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!