Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It is currently in its 31st year and October marks 31 days of celebrating black people’s achievements throughout history. Black history is an integral part of UK history. Black people have and continue to help shape and build Britain. To name a few Sir Trevor MacDonald who is one of the most well known presenters on TV in Britain, Paul Stephenson, campaigner for equal rights or Lennox Lewis one of the most successful British sportsmen of all time.
Black History Month brings awareness of the discrimination against many black people in the UK. Moreover, events in the United States including the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement have enhanced the need to address the diversity, equality and inclusion gap.
Here at Bayfield, we collaborate with organisations that support and empower women and ethnic minorities within real estate. For example, the Women Talk Real Estate is now re-launched as Diversity Talk Real Estate.
As we are based in Cambridge, we have looked at the events and celebrations across the city as well as in the University of Cambridge. An exhibition is displayed in front of Great St Mary’s, the University Church profiling 45 photographs and biographies of Britain’s Black women professors. The exhibition aims the racial inequality in British academia as less than 1% of the professors in the UK are Black.
Moreover, in a Cambridge college press release, a third-year student and former JCR BAME Officer Oluchi Ugochukwu said: “Being a Black student at Cambridge can still often feel ground-breaking to those outside of the University and so the aim is to challenge possible inaccurate preconceptions of what a successful, scholarly student looks like today”.
The property industry has a long way to go when it comes to creating diversity and inclusion. However, organisations like Diversity Talk Real Estate, the Land Collective and BAME in Property among others bring visibility of ethnic minority groups to the real estate sector.
During this Black History Month, and for many to come, we must never forget the dream—and fight for a new inheritance, one with equal opportunities for all communities that populate our cities.
Happy Black History Month!
Author: Holly Johnson