First celebrated in the UK in October 1987,
Black History Month is a time for people and institutions across the nation to engage with the rich and vast history of the Black British community. The theme for this year’s Black History Month is “ Time For Change: Actions Not Words,” which encourages active steps and actions to help support Black communities. The campaign is running alongside a packed programme of talks and cultural events, details of which can be found on the Black History Month website.
There are a number of charities and organisations across the UK who are working to promote Black British history in our curriculum, local community centres, and cultural hotspots. And with charities still feeling the effects of lockdown, it’s more important than ever that we all do what we can to support their work. Supporting and donating to these charities will not only educate current and future generations, but will help cement Black history as British history.
Read on to discover some seriously worthwhile causes including the Black Curriculum, Black History Walks, and the Racial Justice Network Leeds.
1. The Black Curriculum
The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise launched by Lavinya Stennett in 2019 to champion Black British history in schools across the UK. Using a tailor-made curriculum and resources, The Black Curriculum aims
“for young people to engage with history imaginatively”. They also have a Springboard Programme, delivering free school workshops to 11-16 year olds, with the workshops taking place nationwide and teaching Black British History through music. They’ve also partnered with Spotify on the Sounds of Black Britain podcast, diving into the musical evolution of Black British music. Donate here 2. Black Cultural Archives (BCA)
Founded in 1981 by Len Garrison, Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is a home for Black British history. The organisation believes in championing and educating the public on the
“people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK”. Alongside gallery exhibitions and educational programmes, it offers free access to a wealth of archives and historical objects. And thanks to its digital space, you don’t even need to live in London to learn from the BCA’s work. Donate here 3. Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) 4. Museumand
Museumand, a social history and community museum, aims to educate communities in Nottingham and beyond about British Caribbean history. Museumand bring this history to life through engaging cultural events, moving personal accounts, outreach efforts in the local community, and art and performance. Throughout October, they are sharing
31 actions you can take this Black History Month and beyond. Donate here 5. African & Caribbean Support Northern Ireland (ACSONI)
ACSONI, established in 2003, is a community-based organisation which aims to support African and Caribbean communities in Northern Ireland. The charity offers a
wide range of services, including drop-in support, arts and education programmes, and diversity and inclusion training, all with the intention of preserving Black-Northern Irish cultural heritage. Donate here 6. Racial Justice Network 7. Black History Walks
If you’re someone who wants to immerse themselves in visual history, Black History Walks is the organisation for you. Offering walking tours, lectures and films across London, Black British History comes to life under the guidance of a remarkable team. They have also released a groundbreaking GCSE exam textbook on Black British Civil Rights activism. For those who prefer a virtual experience, they have an
abundance of digital resources on Black British history. Donate Here 8. Free Black University
Established in 2020, Free Black University is a revolutionary project that goes to the heart of inequality in the education system. Their mission is to
“help the world radically imagine” and creating a healing space for Black people within the education sector. Donate here 9. Black Learning Achievement and Mental Heath (BLAM UK)
What started as a community outreach event in 2017 has turned into a transformative movement across London. Based in Brixton,
BLAM campaigns for “creating spaces for joy and freedom for Black people in the UK.” Their ‘Grounded Project’ puts on workshops in primary and secondary schools across London teaching African and African-Caribbean culture, history, and heritage. Donate here 10. The Ubele Initiative
‘Ubele’ derives from the Swahili word meaning ‘The Future’ and that is exactly what this organisation is working toward. Founded in 2014, this group is led by African Diaspora and believes in building more sustainable communities across the UK.
Their work spans everything from grassroots projects to national policy change-making. Their project Elevate celebrated the history, culture and experiences of women from marginalised backgrounds over a seven-month programme. The Ubele Initiative has several exciting projects and collaborations on the horizon so keep an eye out. Learn more here 11. Black Muslim Forum
The Black Muslim Forum is committed to tackling anti-Blackness within the British Muslim Community. After
conducting a study in 2020 which concluded a majority of Black British Muslims did not feel welcome at their university Islamic Society (ISOC), they launched #themalcomcode. This initiative hopes to make UK Islamic societies actively anti-racist through training, education, and structural change. It runs alongside a number of projects exploring the rich history of the Black Muslim community. Donate here 12. Black History Studies
Black History Studies was founded in 2007 by Mark and Charmaine Simpson with the goal of educating people in the UK about Black History. They put on a range of
programmes and courses, from history to food to wider culture targeted at individuals, families and organisations seeking to educate themselves. They have an online course titled African History Before The Slave Trade. Donate here 13. Black Thrive
Originally based in Lambeth, Black Thrive has grown into a global movement dedicated to removing structural barriers placed on African and African-Caribbean communities. Black Thrive routinely delivers
training sessions across all sectors which look at racial disparities and how we can undo structural injustice. They also have a partnership with the TNL Growing Great Ideas Programme, which works to create healing spaces for Black British communities. Get involved here 14. Black Heroes Foundation
The vision of this organisation is to celebrate and respect Black Heroes through educational resources and arts programmes. They work with schools, universities, and libraries to develop and implement equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) programmes. Alongside this, they regularly run events and exhibitions within London and online for people to learn about Black British History.
Donate here 15. Five X More
In the UK, Black women are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth and that’s where Five X More comes in. Founded in 2019 by two Black women, Clo and Tinuke, Five X More are a grassroots organisation dedicated to highlighting and combatting the disproportionate deaths of Black women. They
provide resources for mothers and birthing people and have worked with the government to address the high death rates in relation to Black mothers. Five X More also created the UK’s first Black Maternal Health awareness week. Donate here 16. SickleKan
Sickle cell disease is the fastest growing genetically inherited condition in the UK, per SickleKan, and Black people are disproportionately affected by this disease. In fact,
39% of BAME patients in need of a stem cell transplant don’t find a suitably matched donor. SickleKan is dedicated to raising awareness of sickle cell and the issues of insufficient blood, stem cell, and organ donation for those living with sickle cell. Donate here 17. Sistah Space
Founded in 2015, Sistah Space supports
women of African heritage affected by domestic abuse and violence. In light of the death of a victim to domestic abuse, Valerie Forde and her baby daughter, Sistah Space launched a petition which garnered more than 106,000 signatures, which proposed “Valerie’s Law.” This law set out to “make specialist training mandatory for all police and other government agencies that support black women and girls affected by domestic abuse.” Donate here 18. Power The Fight
Launched in 2019, Power The Fight works towards
tackling violence affecting young people. With over 13,300 practitioners trained through the charity and 417 young people supported, the award-winning charity provides resources to help and empower organisations and families against youth violence. This includes the NHS, schools, faith groups, charities, local authorities, and more. Donate here
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 18, 2021