October is Black History Month and coincides with the start of the academic year. It is a month of celebration of the history of Black people in Britain and throughout the African diaspora, highlighting their many contributions.
At King’s, we are very proud of key historical figures such as our graduates, Dr Kenneth Dike who founded the National Archives of Nigeria and is considered the ‘Father of West African Historiography’, the campaigner for racial equality, Dr Harold Moody who came to London from Jamaica to study Medicine in 1904, as well as, of course, the Nobel Laureate, Dr Desmond Tutu.
King’s College London King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) and African and Caribbean Society (ACS) would like to wish the King’s community a happy Black History Month. It is vital to acknowledge the contributions of Black communities and individuals like Mary Seacole, Olaudah Equiano, the Windrush generation, and so many others to the development of this country.
It is equally vital to realise that Black British history cannot and should not be confined to one month in a year.
We share a firm commitment to the progression of race equality and to fostering an environment where our talented community of staff and students thrive with equal opportunities. At the core of King’s Vision 2029 runs an ambition to provide not only an exceptional, innovative and world class education and experience and but also and some might say more importantly one that is inclusive, through understanding, recognising and celebrating our international and diverse community. At King’s we have long benefited from the contributions of black scholars, staff and students and throughout the month there will be a host of student and staff led initiatives celebrating Black History and culture in our faculties and departments.
We invite you to explore King’s ACS & KCLSU’s and King’s Black History Month programmes and join together to mark this important time of the year. Events during Africa Week at King’s (19 – 23 October) have also been arranged to coincide with Black History Month this year. The week is part of the Africa at King’s programme and is co-organised by the African Leadership Centre, School of Global Affairs and Africa Research Group in the War Studies Department.
ACS & KCLSU Events
This year we are focusing on education and empowerment during Black History Month, and inviting students to take part and shape it into a place to discuss, learn and be inspired. We are hosting a range of , surrounding anti-racism and allyship, and much more. Outside of BHM, there is a available to our black students throughout the year, including a chapter, a peer support group that provides safe, supportive and therapeutic spaces for Black students to meet, share, learn, and manage mental health & wellbeing at King’s College London.
King’s Race Equality Chartermark
We also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone across our community who have supported the work of the King’s team to create the and complete and submit the Race Equality Chartermark application.
The whole process has given us as a community a true opportunity to fully reflect as we have heard from members in our community what it really means to be British and Black in today’s social environment. As part of this and other events, we have cemented our joint commitment to combat structural racism at King’s.
While we do still have some way to travel, we intend to continue the journey together, and remain on this road to make King’s a welcoming and open place.
With best wishes,
Professor Sir Edward Byrne
President & Principal
Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin
Vice President & Vice-Principal, International
KCL ACS President