Homeless Link are proud to celebrate Black History Month this year. Throughout October we will be running an internal learning program, inviting our staff to take part in educational activities around Black History. Each day, we'll share resources, including articles, videos, and podcasts, that will give an insight into the experiences and lives of black communities.
We have also been speaking to some of our members about Black History Month and they told us what the significance of it was to their work.
Established in January 2023 and based in Bristol, Mwanzo Project is a Black-led grassroots community organisation, founded in response to the gap in provision for children and young people who are at risk or involved in offending, exploitation and street conflict. Mwanzo are committed to using their skills to offer support to the most marginalised groups and create opportunities for young people to engage in support and build relationships with mentors to unlock their potential.
We reached out to their founder Maya, who said:
"As we approach our first Black History Month as a newly founded Project, we reflect and celebrate our heritage, our culture, our leaders, and ancestors. Although this is our ethos all year round, we appreciate this month for the spotlight it provides nationally as well as highlighting the importance of Black led organisations/projects, commitment to anti-racist principles and sadly the systemic inequality and racism still experienced by Black and racially minoritised communities.
At Mwanzo, we use a holistic approach to seek to understand the complex needs and lives of each individual young person. All our staff are trained in psychologically and trauma-informed approaches; equipped with the language and skills to empower young people to feel able to speak about their experiences and to support them around their wellbeing.
Our primary goal is to create accessible opportunities for young people to receive support, enabling them to forge connections with mentors and role models who are relatable and credible to unlock their full potential.
As we celebrate Black History month, we encourage all organisations to not just celebrate our history, but also consider the part we all play in the present, what we do to challenge inequality , how we provide culturally sensitive support, and how our organisations can embed the principles of anti-racism.
We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to learn, grow, discover their passions, and thrive to build brighter futures."
Established in 2009, Assisted Homes CIC is a stepping stone and comforting environment towards independent living. They focus on working with single adults who have suffered a social disadvantage in their lives. They task themselves with making a difference by floating support to enable clients to learn how to manage their own specific needs. Their approach is dedicated to creating realistic outcomes that can be sustained long-term.
We spoke to Kane, who said
"For us Black History Month isn't just a tradition; it's a deeply important time when we come together to acknowledge the profound contributions, cultural richness, and resilience of the Black community. This observance holds a special place in our hearts because it impacts not only our colleagues but also our clients.
For our colleagues, it is a time for learning, understanding, reflection and education that fosters empathy. By delving into the often overlooked chapters of Black history, we strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion and not in a performative aspect.
For our clients, many of whom come from diverse backgrounds, this month celebrates their unique stories and achievements. It reaffirms that their experiences are an essential part of the rich tapestry of Black history, a history that encompasses struggle, resilience, and triumph.
As we observe Black History Month, we reaffirm our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and empathy. By honouring the past and celebrating the present, we create a more inclusive present and future for all clients and colleagues within Assisted Homes CIC and beyond.'
Here are some ways Assisted Homes CIC are celebrating Black History Month:
Inspiring Mondays: Each Monday in October, a different team presents a person from the black community who has inspired and made a positive impact on them, to encourage learning and sharing.
We're sharing educational content with our staff to explain the significance of Black History Month and why it's essential, to create a foundation of empathy and inclusivity.
Our newly established Employee Resource Groups focus on diversity, providing a safe space for discussions, awareness-raising, and peer support. Our aim is to create lasting change beyond this month.
Client Spotlights: We're shining a light on our clients from the black community, showcasing their successes, and celebrating their accomplishments.
Social Media Takeover: Employees have been invited to take over our social media platforms, sharing their unique perspectives and experiences. Below is a picture of Assisted Homes CIC team.