25 October 2021
By Deven Pillay, CEO of Community ConneX:
Community ConneX are honoured to celebrate Black History Month this October. Campaigning to make West London a more open, inclusive, and supportive place for marginalised groups and individuals has been at the core of our values and work since our foundation 75 years ago.
With that in mind, taking part in Black History Month, as well as other important African and Caribbean cultural events in London, has been an essential part of our efforts to empower the people we support, improve their wellbeing, and encourage them to engage with wider society as equal citizens.
Over the years our activities have provided clients with opportunities to explore their own African and Caribbean heritage or that of their friends.
Our clients have enjoyed studying African history and wearing traditional clothing.
They have taken part in arts and crafts projects raising awareness about important black historical figures and the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement too.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic our clients, staff and volunteers also regularly took part in the iconic Anglo-Caribbean cultural event the Notting Hill Carnival on multiple occasions.
Our support for the message of Black History Month and for equality and fair representation for black people goes beyond our service offers too.
We are committed to empowering and supporting black people to reach their full potential; we recognise and celebrate their achievements as both staff and volunteers and are a leading local employer of black people at all levels of our organisation, from frontline and office workers to senior management.
We are proud of what we have been able to achieve so far, but we continue to constantly re-assess ourselves, our actions, and our services, and look for new ways to do better.
As Nelson Mandela put it: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
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