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Black History Month 2022

Every October the accomplishments of Black Britons throughout time is marked with the celebration of Black History Month (BHM).

Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of Black heritage and culture on British society.

This year’s theme - Time for Change: Action Not Words - will see Coventry University and the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff network deliver several key events designed to inform and support change for students and staff, with the aim of a better, more equitable future for tomorrow. #BHMCovUni

Student spotlights

Hayleigh Boadi

The Heirloom project, is a visual representation of Hayleigh Boadi love of her Ghanaian culture and heritage. She is a recent graduate of our BA Fashion course and the work is inspired by the idea that cultural traditions, African fabrics and Ghanaian Kente (traditional native fabric) are like heirlooms – they are of significant value and passed down through generations of African families. Her aim is to inspire others to share their stories and ‘wear their culture proudly on their sleeves’. Her work has influenced much of the visual elements of this year's Black History Month at the university. Click on the image gallery below to read her story and see more of her work. Images courtesy of Andrea Tung and Shaun James Cox. Check out her Graduate Fashion Week page.

Josefina Fingue

“The Legacy Carries On” is a tribute to Josefina Fingue's parents. She grew up watching her father sew and that sparked Josefina's initial interest in fashion. She is another recent graduate of our BA Fashion course and her collection was inspired by a photograph of her parents in the 80's. They were wearing suits at that time, and it ignited in her an interest in doing an 80's fashion collection. Josefina's aim is to always make a positive difference through her creations. She aims to empower women by promoting acceptance, self-assurance, and positivity. Check out her work in the Coventry University Degree Show 2022 webpage.




What Black History Month means to us

Portrait of a man

For so long I have felt that the only person that can help make a change and improve equality and equity for myself and my family is me, however that is incorrect as it’s much wider than that. Black people have the challenge in that whilst they continue to experience racism and discrimination, we are often tasked to come up with the solutions ourselves on how to fix things. For me the theme ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words’ aims to highlight that while there is history this should be acknowledged and we should learn from it, we cannot move forward without action and working together to achieve equality and equity. If we come together I am positive we can make a change that will improve the life experience for many generations to come.

Julian McKenzie, Director of Sales and Account Management (Enterprise and Innovation)
Portrait of Fiona Secondino

Since the murder of George Floyd there has been much talk about change, and addressing issues such as Institutional Racism in both the UK and abroad. The conversations, meetings and workshops have been eye opening and educating for many, but it is time for us to see, hear and feel the benefit of tangible outcomes from them.

BHM is the only time at which the current and legacy achievements of our peers and ancestors are both acknowledged and celebrated, surely it is now time to see this reflected in the everyday? The conversations should continue as they are so valuable, but we need to see tangible actions now in the form of inclusive practice during promotion, recruitment and selection, and in our research and curriculum. Don’t just celebrate our achievements one month a year, recognise, value and reward them in everyday practice and decision making. Time for Change – Action not Words.

Fiona Secondino, Head of Research Delivery Support

Project Spotlights

Frederick Douglass in Coventry

In the long history of the Black Freedom Struggle, few individuals are as captivating Frederick Douglass. A former slave who worked ceaselessly for Black freedom, civil rights, and women’s equality, Douglass was a remarkable figure whose life (and connection to Coventry) is an expiring example for learners and thinkers of all ages.

Find out more
black and white photograph of Frederick Douglass

Enacting solidarity, ritual and collective emotions in a Black Lives Matter protest

This in-depth investigation of the protests will provide insights into how and why it is important for people to enact complex shared emotions as part of a physical and psychological group.

Find out more
Two Black women raise their fists


Silhouettes of 6 people of Black and Minority Ethnic.

Coventry University BME Staff Network

The Coventry University BME Staff Network provides a forum for staff that identify as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME).

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University of the year shortlisted
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