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Black History Month

Black History Month

28 June 2016

Black History Month is celebrated annually in the United Kingdom in October.

UCU celebrates Black History Month 2021

UCU is proud to celebrate Black History Month, an annual event which...

  • honours historic Black leaders
  • provides a better understanding of the struggles won, lost and gained
  • provides an opportunity to highlight Black history and cultures
  • creates an awareness for all Black history is OUR history.

The theme for 2021 is 'Proud to Be' and a range of useful resources can be found on the Black History Month website.

As part of this year's celebrations, UCU will be hosting an online event on Wednesday 20th October, 6.30pm - 8.00pm with a range of Black educationalists, discussing issues such as student attainment and the wage gap. You can register here.

We're also keen to hear about what branches and regions are doing locally to mark Black History Month, so please get in touch by emailing eqadmin@ucu.org.uk to let us know about any local activities you have planned!

As a union, we must continue to challenge racism at all levels and work to create anti-racist environments. This short guide for branches provides a useful starting point for this work.

Black History Wallchart

In 2020, UCU produced a wallchart focussing on some key milestones throughout Black History. Alongside the wallchart, we also created a range of poster portraits of some important individuals in black history. 

This work is just one of the ways that UCU is taking the lead in highlighting and challenging racial inequality. We encourage you to share these materials, and hope that they will act as useful springboards for discussion about Black History within UCU branches.

Black History Wallchart 2020 (print-ready) [5mb]   Black History Wallchart 2020 [3mb]

Black History Month wallchart 2020

Poster Portrait of some Important Individuals in Black History [13mb]  

UCU Black History Month Bernard Coard portrait [1mb]  
UCU Black History Month Claudia Jones portrait [510kb]  
UCU Black History Month Dr Mae Jemison portrait [1mb] 
UCU Black History Month Harriet Tubman portrait [1mb]
UCU Black History Month Lady Doreen Lawrence portrait [343kb]
UCU Black History Month Olive Morris portrait [383kb]
UCU Black History Month Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah portrait [347kb]
UCU Black History Month Samuel Maharero portrait [2mb]
UCU Black History Month Sanite Belair portrait [2mb]
UCU Black History Month Wangari Muta Maathai portrait [1mb]
UCU Black History Month William Cuffay portrait [3mb]



UCU Black Member Networks

UCU uses the term 'Black' in a political sense to refer to people who are descended, through one or both parents, from Africa, the Caribbean, Asia (the middle-East to China) and Latin America. It refers to those from a visible minority who have a shared experience of oppression. The word is used to foster a sense of solidarity and empowerment.

UCU has developed networks for black members to:

  • provide a supported route to enhanced activism within the branch
  • provide a space for UCU's black members who may have a shared experience of working in the FE and HE sectors
  • provide support and guidance for black members who wish to become more involved in UCU's equality networks and structures

We have developed networks for black members in the following regions:

  • West Midlands
  • London
  • Eastern
  • Yorkshire and Humberside
  • South West.

This year, we will be developing networks in Scotland, Wales and Southern region.

Come and meet other black members in your region, share your experiences, and discuss how we can increase black member representation in our branches and the UCU's democratic structures. These networks are open for all self-identifying black members.

Contact Chris Nicholas for further information on how you can join and/or set up a network in your region.

Black voices - a UCU blog

Black voices is the space for UCU's black members to talk about relevant workplace issues. To read and find out how you can make a contribution, visit https://www.ucu.org.uk/black-voices or contact Chris Nicholas.


Last updated: 30 September 2021