On Monday 19th October Loughborough’s Ethnic Minorities Network in association with Welfare & Diversity presented the first event celebrating Black History Month at LSU!
The Loughborough Ethnic Minorities Network and Loughborough Afro-Caribbean Society 2015-16 hosted a discussion panel on what it means to be ‘Black in Britain’. Hosting the panel was Idris Simi Haruna (ACS President) and Aharoun-Jordan ‘Aj’ Adeniyan (EMN Vice Chair), on the panel were speakers from the Powerlist Foundation and Future Leaders magazine (The Powerlist magazine is an annual publication that profiles the most influential people from African and Caribbean heritage in the UK). Over the course of the night an array of pressing issues were discussed amongst the panel and the audience from what it means to be black in Britain, the term political blackness and whether race still matters.
The first topic of discussion amongst the panel concerned student leadership in Loughborough.
Channing Lynch – emphasised the importance of wanting to promote the idea of working together within her society and stressed the importance of time management and organisation when trying to balance being a student leader and being a student.
Yinka Afolabi (Previous ACS president 2014-15) – discussed the struggles of being a leader and that at times it can be quite a lonely role, as you have change your mind set and be more professional than the average student.
Nina Cee (nominated in the top 100 future leaders of African and Caribbean heritage) – one of the best things about being a student leader is the relationships you get to build and working with people who don’t necessarily share the same ideologies as you but overcoming those to achieve a mutual goal.
The focus then shifted to National leadership and how there are 42 ethnic minority MPs that approximately makes up 6% of politicians nationally. Besides a few well-known politicians such as Chuka Umunna and Dianne Abbot it was established that the rest of ethnic minorities tend to have a lower profile than their non-ethnic counterparts.
The discussion concluded with a final thought on why people from ethnic minority backgrounds tend to lean towards certain professions with many members of the African and Asian communities striving towards finance or medicine. A point was also raised as to why following paths in the creative industries are seen as risky and unstable especially from people who come from first or second-generation immigrant families.
A quote from the night sums up the evenings events
We need more people who don’t think realistically, the ones that take risks, that’s how we’re going to progress
This not only applies to the ethnic minorities but society as a whole.
To continue and follow the conversation follow #LSUBHM on Twitter.
What’s next for Black History Month …
Wednesday 21st October – Performance lounge in Cogs 4-7
‘A celebration of sound, art, spoken word and music’
Friday 23rd October – Women’s intersectional Panel 5-7 Room 1
Topics of sexuality, beauty standards leadership and representation
(Featuring Loughborough Women’s Network, Islamic Society and Women in Engineering)
Monday 26th October – Hot Topics with AKALA IN Fusion
‘A discussion on class and imperialism with the English rapper Akala who is an established poet and journalist
Wednesday 28th October
Selma screening in FLIX Cinema
In association with Black History Month the ACS are holding a tribute football match for Adele Addoo who sadly passed away last year, although she was a new member to ACS, her presence was always felt and her absence even more so. ACS have thought it would be fitting to play football match of ACS vs The Rest of the World to show support to her family and friends as well as remembering the special individual she was.
Date: Saturday 24th October 2015
Time: 18:30 KO
Place: PEC Rubber Crumb (Near SU)
Photography by Liam Cooke