University of Leicester marks Black History Month 2022

The University of Leicester is holding a number of events to mark Black History Month, alongside its Students’ Union and Attenborough Arts Centre.

Serendipity, Leicester’s Institute for Black Arts and Heritage, officially launched the city of Leicester’s Black History Month celebrations at Attenborough Arts Centre on Saturday, October 1, with a special event celebrating a brilliant line-up of Black artists including singer/songwriter Jada O’Neill, textile designer, Kelis Darko, dancer Rose Aïda Sall Sao and poet Ty’rone Haughton. This began a range of events taking place across Leicester throughout October:  

Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Leicester, Professor Nishan Canagarajah will open the Sciences Black History Month Symposium on Wednesday, 26 October.

The event hosted by the University’s College of Life Sciences hopes to celebrate Black role models and discuss the issues that Black students and academics may face.

At the University of Leicester, 12.7% of the student population is Black whilst amongst the staff population, that number drops to 2.3%.

Among other events at Attenborough Arts Centre, BBC Radio Leicester’s Aminata Kamara will host The World Reimagined: ART UNDER RESISTANCE on Thursday 13 October in association with Opal22 Arts.

The event will feature panellists British Jamaican photographer and artist, Vanley Burke; visual artist, musician and former drummer of Steel Pulse, Colin Gabbidon; and poet, activist and co-founder of Nottingham’s Black Archives, Panya Banjoko. who will discuss the barriers Black artists face in UK society and how they how to create change.

Meanwhile, Fred D’Augiar, described as one of the finest British poets of his generation, will headline WORD!, the UK’s longest running spoken word poetry night, which takes place monthly at Attenborough Arts Centre on Thursday, October 27. A workshop will be held that afternoon and is open to everyone.

University of Leicester Students’ Union will host several events to mark Black History Month.

Students will be able to get free haircuts on Tuesday 4 October by EZ Cuttz founder Ezra who will talk about entrepreneurship, mental health and tips for university life.

The event is seen as a safe space for predominantly Black men to talk about wellbeing.

The Students’ Union will also host the Black Girls Detox, hosted by Toluwa Atilade. The workshop will cover understanding and identifying Misogynoir and how allies can show authentic support for Black women.

Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Leicester, Nishan Canagarajah said: “We are proud to be a part of a diverse community and to celebrate, with the student body, the enormous contribution of Black staff and students.

“Every year, in October, Black History Month offers us opportunities to shine a light on the history, achievements and impact of the Black community, through conversation and sharing of culture.

“The theme of this Black History Month is ‘Time for Change’ – placing emphasis on action and not simply words. In collaboration with the Students’ Union, Attenborough Arts Centre and Leicester City Council, our events and activities throughout October around Blackness will give you a chance to get involved, as Citizens of Change, to create positive impact. Join us in coming together to celebrate the people who make this month special.”