Race Council Cymru and Black History Wales stand with the Welsh Government in their statement today – as Wales is set to become the first UK nation to make teaching of Black, Asian and minority ethnic histories and experiences mandatory in the school curriculum.
And, as we look forward to the time where Black History is taught and celebrated not just once a year, but throughout the year 365, today, 1 October 2021, we are proud to announce that the new Black History Wales theme – ‘Celebrating Local Heroes and Sheroes’ will run for the full year until 30 September 2022.
Race Council Cymru in leading Black History Wales (BHW) & Black History Cymru 365 (BHC365) believe that Black History should be taught and celebrated not just in October for Black History Month, but throughout the year 365 and aim to progress a better understanding and integration of diverse communities and promote the benefits of the year long programme against one month.
As the first Commissioner to the Commission for Racial Equality in Wales, Judge Ray Singh CBE met leaders in Wales asking for a more inclusive curriculum in our schools in Wales. From its inception, Race Council Cymru has been focused primarily on ensuring that Black History is embedded in the Welsh curriculum – both the old version in the past and the new curriculum. Our work in this sphere intensified through the campaigns led by our Black History patrons such as Mrs Betty Campbell MBE, Patti Flynn, Mrs Vernesta Cyril OBE, Mr Lenn Lawrence, as well as Professor Uzo Iwobi OBE who has campaigned for over 28 years to demand change and inclusion of Black History in Welsh curriculum – this news has been highly awaited.
Our work has been supported and endorsed by Black Lives Matter Wales – a collective of Black Lives Matter Wales based protest leaders who came together to form a policy forum to debate Black related inclusion across Wales. In particular, BLM Wales sustained and reinforced the call to make Black History mandatory in schools across Wales. We are heartened that the work to bring about this change led by Professor Charlotte Williams was strongly supported by our Head of Heritage Dr Marian Gwyn, Chair of Black History Wales management committee, Chantelle Haughton, Humie Webbe and others from the Black History Wales committee yielded great results and we pay particular tribute to Mrs Betty Campbell MBE for being a pioneer in this work.
As Betty’s statue was unveiled this week, we thought what she would say if she were here. She would say, “I started this work, and now change is about to start – work together and power ahead – we still have a lot of work to do”. We urge Welsh Government to work with Black History Wales committee and other organisations to drive these changes forward. Wales has distinguished itself as a world leader in embedding inclusion in its curriculum- this is inclusion.
Judge Ray Singh CBE Chair Race Council Cymru: “We look forward to working with Welsh Government and schools across Wales to ensure the law is implemented as intended.”
Professor Uzo Iwobi OBE, Black History Wales Representative & Founder of Race Council Cymru said: “This is very a historic day for Wales. A day in which Wales sets itself as a trailblazer on equalities.”
For further information, please contact Lisa Gardener, Marketing & Communications Manager for Race Council Cymru & Black History Wales on 077863 77064 or [email protected].
Alternative contacts –
Uzo Iwobi OBE, Black History Wales Representative, Founder of Race Council Cymru, 078383 60979
Kay Denyer, Director, Race Council Cymru – [email protected]