October is Black History Month, which honours the achievements, culture and history of black people. This year, the theme is ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words’.
Royal Surrey staff will be celebrating the month with face-to-face and virtual events organised by our Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Staff Network (REACH) and Jenny Duncan, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
To launch Black History Month, Jenny delivered a talk on the progress that our Trust is making to ensure a more equal workplace for Black and Minority Ethnic staff. She talked about where the Trust is doing well and where it needs to improve. The standard used to address race equality issues in NHS staffing is the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).
Jenny invited guest speaker Hamid Motraghi MBE FCIPD, Deputy Head of WRES from NHS England, who presented the statistics that gave the national picture.
There are two further virtual talks led by Jenny during October, highlighting key issues around equality and diversity in our Trust. The second talk on Allyship will ask ‘how can staff be allies to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues?’ Jenny’s third talk will focus on unconscious bias and micro-aggressions and how to combat them.
A food-sharing day and staff interactive quiz are also being held during Black History Month and our staff restaurant will be serving a selection of dishes inspired by African and Afro-Caribbean recipes.
Two live music performances will be held on 11 October and 18 October in the main hospital entrance featuring singer and musician Rudy Green who plays an African musical instrument called the Kora. The events are sponsored by Billmeir Charitable Trust. A party to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Trust’s REACH Network will round off Black History Month celebrations.