Black History Month
Writes Asif Rashid
HouseProud BAME Officer
Join us for an online Zoom event on Thursday 22nd October 2020, with our panel of BAME colleagues from across the housing sector, to share their experiences and celebrate their contributions. As chair of the event, I'm really pleased to welcome
Violet Pugh – Metropolitan Thames Valley
Edwardine Lockhart - Octavia
Jean Kikaya - Clarion
Elaine Lewis – London & Quadrant
Nicholas Asamoah – Notting Hill Genesis
Please follow this link to get yourself signed up for the event
Black History Month is a national celebration in the UK with the aim to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society. It is also a celebration to foster an understanding of Black history in general. The origins of Black history month go back to the 1920s in the United States and the establishment of Negro History Week by ‘father of black history’, Carter G. Woodson. Black History Month celebrations were launched in the in London, largely as a result of local community activism, which challenged racism in British society and the Eurocentric version of history that dominated the state school system.
What a year 2020 has been! Beginning with a pandemic that negatively impacted BAME community at far greater levels than other groups in society; the events that followed the George Floyd murder in America and the focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Today, Black History Month is an important date in the cultural calendar of many of the UK’s museums, galleries and local authorities. Over the years the focus of Black History Month has expanded its coverage to include the history of African, Asian and Caribbean peoples and their contribution to Britain’s ‘island story’.
HouseProud created a specific BAME officer role in 2018 to engage with BAME housing professionals who identify as LGBT+. HouseProud is passionate about equality, diversity & inclusion across all society and will be celebrating Black History Month this October.
Resources to help us fight CoVID 19
The Network for LGBT People Working in Social Housing
We may be 'all in this together' but the virus, the current lockdown and ways of working in the housing sector have a very distinct impact on LGBT+ people working in social housing, and also for our LGBT+ residents/customers/service-users.
HouseProud would like to give this front page of our website over to any resources, or initiatives that would have particular impact on either colleagues or customers - and of course some of these will be useful to both groups. Please do email in any suggestions and we will put them up here!
One of the best resources and signposting points is London Switchboard.
They have created an Emotional Well-being Support Pack.
This is full of useful and practical exercises and thoughts on dealing with feeling lonely and isolated. As we know from our research that many LGBT+ residents feel isolated in their homes even when they are not on lockdown, it is important that as Housing Providers we redouble our efforts to reach this group,
Another good resource page is that of our old friends at AKT (the Albert Kennedy Trust). Their resources page has very clear guidelines for LGBT+ residents affected by CoVID19 in respect to being evicted, benefits in both our sector and in the privately rented sector.
They also have a really good list of free or fair-cost arts events, exercise classes and online wellness led by People of Colour, Womxn and Queer folks.
Of course the lockdown and self isolation can create an atmosphere where domestic violence becomes a major concern. GALOP coordinate the National LGBT Domestic Violence Hotline 0800 999 5428 and the details are all on their website
For younger trans people Mermaids has updated information on their website. What we liked about Mermaids is that they said 'Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers are determined to offer more support not less during this period of uncertainty'.
There's some great new resource for intersex people - on Soho Radio. Anick will be discusses the experiences of an intersex person, mixed with songs every week. He will be inviting guests on his show to get perspective on different issues. 'Queerantine' with us!!
Have put together a resources pack which is great for people with kids at home; providing maths, English, creativity and LGBT+ history:
Gal Dem. Online resources for women of colour.
Imaan - LGBTQI+ Muslim Support
We also really liked the London LGBTIQ+ COVID19 Mutual Aid Facebook Group where volunteers can skill share to support vulnerable people in our community, you can find out about that here