Commemorating Black History Month in the UK with Mintel’s Colours of Change

November 14, 2022

October was Black History Month in the UK, and Mintel’s ethnicity-based employee resource group (ERG) Colours of Change commemorated the month with a range of events. We also raised money for Stop Hate UK, a leading anti-hate and anti-discrimination organisation. 

Documentary night at Mintel House
We kicked off with a documentary night at our London office, where we watched the BBC documentary The Colony, made in 1964, which shows the struggle of working-class immigrants from the Caribbean. While it sparked discussion about the challenges that people from the Black community faced in 1960s Britain – and we were thankful that many of these obstacles have been overcome – we acknowledged that there is still a long way to go until we reach true equality.

            

 

DEI discussions with Hermann Trepesch, Global Diversity and Equity Inclusion Director at Sanofi.
We were fortunate enough to enjoy Caribbean and Ethiopian food in the company of our special guest speaker Hermann Trepesch, who has incredible experience in driving DEI practices in a number of organisations, including O2 and Sanofi. Hermann spoke to a packed audience at Mintel House about different ways a business can be more inclusive, as well as the business implications of not doing so. Hermann gave the Colours of Change group much food for thought – particularly on how we can use our location in London to help local communities. 

       

     

 

Black History Trivia Hour
We ended the month with Black History Trivia Hour, attended by 50+ colleagues both in-person and on Zoom. While enjoying snacks from Black-owned businesses, we learnt more about Black History (in the UK and abroad), Black music and entertainment – a few lucky colleagues even won some prizes!

UK Black Business Show
Some of our members also visited the UK Black Business Show. The topic of allyship was discussed extensively, and the importance of not being silent in the face of injustice. From the Black Women Business Talks, we heard from C-level execs about being bolder, braver and most importantly giving yourself grace. We were also able to network with the likes of Ralph Lauren and BP, as well as hear about the challenges of building careers as people of colour.

In summary…
We all have a responsibility to learn and become educated, and Black History Month gives us a chance to stop, take note and seek out the knowledge that will empower us to create a more inclusive environment. However, the action and allyship extends beyond Black History Month, and while we were able to use this month to learn and educate, the journey doesn’t stop at the end of the month. As Colours of Change enters its next phase in 2023, we look forward to continuing to be a force for change. We will be hosting a range of events, including continuing with our monthly Storytelling sessions, where members have a safe space to discuss issues that impact them, as well as cultural lunches and events for our allies.  

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