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Black History Month

This Black History Month, the Diversity & Inclusion team focused on education.

Our Deputy Head Girl (Diversity & Inclusion), Mehr, reports back on a productive and enriching month:

‘We began with a whole school assembly centred around three influential black women who have made the education system more inclusive: Cecile Yvonne Connolly, Dr Inez Beverly Prosser, and Dame Jocelyn Barrow. Continuing with the theme of education, our Head, Mrs Paul, led reading sessions on books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists – with cultural theorist Dr Shehnaz Suterwallawith from the Royal College of Arts, helping to broaden our understanding of black people’s experiences.

Throughout the month, all year groups participated in a variety of activities to challenge their thinking, including debates about whether museums should return artefacts to the countries they came from, and discussing the controversy surrounding the ‘anti-racist’ narrative. As part of Upper Sixth’s Free Thinking Fridays programme, Stephen Lawrence’s brother delivered a deeply moving talk about the experiences of those battling against racism within society. Year 8 pupils visited the Junior School to collaborate with Year 5 on a STEM-related diversity and inclusion project, celebrating under-represented scientists.

As a community, we are fundraising to erect a blue plaque in Gospel Oak to celebrate Claudia Jones, the journalist and activist who founded the West Indian Gazette and lived in Camden, to spread more awareness and give those who are instrumental in helping to achieve racial equality the recognition and respect they deserve. We have been selling badges in the atrium and hosting bingo sessions, a non-uniform day, and a raffle to win the chance to feature their name on the back of the blue plaque.

Overall, this month’s activities have supported our fundamental aim to celebrate all inspiring figures of history, and learn from their actions so that we, as a school, can make the world more inclusive, equitable and just.’

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