As part of Black History Month, Creative Arts and Health and Social Care students at Southwark College were privileged to listen to black professionals who shared their life stories, challenges, and experiences. The theme for this year's Black History Month is 'Saluting Our Sisters,' which honours the achievements of Black women in history, including those whose contributions were ignored, ideas appropriated, and voices silenced.
Guest speakers included Jane Rae, a poet, activist, and actress, Wani Yosepa, senior manager at GreySpark Partners, and Southwark College staff members, Amie Fofana and Julian Bridgeman. The speakers shared their experiences of navigating their careers as Black professionals living in the UK, inspiring students with the resilience and the determination that have fuelled the journeys of these remarkable individuals.
Jane Button, Principal at Southwark College, said: "As we celebrate Black History Month, we are honoured to host accomplished speakers to share their journeys, challenges, and experiences as Black professionals in the UK. Their stories serve as a testament to resilience, ambition, and the limitless potential within the Black community.
“At Southwark College, we recognise that progress comes from understanding and embracing the diverse journeys that have shaped our collective history. These talks provide an opportunity for the College’s community to learn from the past and inspire a future where every individual, regardless of their background, can achieve their goals and attain greatness."
Jane Rae, speaker, poet, activist, and actress, said: "It was a blessing to have this time with Southwark College students to discuss the themes of inclusion, diversity, and belonging, in addition to the importance of celebrating Black ancestors, not just during Black History Month, but all year round."
Michael Campbell, Drama student, said: "The discussions with the speakers inspired me and have motivated me to work harder on my course and, one day, share my story with the next generation. Among the discussions, Amie's talk on famous Black women in history, their accomplishments in professions that were once closed to them, and their persistence in their endeavours particularly resonated with me. Her words have ignited a passion within me to strive for excellence and become an active participant in the positive change that I wish to see in the world."
To learn more about the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy at Southwark College visit: southwark.ac.uk/equality-diversity-and-inclusion