PCS members celebrated Black History Month with events across the United Kingdom in October.
50 years of racism
At Transport House, Newcastle upon Tyne, the black members’ network took the theme of 50 years of racism. This year marks 50 years since the 1968 Race Relations Act.
Participants heard guest speakers from ACAS including their recruitment manager and employment relations trainer, and took part in a session on unconscious bias led by the northern TUC.
Tania Mundangepfupfu, who works at HMRC and helped to organise the event said:
“To be influential and heard is an uncommon experience for the marginalised however the day was a formidable celebration of how we continue to tackle that barrier.
“BHM is a powerful reminder of everything we’ve faced as a community and how hard we’ve fought to get here today. More connects us than divides us.”
More than just a month
PCS vice president Zita Holbourne, spoke at several Black History Month events including those at Canary Wharf in London. She said:
“I congratulate all our PCS reps and members who have organised uplifting, inspiring and informative BHM events.
“There's an African proverb: until the story of the hunt is told by the lion, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
“We must continue to tell our story not just in October but all year round, but we recognise that having a Black History Month gives us a perfect opportunity to review, renew, share our knowledge of black history and to promote, acknowledge, celebrate and elevate our contribution to British history, to world history to civilisation.
“That sharing and awareness also has a role in instilling a sense of value and worth, while facing and challenging current struggles against racism.”
Black history is world history so when BHM ends there is every reason and opportunity to continue marking and celebrating, educating and sharing our contributions historically, currently and globally.”
Hugh Davis, union learning coordinator for HMRC at Canary Wharf said:
“We are here to witness what has improved but still have a way to go.
“Black history should be spoken about at all times not one month a year.”