October marks the start of Black History Month (BHM). This is an annual celebration of cultural diversity which commemorates the history and achievements of Black people and Black communities. It is a time of year when Black history, talent and voices are showcased and celebrated across the UK, with a spotlight on Black British people, Black British communities, and their contributions to Britain. The month provides an opportunity for people from all different backgrounds to come together, to share experiences, to listen, to learn, and to recognise and appreciate the achievements of Black British people and their role within British society.
This year, Black History Month is being celebrated against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted the lives of many Black people and communities. The death of George Floyd has also refocused attention on the harsh, everyday realities faced by Black people in the UK, and highlighted the continuing racial inequalities and injustices that still exist for many Black communities. In light of these recent events, the need to celebrate and recognise the value of Black History is more important now, than ever before.
CACT is committed to raising awareness and recognising the outstanding contributions that Black communities have made, and to providing opportunities for our colleagues and our communities to learn about, and to tackle, racial inequality and social injustice. CACT also recognises that achieving true equality requires hard work and commitment, and for us to be honest with ourselves and each other; it requires us to meaningfully engage and connect, and to reach out and listen.
As a Trust rooted in the “Heart of the Community” we have a long history of working with local organisations to fight discrimination. In partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we have worked for over 20 years on initiatives designed to tackle discrimination and promote equality, including the annual Charlton Red, White and Black (RWB) Day, that has become a fixed feature on our calendar of community events. We stand united with our Black Staff and Black communities, and unequivocally restate and pledge our commitment to tackling all forms of racism.