During Black History Month this October, get involved and support PCS by standing up to racism, challenging stereotypes and promoting equality.
Black History Month (BHM) is an opportunity to focus on the achievements of black* people past and present and reflect on our path to race equality. In the UK it takes place in October each year.
Since the first UK celebration in 1987 the event has expanded and now encompasses the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people who have a direct link with the UK through slavery, colonialism and migration.
Zita Holbourne, PCS national vice president and national black members’ vice chair said, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Race Relations Act 1968 which is particularly relevant to our union movement and workers as it introduced protection from discrimination in the workplace and in union membership.
“As we mark this anniversary I am painfully aware that we are currently facing horrific levels of racism at work and in wider society. From the Windrush scandal to Islamophobia hate crime, scapegoating of migrant communities to the impact of austerity on employment prospects, discrimination in appraisal to racist harassment and bullying, plus much more. It's essential for our movement to stand up not just to the far right but to challenge #everydayracism. I'm proud to have and continue to play a leading role with my colleagues in PCS on campaigning for race equality and against racism in all its forms. It's important during Black History Month to celebrate our contribution as black trade unionists but essential that we use our achievements be it as black workers, trade union representatives or community leaders to educate, elevate and celebrate, every month of every year.”
Why support Black History Month?
Black history is often ‘hidden’ – it may have been forgotten about or be absent from history books and the education system. Similarly the role of women, disabled, LGBT and ordinary workers in general is often overlooked in formal history.
Black History Month is an opportunity for all PCS members to remember our history and look to the future, joining together to renew our commitment to race equality. Events can provide an informative and interesting experience for all PCS members and give black members an opportunity to raise awareness of their histories and the challenges their communities have faced.
Our general secretary Mark Serwotka and national president Janice Godrich have issued a statement to support Black History Month, saying:
“Black History Month in October marks the 50th anniversary of the Race Relations Act and PCS has campaigned for years for equality, freedom and justice for members both within and outside the workplace. We are pleased to support Black History Month again this year, particularly around the campaigning work on the Windrush generation, and would urge all members, branches and regions to use the campaign materials provided to raise the profile of the month and participate in activities organised.”
Organising for Black History Month
- Organise your own event/activity in your branch and workplace by using the resources available from the equalities department
- Use the Photo opp cards and send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check for events in your local PCS region/nation
- Let us know about your event or any other activity you are involved in either inside or outside of work, by emailing email@example.com- include pictures if you have them.
*Black is used in the political context to apply to people from African and Asian Diasporas, including people of dual heritage.