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Trust marks Black History Month

Posted: 01/10/20

A local NHS Trust has launched a series of initiatives to celebrate Black History Month.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a leading provider of mental health and disability services, will be showcasing a number of ways to mark the month which takes place every October.

Black History Month aims to promote knowledge of black history, culture and heritage. It works to honour the often unheralded accomplishments of black people throughout history and share their positive contributions to society.

The Trust is encouraging staff from all backgrounds to come together during the month to celebrate the role black people have had in shaping our communities.

Dr Rajesh Nadkarni, Executive Medical Director at CNTW, said: “We hope that through a series of events and activities we can raise awareness of the enormous contribution black communities have made to our vibrant and diverse society.

“The Trust is committed to creating a fair and diverse workplace where staff feel supported, valued and free to be themselves and achieve their full potential. This work demonstrates our commitment and support to the wider diversity, equality and inclusion agenda, which will hopefully see us deliver the best services for our black and other minority ethnic communities.”

The month will involve signposting staff to different resources such as books, podcasts and TED talks, which have been curated by the Trust’s BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) Staff Network.

CNTW will also be sharing stories from members of staff from different backgrounds throughout the month, celebrating the diverse culture of the workforce.

Highlights for the month include:

  • Friday 16 October – ‘Wear Red Day’ in support of Show Racism the Red Card
  • Monday 26 – Friday 30 October – Multi-cultural menus across the Trust’s canteens
  • Friday 30 October – Celebratory event 1-5pm
  • Date TBC – Online book club discussing ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge

The month will culminate in an event celebrating black history. This will take place over Microsoft Teams. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
  • John James, Chief Executive of the UK’s National Sickle Cell Charity
  • Organ donor ambassadors and Young Asian Voices, a local youth charity aimed at stamping out racism with education
  • Former professional footballer and Show Racism the Red Card ambassador Gary Bennett
  • Roger Klein, Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)
  • John Brouder, NHS England Specialist Advisor

There will also be a video shown raising awareness of positive moments in Black history.

CNTW’s BAME Staff Network actively engages and contributes towards ensuring equality, acceptance and inclusion within the Trust. It aims to create a culture where staff from all backgrounds are able to thrive and to provide a place for staff to come together to share experiences and receive support.

Find out more about the Network here.