Welcome to the University of Westminster Black History Year

The blog was created to showcase the University’s commitment to Black history and is run by the Black History Year steering group. Primarily a resource for Black History of the University of Westminster, it also gives an overview of the Black History Year events planned for 2021 and details of past events. The Blog is also a place for sharing stories of our colleagues, students and alumni as well as a link to media news, podcasts and other programmes available online which highlight Black History.

We are constantly updating the blog, with events and articles so please keep checking. If you wish to suggest any event ideas, new stories or articles, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact blackhistoryyear@westminster.ac.uk

About Us

The Black History Year steering group initially came together in June 2020 to plan for Black History Month in October 2020. We were saddened by recent events and what they were telling us about racial injustice and disparities across the globe. As our plans developed, it became clear that Black history should not be relegated to just a single month of recognition. Instead, the group wanted to showcase a continuous stream of stories, events and initiatives that reflect the richness of our University – past and present. As we continue this work, we do so with the support of the sector. The University of Westminster has been commended by several institutions and individuals for taking a bold and sustained approach to recognising our histories.


Dr Deborah Husbands

My history is your history: it’s important that they are recognised equally


Kate Theophilus

Sankofa is an Akan idea: We must go back to our roots, to what we may have forgotten, and not be afraid to pick up what we find there because it’s with that knowledge that we make the future


Manvir Grewal

“There is a fable that when the Sun was setting for the first time, … light was decreasing … and the signs of Darkness were appearing … Darkness set its foot on the Earth, but it is said — far away, in some hut, one little Lamp lifted his head. It proclaimed, ‘I challenge the Darkness. If nothing else, then at least around myself, I will not let it settle. Around myself I will establish Light.” Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra.

By joining the BHY steering group, I hope to challenge the darkness surrounding our history and restore our stories.


Dominika Opyrchal

My motto: Freedom, Equality, Solidarity

Sara Hafeez

I support the Black History Year initiative to uplift the history and cultural heritage that has been pushed into the margins and slept on!


Zahra Saleh

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences”. Audre Lorde


Dr Katherine M. Graham

The Black History Year initiative, and steering group, is doing vital work to reveal hidden histories and voices. It’s vital that we do this work within our University and our wider communities.


Paula Cadenhead

‘To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try Rosa Parks


Julia Hendricks

I am passionate about black creativity, freedom and justice. I can’t wait to help bring more voices to the fore during Westminster’s Black History Year

Edna Johnson

Historically October has been when UK talks about achievements of Black people.

I joined BHY steering group to help highlight stories and achievements of Black people throughout British history and share it with a wider audience.


‘I just want to say, as a staff governor, what a great programme this is. Fantastic work!’

Professor Graham Meikle, Staff Governor, University of Westminster

Thanks for yesterday’s very interesting and informative event. It came at exactly the right time for me and the organization that I chair as we are working hard on a Diversity and Inclusion Process to meet the challenges and criticisms we are facing. To learn of the approaches used in the face of some considerable difficulties was very refreshing and gave me food for thought.

Mike O’Farrell, University of Westminster Alumnus (Activism and Academia event, 15 February 2021)

‘I applaud your Year approach and wish you all the best with your 2021 programme and steadfast support from the University, which is my alma mater – music business and law school.’




Chocolate Babies and Q&A with Rabz Lansiquot

Building a memorial for the people the UK enslaved

Richard Antwi scholarship opens applications

Music: The Black Experience

PhD studentship for BME applicants

Mykaell Riley for BBC Radio 4 Archive

BHY YouTube Video Playlist

Menswear MA alumna Priya Ahluwalia receives top reviews

Event: Employment for Black Students

BBC Radio 4: British folk culture

BHY Event: Activism and Academia

BHY Event: Women and Black Power in the UK

BHY Event: Business & Organisations: An Intersectional Approach

BHY Event: England’s History is Our History

Shirley J. Thompson OBE

Westminster Alumna Kaylee Golding E4 Academy

Westminster graduate Bree Runway

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