Black History Month Soiree builds engagement

On October 14 2015, local organisations, residents, staff and students from Bournemouth University (BU) and other higher education institutions gathered at the Executive Business Centre for the Black History Month Soiree on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Equality in Sport and Classical Music.

The event was co-hosted by BU Equality and Diversity and Black British Academics.I developed the event to highlight the contribution Black academics make to the global knowledge economy, to showcase the fusion of practice and research for social change and to build engagement with staff, students and local organisations.

I believe it’s of fundamental importance to acknowledge how Black academics are pushing the boundaries of knowledge while helping to build a fairer and more just society.

Vincent Edwards from Bournemouth’s Kick-It-Out campaign spoke movingly about his 10-year campaign against racism in football and was joined by two teenage volunteers, who deliver anti-racism events in Bournemouth.

Kevin Hylton, Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport from Leeds Beckett University shared narratives from Black and Asian football coaches extracted from his recent research on how humour is used to mediate against racial microaggressions.

I delivered a presentation on pedagogies of social justice and cultural democracy, based on an evaluation of teaching materials and tailored workshops developed for a higher education institution to enhance race equality and inclusive teaching practice.

Dr Shirley Thompson, Patron of Black British Academics and a reader in Music at Westminster University, is a classical violinist and world famous classical composer, who in 2004 became the first woman in Europe to compose and conduct a symphony in the last 40 years.

In her presentation, Heroines of the Opera: Democratizing the Art of Opera Writing and performance, she spoke about her creation of leading roles for females and developing stories around African Caribbean historical figures.


“Many thanks for hosting such a terrific event; the speakers were excellent and it was great to see such a good turnout.” Professor Keith Faulks, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University

“I am so pleased that I made the effort to attend what proved to be an insightful and thought provoking event.” Carolyn Solomon-Pryce, Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“…one of the most inspiring and engaging public/academic events that I have seen in a university in a long while.” Dr Heather Savigny, Associate Professor, Faculty of Media and Communication, Bournemouth University.

“An excellent and informative evening. There is still so much work to do in this field to get full recognition of the contribution Black People have made; not just to the UK but the world. …there is still a lot to learn and by coming together in celebration, recognition and challenge – we can make a difference.” David Corbin, Equality and Diversity Manager, Dorset Healthcare.

“This is the first such event that I have attended and a high standard has been set. The speakers were exceptional, challenging the way we think about our social interactions. Personally I found it liberating to find that other people also experience a sense of loneliness and need to interact with people of a similar background. Events such as the one you hosted are worth every penny in bringing us all together.” Thabani Nyoni


Bournemouth Kick-It-Out team
Professor Kevin Hylton
Dr Shirley Thompson
Dr Deborah Gabriel
Chartwells Chef

Dr Deborah Gabriel

I'm a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University who has lectured in journalism, politics, new media and corporate marketing communications. I aim to contribute to social change through teaching, research and professional practice, and I'm especially interested in race equality.

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