Entries by Chelsea Whittle

About BLOC – An Interview with CEO

A bit about BLOC – an interview with BUD CEO Georgina Wilson

BLOC came about in an effort to empower, and is designed to offer people the opportunity to share and develop skills, for free. 

We spoke to BUD CEO Georgina Wilson about the inspiration behind BLOC, alongside how it came to exist. 

“BLOC is the BUD Leaders Online Community.” says Georgina. “This is where you are able to connect with others who are leading positive change in business and community. 

“BLOC has come about from many years of envisioning a platform that was able to allow people to recognise the great skills that they have.

“But it’s also for sharing them, and building this reciprocity that I think those who are leading positive change often don’t have. Leaders can feel quite isolated and lonely, and if we come together and learn from each other, we can do so much more.”

BLOC was inspired by another project run by Georgina, Lead Positive Change. 

“I remember when I did my first programme, Lead Positive Change, which was a programme that helped enable leaders who had ideas for change to bring them into fruition. It was a great programme, and the key ingredient was skillsharing. 

“First and foremost, people sort of said ‘what skills do I need to have’, because you could only join the programme by trading your skills. They were unsure about what they could offer people.  

“I said every single person has skills. it doesn’t matter who you are, you have a skill, and I can guarantee that we can uncover it.”

After the success of the Lead Positive Change programme, Georgina wanted to offer a way for people to access resources, for free, online. 

“What I’ve learned to recognise is that people don’t understand the value in the skills that they have,  and they were unable to offer these skills out to people in a practical way.

“BLOC enables people to learn from each other. BLOC is designed for anyone that’s really focused on leading change. It doesn’t matter if you’re the leader of an organisation that has 500 employees, or a leader in a grassroots organisation.

“I want to have a platform where we can share our resources, grow and develop together, and disrupt the landscape of leadership.”

In lieu of a membership fee, BLOC runs on skill exchanges, through SkillShare. Members pledge to offer and receive an hour of skill exchange every month. This is instead of membership fees. 

“You’re going to be able to connect with people that maybe you hadn’t thought that you could connect with. It’s a great way to start making valuable networks. 

You give one hour of your time per month, by creating an offer that somebody else can receive,  and receive an hour of somebody else’s time, after highlighting what your needs are.

“BLOC is creating a culture of reciprocity, authenticity, and creativity. We want our members to be empowered whilst empowering others, and for leaders to sow the seeds for change.” 

You can join BLOC from the 8th of November here! We are also running an event on the 17th of November, where we talk through how you can access and use some of the features on the website! You can sign up to the event here!

BLOC – Features you should know about

After joining the BUD Leaders Online Community, aka BLOC, there’s so much you can do. This article is designed to talk you through some of our features, and help you make the most of BLOC.

Exchange Skills with Others through SkillShare

Ever wanted to learn something new, but didn’t know where to start? Need specialist help with a project, but don’t know where to look? Our SkillShare feature allows you to exchange time and skills with other members, completely free. 

Through BLOC, we’re aiming to create a culture of reciprocity, so make sure to offer your skills and time to other members in an area you specialise in. The more you help others, the more you can access help from others! 

Exchanges can take place online, on the phone, or in person. Just make sure to log in and note any SkillShares. 

This platform is offered to you for free. Each member helps support the platform by giving and receiving one hour’s worth of skill exchange every month, in lieu of a membership fee! For every hour you spend helping someone you earn a credit which can be exchanged for an hour in return… for more information read the guide.

Use our Challenge feature

Using the Challenge feature enables members to ask for support on existing projects, and get expert feedback. Members can rate ideas, ask for support, or simply share some ideas. There is also a rating system, where members can provide endorsement.  

We want as active a community as possible, where members are supportive of each other. The Challenge feature allows for you to field ideas and help others, so make sure to use it! 

You can read more on our guide.

Collaborate in Tribes

‘Tribes’ are collaborative spaces for you to work together and manage community projects. Think of it as a space for your own projects! It’s a great place to break away into individual groups, and speak directly and privately with people you want to work with. 

Anyone can create a tribe or be invited to join a tribe. There is chat functionality, alongside space to post and work on projects.

Dashboard

Make sure to familiarise yourself with your Dashboard as well! You can change your profile information here, check your inbox, check your activity listings and notifications. Everything is fully personalisable, and designed to help you stand out. Make sure to keep all your information up-to-date, so you can best utilise BLOC.

Badges

Badges are awarded to members who achieve certain milestones. For example, you can apply for a badge for being an active member for more than 3 months, or when you complete your first Goal. They’re a great way of showing your commitment to BLOC, and showing people that you are active in the community. 

BLOC is a great first step in realising your vision, and joining a like-minded community space gives you the opportunity to help others as well. This blog provides a brief overview of what you can do, but the platform only works if people choose to get involved! 

 

These are only a few of the things you can on BLOC! You can join BLOC from the 8th of November here! We are also running an event on the 17th of November, where we talk through how you can access and use some of the features on the website! You can sign up to the event here

Spend some time exploring the features, and get excited! BLOC is a great opportunity, and completely free.

,

BLOC Launch Event

BUD is running a free session for any new members of the Bud Leaders Online Community, aka BLOC, to learn a bit of the philosophy behind BLOC, alongside how to utilise features.

The event will also feature a Q+A, where you can ask any questions you may have surrounding BLOC.

The event will walk you step-by-step exactly how you can connect with other members of BLOC, teach you about the SkillShare feature, and show you how to fully utilise the website.  

BLOC is your first step to connecting with like minded people and widening your network. It is a web-based community, built around leading positive change in the sphere of work. All members can interact, support, and collaborate with each other, completely free of charge. 

Members of this community will gain access to a wider network of similarly minded people, and gain access to their contacts, knowledge and experience.

“BLOC is creating a culture of reciprocity, authenticity, and creativity. We want our members to be empowered whilst empowering others, and for leaders to sow the seeds for change.” –

Georgina Wilson, CEO & Founder, BUD Leaders

The event is on the 17th of November, and you can get free tickets on Eventbrite here!

,

BUD to Launch BLOC

BUD is launching a free, exclusive online community, like no other! 

Helping members from grassroots to corporates intentionally connect, collaborate and learn from each other to create change.

The BUD Leaders Online Community, or BLOC for short, will provide a platform where members can interact, support, and collaborate to lead positive change in the sphere of work. 

BLOC will allow members to access the support and resources they need to make their ideas happen, operating as a social network, with the emphasis being on exchanging skills.

Access to the service is completely free, with the only stipulation being that each active member must offer and receive one hour of ‘skill exchange’ every month. 

This system is operated on a ‘time credit’ system, which involves giving and receiving advice based around an area of your expertise for an hour at a time. When you register you will automatically receive 2 ‘time credits’, which allow you to begin communicating with others immediately.

Members of this community will gain access to a wider network of similar minded people and access to their skills, contacts, knowledge and experience.

Georgina Wilson, CEO and Founder of BUD Leaders, says: “BUD Leaders are creating a culture of reciprocity, authenticity and creativity. We want leaders to sow seeds for change; to empower themselves and those around them.” 

You can join BLOC from the 8th of November, and can register your interest here! We are also running an event on the 17th of November, where we talk through how you can access and use some of the features on the website. You can sign up to the event here!

BUD Newsletter Vol. 2

So, what have we been up to?

We’ve been working on some really exciting projects! From podcasts to interviews to workshops, it really doesn’t stop at BUD. See below for a brief summary of just a few of the things that have been going on at BUD!


Women in Construction Podcast

Last newsletter we told you about the Empowering Women in Construction podcast. Well, we’ve had some exciting developments! We’ve booked our first guest, Charly Young, who works as CEO and Co-Founder for the Girls Network! 

The Girls Network “established a one-to-one mentoring scheme for 30 girls in 2013, based on research showing that conversations and personal relationships could have a big impact on challenging stereotypes and expectations.

“They believed that the girls needed greater access to opportunities, but also the confidence to seize those opportunities and the skills to thrive in them.

“The Girls’ Network mentoring was soon in high demand, and now operates across Greater London, Sussex, Portsmouth, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the North East, Tees Valley, and Liverpool City Region, working with more than 1,000 girls each year.”

We can’t wait to tell you more about our first BUDcast- expect the first episode by December… 


Happier Healthier Workplaces

We’ve done our first interviews with the Station to Station Business Improvement District, with the goal of “making West Norwood and Tulse Hill a great place to live, work and play”.

It’s been so good talking to local businesses, and hearing directly what needs to be done regarding health and wellbeing in the workforce. We’ve had some great interactions already, and we can’t wait for more to happen!

We’re also planning workshops for businesses to access to improve health and wellbeing!

We’re going to keep doing these interviews throughout October and November, so keep an eye out, and get in touch if you’d be interested in participating. 


BLOC: BUD Leaders Online Community

We are currently in the process of launching the Bud Leaders Online Community, aka BLOC! 

It’s an online community where leaders and like minded individuals can exchange skills, and help others realise visions. We really wanted to give people opportunities to connect, collaborate and continue to grow by learning new skills – all of this for free, and it’s so rewarding to be nearly finished!

We can’t wait for people to start joining, and we’re so close to being able to have our first users online!

We are currently in the process of developing the marketing campaign and a launch event. Expect to be able to join very soon!

Register your interest in BLOC then sign up here!


Black History Month for Fletchers 

We’ve recently run a session for Fletchers Solicitors about Black History Month! 

The session covered hidden figures in black history, including Benjamin Banneker, Alice Ball and Gladys West. It also included a quiz, and discussions around how race is taught.

BUD also provided an opportunity for employees to discuss any issues they felt towards race, alongside covering the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

BUD CEO Georgina Wilson, speaking about the workshop, said: “it’s really important to not just look at black history, but also celebrate it. It’s so important to challenge ourselves, about both things we do and don’t know.

“It’s fantastic we have Black History Month. Growing up, a lot of black history was really negative, with a sole focus on areas such as slavery. There’s so much more to learn, and it’s a great opportunity to do it.

We’ve also been writing blog content surrounding Black History Month, which you can read here!

,

Care Leavers Week

It’s currently Care Leavers Week! At BUD, we feel everyone, regardless of upbringing, deserves the best opportunities in life.

Events like this give us the opportunity to broadcast issues facing our communities, alongside some of the amazing work our team at BUD does. 

According to Gov.uk, there are currently more than 80,000 children looked after in England, including children adopted, care leavers and looked after children who are missing. 67 out of 10,000 children aged under 18 years require care. 

Inevitably, however, there is a point where a child no longer receives care, and this is an experience which is far too often overlooked. 

Become, a charity specialising in support for children in care and care leavers, say 

“Leaving care should make care-experienced young people feel safe, supported, confident, and ready for the future.

“But, all too often, this isn’t the case. Many young care leavers face a ‘care cliff’ where they are forced to leave their placement and start to live independently before they feel ready.

Turning 18 can feel incredibly scary, abrupt and disruptive, as the feeling of ‘care’ stops at a time in life when you need stability the most.”

BUD facilitator and consultant Lere Fisher has shared his story, and was in care for much of his early life, where he experienced racism, loneliness and self doubt. Because of this, he has developed his own mission.

He has founded Generation of Hope to help young people and those aging out of care. They run workshops aimed to empower youth, and build confidence through the performing arts, ‘future proofing’ their legacy. 

Generation of Hope believes through behavioural change, and through expression through creative avenues, young people are better equipped to be successful in life. 

“I started Generation of Hope based on real life experiences,” says Lere. 

“I spent 18 years growing up in the care system. And when leaving the care system one thing was prevalent. I didn’t have any form of counselling. 

“I believe this affected my life skills, and engaged me in other issues that were never resolved. Generation of Hope delivers workshops to deliver confidence, self esteem, self worth and value.”

Speaking about the importance of supporting those in the care system, BUD CEO Georgina Wilson said: 

“We need to realise that there are great leaders emerging, and the younger generation are heroes in waiting. 

“We have to ensure that everyone feels that they have access to the right support to become great Leaders. Care leavers are definitely included in that and we love the work taking place. 

“It’s really so important to continue to celebrate and support this work!”

If you’d like to learn more about Generation of Hope their instagram can be found here (https://www.instagram.com/generationoh/), and if you’d like to access more information on Care Leavers Week more information can be found here!

My first few weeks at BUD

Having just started at BUD, a few things became apparent.

Firstly, this is the first time ever I have been at work as a white man, and been in a minority amongst colleagues.

I have worked various retail jobs over five years, and in all my previous positions we had a majority white staff, with a majority of men in the positions of authority. I have never had a BAME manager. I’ve also rarely struggled to find jobs in this industry.

Secondly, it’s also something which, until recently, I hadn’t really thought about in relation to work. When you’re in a situation where it’s normal, you don’t notice anything unusual about it. 

It’s something I feel most people would accept as wrong. A lot of people are realising, on the back of nationwide media coverage, as examples, on Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and the abhorrent attacks on Asian communities across the UK, that inequalities do exist, and that more needs to be done. What I think is less clear to people is what can be done exactly.

When dealing with institutionalised thought processes, it’s hard to identify exactly how to tackle problems. But what can’t be denied are the realities facing many in the UK today:

consideration into making sure diversity and inclusion are paramount in the day-to-day. It’s also given me a perspective, however, that the companies I have previously worked for did not have these things as a priority. 

I’d never been spoken to or had a conversation with a manager or colleague regarding diversity and inclusion. I’d never been encouraged to formulate my own opinions, and been given a platform to discuss these with coworkers. I was actually encouraged once to hurry through an online course on equality, so I could get back to work.

It is something, fortunately, that I have been exposed to. This has been through my parents who are socially conscious, through university, and through an interest in journalism and documentaries. These are something I have been privileged to access, however, and I know that many do not have this same privilege. 

This is why it is so crucially important that employers take responsibility in educating people, and why we as the public should be demanding it. If employers expect to profit from the public, they should be expected to properly reflect the public in their employment strategy. 

The main challenge, I feel, is getting people to talk about diversity and inclusion in the first place. 

Race, diversity, sexuality, gender, etc. are topics which make people uncomfortable. I know there’s been points throughout my life I have felt uncomfortable. The flip side to this, however, is that important conversations are not being had.

Rosa Parks famously said “to bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.”

What I have learned in my short time here is that it’s not embarrassing or wrong to not know something, as long as you are respectful, and genuine in your questioning. The important thing is a desire to change things, and challenge thought processes. 

I can’t wait to keep learning about the importance of diversity and inclusion over my next six months at BUD, and I hope that reading this can help you re-assess some of the things considered ‘normal’ at work. It’s been so rewarding being in a space where all people are fairly represented, and it’s something that everyone in employment deserves. 

If you’re an employer or leader, and you’d like to access BUD resources on how to become more diverse and inclusive in your own workplace, more information can be found on our website here

If you would like to learn more about problems facing different communities across the UK, and what can be done, I would recommend the Talking Inclusion with… podcast, which is a great introduction into issues around inclusivity in the UK.

Black History Month – History you should know

Black history is a time to reflect on the importance of Black communities, and the importance of Black figures throughout history both at home and internationally.

It’s also a great time, however, to educate ourselves, and learn something new. The British curriculum has faced recent criticism in regards to teaching Black history. 


Before reading ahead, try and answer these five questions:

  • When was slavery made illegal in the British Empire?
  • What was the Bristol Bus Boycott?
  • What era was the first Black Briton from?
  • Who was Mary Seacole?
  • Who originally sang the song ‘Hound Dog’?

If you’re struggling don’t worry; a worrying lack of information is taught in British schools surrounding Black history. Below is a brief answer to each, and access to resources where you can learn more about Black History in the UK.

When did slavery end in the British Empire?

Slavery officially ended in the British Empire in 1833, giving ‘freedom’ to 800,000. However, in reality, it was closer to 1838, as those formerly enslaved had to serve an “apprenticeship”. This meant that many still had to work for little to no pay, for 45 hours a week, and in conditions akin to that of when they were slaves. 

 

The British Empire were responsible for transporting nearly 3.1 million slaves, with a reported 400,000 dying en-route. Not only this, but 46,000 slave owners were compensated nearly £20 million; equivalent today to roughly over £20 billion:

“The compensation of Britain’s 46,000 slave owners was the largest bailout in British history until the bailout of the banks in 2009. Not only did the slaves receive nothing, under another clause of the act they were compelled to provide 45 hours of unpaid labour each… In effect, the enslaved paid part of the bill for their own manumission.” – The Guardian


What was the Bristol Bus Boycott?

The Bristol Bus Boycott, 1963, arose when Black employees were denied the opportunity to work as bus crews, despite there being an employment shortage. Discrimination within the Bristol Omnibus Company was considered an ‘open secret’, and in 1955 it was revealed that the Transport and General Workers Union, or the TGWU, had passed a resolution stating “coloured” workers should not work as bus crews. 

 

“The TGWU in the city had said that if one black man steps on the platform as a conductor, every wheel will stop.” – Black History Month

 

The boycott, organised by youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council (initially composed of Roy Hackett, Owen Henry, Audley Evans and Prince Brown), lasted for four months, and was supported by people nationwide, from those at Bristol University to politicians Tony Benn and Fenner Brockway. 

 

The boycott officially ended on the 28th of August, and on September 17th Raghbir Singh became the first non-white bus driver. 


The Bristol Bus Boycott set a precedent across the UK in fighting racial discrimination. It was believed to be influential in creating the Race Relations Act of 1965, which made “racial discrimination unlawful in public places”, and subsequently the Race Relations Act of 1968, which extended the provisions to employment and housing.


What era was the first Black Briton from?

Referred to as the ‘The Ivory Bangle lady’, she is the earliest proven Black woman in the British Isles. Discovered in 1901 in York, the remains have been traced back to the 4th century, during Roman rule. 

The skeleton of the Ivory Bangle Lady was found alongside ivory and jewelry, indicating she was affluent, and there is strong evidence that she is of north African descent. This challenges stereotypes associated with the Roman Empire and in turn ancient Britain. 

Research indicates she was born and brought up in the south of Britain, and she passed away between the ages of 18-23. Inscribed bone was found next to her, reading “Hail, sister may you live with God.”

“It puts into question assumptions that black people have never been aspirationally wealthy or had any kind of wealth”- The Black Curriculum


Who was Mary Seacole?

Mary Seacole, commonly referred to as Mother Seacole, was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805. She was a nurse and business woman, and is widely believed to be as influential as Florence Nightingale. 

 

She set up a ‘British Hotel’ during the Crimean War, where she tended to thousands of British soldiers. She was known to ride on horseback into the battlefields, even when under fire, to nurse wounded men from both sides of the war. 

 

Over her career, she contracted cholera, battled racism, and overcame ill-health to keep helping those in need. 

 

Her legacy stretches further than her nursing, however, and her book, theWonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands’, was the first ever autobiography published by a free black woman in the British Empire. 

 

Seacole was recognised at the time as a hero, receiving medals from governments across nations, and a charity gala for her in 1857 was attended by over 80,000 people. However, her legacy was lost to history until 1980, until rediscovered by historians. 

 

Her statue outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London is recognised by many to be the first in the UK to recognise the achievements of a Black woman.


Who originally sang the song Hound Dog?

Hound Dog, popularised by Elvis Presley, was actually first performed by Big Mama Thorton. This isn’t the only example of covers becoming more popular than the original; take Tainted Love by Soft Cell, originally performed by Gloria Jones, as an example. However, it does highlight a lack of history taught around popular music in the UK and abroad.

A majority of Western music popular today has roots deep in black culture. Rock is a derivative of blues music, which originated in the Deep South of the United States. It later became popularised by artists such as The Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. Jazz music gave birth to swing and big band music, popularised by artists such as Frank Sinatra and Artie Shaw. 

Popular, mainstream, black artists have existed since the birth of records. However, so often you see a trend of white artists becoming more renowned, due to them being more marketable, and as a result black music history discredited. 

Black Histories Hidden Heroes – Five Figures You Should Know About

Black history and indeed black figures throughout history are often forgotten about. Due to prejudice past and present, it’s far too easy for inspirational figures to be lost to the annals of time.

Black History Month is a great time to celebrate the achievements of those throughout history, and recognise the achievements of the black community. We recently delivered a workshop for Fletchers Solicitors, discussing 5 black figures throughout history. You can read about them below:

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker, born in November of 1731, was an intellectual from Maryland, USA. He broke ground for African-Americans, and had correspondence with key political figures, including Thomas Jefferson. He helped pave the way for racial discourse in America, and helped challenge preconceptions of the times. 

Born a free man, Banneker was largely self-educated, and his achievements span different areas. A mathematician, author, and astronomer, he designed what was believed to be the first clock made out of indigenous parts in the US. He helped survey the territory which became Washington DC.

It was his writing, though, which he is most renowned for. His Almanac’s, which he wrote between 1972 and 1977,  were considered by Jefferson as “a document to which (your) whole colour had a right for their justification against the doubts which have been entertained of them.”

He passed away in 1806, and due to a fire at his funeral, nearly all artefacts relating to Banneker were destroyed, including his clock. The cause of the fire was never established.

Alice Ball

Born in 1892, Seattle, Alice Augusta Ball was a chemist who helped develop an effective cure for Leprosy in the early 20th century. She was both the first woman and the first African-American to earn a master’s degree in chemistry from the College of Hawaii. 

Chaulmoogra Oil was, at the time, the most effective treatment for those with Hansen’s Disease a.k.a Leprosy. However, the method of administration left those sick with abscesses and nausea, with results being overall inconsistent. 

Ball was sought after by the assistant surgeon of Kalihi Hospital Hawaii, Harry T. Hollmann. This was for her expertise in identifying the active components of plants. She spent just under a year working with Chaulmoogra oil, and helped develop a water-soluble solution, which was used for over twenty years. 

She unfortunately died at the age of 24, of suspected chlorine poisoning. She was not credited for her work at the time, and it is only recently Ball has been recognised by the general public for her contributions to science.

Philip Emeagwali

Born in 1954 in Akure, Nigeria, Emeagwali developed the fastest supercomputer of the 1980s. He used over 65,000 computer processors, managing to achieve 3.1 billion calculations per second, setting the record in 1989. He also earned the Gordon Bell Prize in the process. His contributions to computer science are believed by many to have helped birth the internet. 


Emeagwali has five different degrees, and was referred to by Bill Clinton as ‘one of the great minds of the information age’ and ‘the Bill Gates of Africa’. He achieved all of this whilst being unable to attend school past the age of 14, due to his father being unable to afford his education.

Emeagwali experienced prejudice throughout his career, even having his access to an American Government supercomputer revoked because of his skin colour. He said on his website “my greatest accomplishment is that I have helped to destroy the stereotype that only whites are making contributions to cutting-edge science and technology.”

Gladys West

Born in 1930 in Virginia, USA, Gladys West grew up on a small farm. She earned a mathematics degree from Virginia State College in 1952, and subsequently a masters in 1955 from the same university. 

She was later employed by the U.S. Naval Proving Ground, where she contributed to many scientific discoveries, including determining Pluto’s movements in relation to Neptune.

West later became the project manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project in 1978, which was the first satellite which could monitor the oceans. Having programmed an IBM 7030 Stretch computer, she was able to provide accurate calculations for an accurate geodetic Earth model, which was a stepping stone for what would later become the GPS orbit. 

In an interview with the Guardian in 2020, speaking about her influence, West said “we always get pushed to the back because we are not usually the ones that are writing the book of the past. 

“It was always them writing and they wrote about people they thought were acceptable. And now we’re getting a little bit more desire to pull up everyone else that’s made a difference.”

West recently completed a PhD at Virginia Tech in 2018, and currently still lives in Virginia.

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson, born in West Virginia in 1918, was an American mathematician, who has been heavily credited in the success of American space exploration programmes between 1953 and 1986.

She started high school when she was just 10 years old, and had graduated from West Virginia State University by the time she was 18. She was one ​of three black students to integrate West Virginia’s graduate schools, and was a pioneer even before her career in mathematics. 

Her accomplishments are numerous; she did trajectory analysis for America’s first human spaceflight. She worked on the space shuttle, and also the Landsat satellite, which are used now in an agricultural and geological capacity. Johnson authored or coauthored 26 research reports, which were integral to NASA’s success in the space race. 

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015, which is America’s highest civilian honor. Johnson sadly passed away in 2020, at the age of 101. NASA Administrator James Bridenstine said, “Our NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old. She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.”

Celebrating Black History – BUD meets Fletchers Solicitors

BUD has recently facilitated a session for Fletchers Solicitors, centering around Black History Month.

The session covered hidden figures in black history, including Benjamin Banneker, Alice Ball and Gladys West. It also included a quiz, and discussions around how race is taught.

BUD also provided an opportunity for employees to discuss any issues they felt towards race, alongside covering the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

This comes after a continued effort from BUD to raise awareness for Black History Month and black led organisations. 

BUD CEO Georgina Wilson, speaking about the workshop, said: “it’s really important to not just look at black history, but also celebrate it. It’s so important to challenge ourselves, about both things we do and don’t know.

“It’s fantastic we have Black History Month. Growing up, a lot of black history was really negative, with a sole focus on areas such as slavery. There’s so much more to learn, and it’s a great opportunity to do it.

“I’ve had vast wealth and experiences learning about black history, and over the years it allowed me as a black female to identify in a different way. 

“It allowed me to recognise that I wasn’t different, Black History Month is a great time to address disparities around race and build that knowledge. 

“Sessions like this are about identifying how we bring black history into the curriculum and how we can educate ourselves. It’s about unlearning our biases, and it’s a great opportunity to tackle some prejudices.”

Assistant Litigation Executive Nermeen Salahuddin, speaking about Black History Month, said it has provided an opportunity to learn about inspirational figures throughout history. 

“It’s been really interesting learning about individuals away from the common themes in black history of activism and struggles. It’s really important to learn how individuals have contributed to society.”

Marketing and Communications Executive Jonathan Maley said during the workshop: “it’s also important to recognise current heroes, such as Marcus Rashford.  There’s still so much to be done. It really scares me the gaps in education, and the lack of understanding around race…  In my time, celebratory black history wasn’t really taught at school, but at any time you can learn, and it’s all the better for learning now.’

We really aren’t taught a lot at school, but at any time you can learn, and it’s all the better for learning now.’

Director of Medical Negligence Peter Rigby said speaking about the workshop: “with the advent of social media, more and more information is being shared. We’re starting to hear about many elements of black history for the first time, even though it may have been from decades ago.”

Human Resources Business Partner Daniellle Stansfield added: “it’s given me a bit of inspiration to keep looking at some black figures throughout history. When I was in primary school, we didn’t learn anything, and if I can learn now I can pass something onto my children and teach them.”

Discussing inclusion, Fletchers recognised that more could be done. Team Leader and Senior Solicitor Emma Semwayo said: “it’s good we are having this conversation/event because in many firms, this is not even on the radar or discussed  however,  it’s not just a pride month, it’s not just a black history month, it’s something that we need to integrate in everything.

Nermeen followed on with: “we need diverse people involved with decision making processes, and people from different backgrounds, have the ability to progress. We have to avoid being tokenistic, and we need to make sure that we are providing an inclusive work environment.

If you’d like to learn more about Black History, we’ve released blog posts teaching some hidden history which you can find here, and if you’d like to book a session with BUD you can do so here!