference, whilst the evening awards ceremony is via invitation only.


JEWELS Day – October 10

Held in association with the Students’ Union on October 10 at the Engine Shed on Waterside campus, the GEM network will introduce the JEWELS project to students.

JEWELS represents GEM’s student outreach and engagement initiative that stands for Job-seeker support for Ethnic-majority youth Wellbeing, Employability and Livelihoods for Success (JEWELS).

Students of colour will be invited to drop-by and sign up to participate in a series of focus groups to gather information on their attitudes to preparing for employment, and their perceptions of the challenges of securing graduate employment. This information will be used to provide targeted mentoring and empowerment workshops for students taking part in the JEWELS project.

The JEWELS project is designed to provide targeted mentorship and empowerment workshops for ethnic majority students, with the intent to tackle barriers to employment, education, or training emanating from experiences of racial inequality and structural discrimination.


GEM Health and Wellbeing Extravaganza – October 28

The GEM Health and Wellbeing Extravaganza is held in observation of Black History Month on October 28 from 10am-3pm to focus on key challenges of health inequalities within ethnic minority communities locally and in the UK.

The aim of this event is to raise the awareness of staff, students, and local stakeholders of the opportunities to improve their Health and Wellbeing. The GEM Health and Wellbeing Extravaganza will showcase natural and holistic products and services that are available locally, and across the Midlands at a mini exhibition that will be staged at the ground floor of the Learning Hub.

The Extravaganza will feature live demonstrations of natural skin care products, food tasting of vegan menus as well as exercise, yoga, and dance sessions.  There will also be presentations by speakers on the topic of health disparities in ethnic minority communities and widening participation for people of colour in the UK countryside.

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