Photo: from left, Naomi Mutolo, Beverly Simpsons, Lilian Seenoi-Barr, Adoronke Chendali, Seneyia Allen at NWMF Black Hostory Month Launch event
This October North West Migrant Forum (NWMF) is launching a programme of events to commemorate the history, achievements and contributions of black people in Northern Ireland.
The programme, that is free of charge to attend and open to the public, began on the October 3 and will run for the duration of the month.
It includes a conversation on ‘Blackness comes in different Shades and Cultures’, two Black History trivia quiz nights, a ‘Dialogue and Debate’ night focused on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and race and justice.
In addition there will be a Black History Human Library, as well as a ‘Black is Beautiful two-day event celebrating black culture, heritage, fashion, hair, food, arts, craft, music and dance.
Partnering with NWMF to deliver the programme are Ethnic Minority Sports Organisation NI, African Women Organisation NI and Ulster University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Lilian Seenoi-Barr, Director of Programmes at NWMF said: “We’re so excited to be celebrating Black History Month and would love to invite everyone from the Derry and Strabane District Council areas to join us.
“The main aim of Black History Month is to celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people not just in the UK but also around the world.
“It provides a moment of reflection for people as well as a reminder to educate ourselves. By honouring the struggles faced by Black people as a whole, the month strives to be a reminder of equality and inclusion.”
Throughout this month, NWMF will be joining with other like-minded organisations from across Northern Ireland for the annual celebration to celebrate and commemorate people of the African diaspora and significant events that have shaped their history.
Mrs Seenoi Barr added: “In the last year we have witnessed the power and reach of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which shone a light on the many injustices faced by black people around the world.
“In light of the unprecedented attention given to the lived realities of black people, this year’s ‘Black History Month is a significant opportunity.
“We also want to reassure everyone that we have prepared carefully and taken appropriate measures to ensure that all staff, volunteers, and event attendees are safe when attending any of our events or programmes at our centre.
“As well as carrying out a full risk assessment and appointing an in house Covid-19 compliance officer, we have also marked out a floor guide allowing visitors to maintain a 2m distance from each other.
“We have created a PPE station where visitors will have their temperature taken before entering the centre and a RQ code provided for participants to register themselves in for trace and contact tracing.
“They will also be given a face mask at this time that they must always wear inside the NWMF Centre. And we hope that the people of Derry city and Strabane District Council will also get involved.
“These events have been made possible by the support from The Northern Ireland Housing Executive and National Lottery Community Fund.”
Due to the new Covid-19 restrictions most of the events will be delivered exclusively online however there will be a smaller number of events with in-person places also offered.
These will be limited to just ten places per event.
Anyone wishing to attend an event, either online or in-person is advised that registering their interest is compulsory for securing their place and they will not be able to attend without doing so.
For more information on NWMF, Black History Month or how you can get involved, you can visit our website via the following link: http://nwmf.org.uk
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