UCS 'salutes our sisters' for Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK, and UCS is marking this annual observance with a variety of activities specially designed to prompt discussion and raise awareness among pupils.

The overarching theme of this year’s observance is ‘Saluting Our Sisters’, in recognition of the often unsung contributions of black women across multiple industries. It is a topic that pupils are exploring with their Form Tutors and subject teachers as they share relevant articles and videos as well as profiles of influential black women in leadership, STEM, culture and society, business, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The busy agenda also includes a dedicated all-school assembly for Black History Month, book group discussions and school debates about themes inspired by BHM. Additionally, pupils are being encouraged to enter a national poetry competition.

“We are acknowledging the fact that the innovation and contributions of black women have often been overlooked on the national and international stage,” said Assistant Head (Pupils), Jessica Lewis.

Pupils will have the opportunity to read and reflect upon the lives of exemplary black women, ranging from campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence and businesswoman Vanessa Kingori to surgeon Dr Samantha Ross via newsreader Moira Stuart and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Meanwhile the all-school assembly – which charted the evolution of black feminism from the suffragette movement through to the present day – held up the examples of civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells-Barnett, activist Pauli Murray and contemporary author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Within this historical context, pupils heard about the links between feminism and the civil right movement in the US. The resounding message was conveyed that “all humans should be treated with respect and dignity irrespective of race and gender.”

Mark English, Vice Master and Academic Director, added: “It is absolutely crucial that we lift up the accomplishments of those excluded from traditional mainstream narratives.”

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