Black History Month is not only about addressing inequality and discrimination. However, we remain affected by the events of 2020 which have raised such passion through the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked greater awareness of the need to address racism and inequality.
Black History Month this year offers us an opportunity to think about one particular aspect of inequality – the widespread ignorance of the role of Black people in political, artistic and legal history. Our Black History Month programme is intended to offer an opportunity to address that.
Reflections from Dame Linda Dobbs
Dame Linda Dobbs, the first Black High Court Judge and the first non-white person to be appointed to the senior judiciary in the UK, joined us virtually where she was interviewed by members of our Inclusion Committee. This was a fantastic opportunity to gain some valuable insight from someone who has made a real difference in the legal sector.
Black History walk
We planned a walk around central London taking in six sites of special interest including key figures and moments in Black history. Our stops included the site of the home of pioneering Anti-Slavery campaigner Olaudah Equiano; the site of the 1981 Black Peoples' Day of Action, where people gathered to protest against racism; and the British Museum, where countless African treasures reside since being removed during Britain's colonial past. This route was shared with all our people.
Overlooked icons of Black history
There are so many unsung and unrecognised figures in Black History that we could never hope to acknowledge them all. This year we did an internal campaign to acknowledge a handful of pioneering campaigners to raise awareness of these icons, their achievements and their role in shaping our history.
The members of the Inclusion Committee responsible for this campaign are: Duncan Bagshaw (Partner), Suzanne Tiwo (Risk and Compliance officer), Shreena Avery (Senior Associate) and Chirag Rao (Senior Associate).
At Howard Kennedy, we aim to live by our values Talk Straight | Think Smart | Be Yourself which encourage an open and honest working environment. Building an inclusive culture is at the heart of our values.