Black History Month 2023

This October, London will come alive with vibrant celebrations, educational initiatives, and cultural events as the nation commemorates Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Celebrating our sisters, saluting our Sisters, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements in British Society”, putting the spotlight on the remarkable contributions and legacies of Black women throughout history.

The month-long festival, first celebrated in the UK in 1987, raises awareness of history and celebrates traditions, customs, and cultures through educational events, exhibitions, shows, talks, memorial services, and installations across London.

Black History Month should serve as a platform to amplify the voices and stories of Black British women, honouring their significant contributions to all aspects of life in the UK while addressing the ongoing challenges they face. It’s a time to celebrate achievements, raise awareness, and foster unity and understanding among all communities.


A Tribute to Resilience and Leadership

Black History Month 2023 highlights the importance of recognising the pivotal role that Black women have played in shaping British society. It is a time to reflect on their achievements, acknowledge the obstacles they have overcome, and salute their enduring legacy.

Throughout history, Black women have achieved extraordinary feats in various fields. From literature to music, politics and sports, Black British women have made lasting marks on British culture and society.

Black women have been at the forefront of social justice movements, advocating for equality, justice, and human rights, it’s important to acknowledge their courage, determination, and tireless efforts to effect positive change.

Sheroes Among Us – highlighting contemporary black women who are breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes in their respective fields.

Pioneering Voices – featuring black women who have used their voices to speak out against injustice, with quotes from their speeches or writings.

Innovators and Entrepreneurs –  showcasing black women who have made significant strides in business and entrepreneurship.

Breaking Barriers – featuring black women who have broken down barriers in sports, entertainment, politics, and other fields.

Women Who Move Mountains – celebrating black women who have made significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields

Women Who Lead – showcasing black women who have made significant contributions to leadership and governance.


Black History Month Events in London

This Black History Month, explore some of London’s citywide events celebrating the Black communities that have shaped our city. From exhibitions, black-led markets, and beautiful performances to feed your eyes and ears, we have chosen just a handful of incredible events that are happening over London this October.

–  On the hunt for literary gems by Black writers? Meet fellow bookworms at the Black British Book Festival. 27-28 Oct

– Join Black-Owned Hackney Market for a weekend-long celebration of Black-owned businesses at Bohemia Place Market. Featuring a mouth-watering selection of food, drinks, retail items, and live music. 5 – 7 Oct

–  Comedy Shutdown brings Comedy of Black Origin, a Black History Month Special with some of the best comedians in the business. Multiple dates and locations.

– Claudette Johnson, a founding member of the Black British Arts Movement, is the focus of the current exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery — Claudette Johnson: Presence is a retrospective showing off 30 years of her large-scale drawings of Black men and women. 29 Sept – 14 Jan

– Breaking Barriers: Black History, Queer Voices & Resilience. Head down to the Brown Suga – Black History Month Party for an evening of voguing workshops, DJs and special performances into the early hours.  21 Oct


Looking for more events across London? Head to the BHM official website.

How can Employers create a racially inclusive workplace culture?

Impact was delighted to host a roundtable discussion in celebration of Black History Month 2022. Our group comprised of HR professionals and EDI Specialists within the Media and Creative industry who are not only game changers but individuals accountable for D&I within their organisations.

The discussion was hosted by our ED&I Recruitment Consultant – Daniel Oluyomi Asaya who set the tone by sharing both his personal and professional experience as a Black Queer Professional. The space quickly became safe for others to share their individual experiences as well as brainstorm ideas that could lead to effective structural change within the Media space.

Why is it difficult to talk about race within the workplace?

The consensus revealed that many People of Colour couldn’t speak up about their racial experiences within the workplace due to the lack of diversity and care from the Senior Leadership Team.  Some also feared they might be called the “angry black person” or in some cases ostracised or punished if they spoke up about the microaggressions and racism they faced within the workplace. These microaggressions range from mistaking them for their Black colleagues, feeling undermined in their positions, to getting defensive when corrected about an offensive comment.

Another interesting observation was that many White professionals would rather not talk about race within the workplace due to lack of knowledge and fear of being called a racist. Also, discussing race forces people to confront their privilege which is an uncomfortable feeling.

It was generally agreed that race plays a huge role in both our personal and professional lives and should be talked about when and where necessary.

What is your organisation doing to create a racially inclusive workplace culture?

We discussed how some organisations have set up a network for People of Colour to interact, organise and heal. The downside was felt that most volunteers within these groups are often burdened with issues and projects relating to ED&I (just by virtue of their race or identity) without adequate support and budget.  A solution to this was for companies to set out a dedicated ED&I group responsible for ED&I events and initiatives throughout the year instead of relying on employees from marginalised groups to drive this – frequently without reward and recognition.

Other initiatives shared included creating an E-mail and Podcast series aimed at profiling Black professionals during Black history month and beyond as well as an open day for young Black creatives.

How employers create a racially inclusive workplace culture (Key takeaways)

After an insightful session, our takeaways included: –


A big thank you to all our guests and we look forward to continuing this important conversation in our upcoming events.  If you are interested in joining our future discussions, please email

Diversity in the Workplace

With people spending much of their time at work, it’s vital that they feel safe, respected, and valued as an employee. Making sure that your workplace is inclusive and diverse has numerous benefits, such as having a wider talent pool, a positive culture and mutual respect.



Equality in the workplace means equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants across a person’s sex, age, disability, or race.

In addition to nurturing happy, productive, and loyal employees through excellent diversity and inclusion practices, how you act in this area as a business will be relevant to your compliance with the Equality Act 2010.



Diversity is the wide range of people in your workforce and valuing each of their differences. For example, this might mean people of different ages, religions, ethnicities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community.



Inclusion is an overarching ethos covering diversity, equality, and many other aspects of our working lives. Inclusive cultures enable our colleagues to do things differently, working in ways that suit them, and hybrid/flex work patterns to ensure their life-work balance is healthy.

There is clearly a big change happening amongst organisations with a clear inclusive workplace model being put in place. But it doesn’t stop there, inclusivity is ongoing and is about consistent learning and improvement.


Input a Workplace Policy

First things first, your company should have a workplace Equal Opportunity Policy covering the following: equality, diversity, and inclusion. This policy should cover the following:

Once put in place, the promotion of diversity and inclusion will see the following benefits in the workplace:


Why You Need to Diversify Your Hiring Process

“Diversifying the hiring process is great for both businesses and professionals from marginalised and under-represented groups. Whether it’s anonymizing CVs or having a diverse interview panel, companies are at their best socially and commercially when they’re able to attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds. Also, knowing that you’re playing a part in ensuring a fair and equitable process for all feels rewarding. It’s a win-win at the end of the day” Daniel Asaya, HR consultant

By embracing diversity and inclusion within your organisation, it will build your business’s knowledge on a variety of aspects including cultures, faiths, disabilities, sexual orientation, and gender to name a few. It will also enable employees to feel respected and part of a diverse, modern business.

BHM Roundtable Discussion: Thursday 27th October

How can Employers create a racially inclusive Workplace?

A Roundtable Discussion for BHM


Impact’s Future Proofing Talent programme brings you another insightful roundtable session to celebrate Black History Month.  This is a fantastic networking opportunity to connect and share bright ED&I initiatives with HR Leaders and Senior Directors within the creative and media industry.


What is it?

A roundtable discussion to explore ways employers can create a racially inclusive workplace culture.

Where and when will it be?

Thursday 27th Oct at 6:00pm – 7.30pm

Shoreditch, London

Who is it for?

This session is tailored towards HR Leaders and Directors with accountability for D&I in their organisations across the creative and media industries.

Why should I attend?

The session will be a balance of information and conversation from HR professionals with lived experiences and HR professionals accountable for D&I in the workplace.

Impact has a long-term commitment to ED&I and we understand the challenges faced by employers in creating an inclusive workplace culture whilst also having to influence and initiate the difficult conversations required to create positive change.

To register, please email

Black History Month London 2022

This Black History Month, explore some of London’s citywide events celebrating the Black communities that have shaped our city. From exhibitions, guided tours, black-led business events and some beautiful performances to feed your eyes and ears, we chose just a handful of some incredible events that are happening over London this October.


Exhibitions & Tours

Museum of London – Explore Black Londoner’s stories from the history of Grime in East London, Feeding Black: Community, Power & Place and much more for free through the photography, film and archive material.

Wallace Collection – Black Presence in the Wallace Collection is a free, online virtual African Heritage tour of the collection spanning 400 years with Dr Janet Couloute, especially for Black History Month. Register online to join!

Horniman Museum & Gardens – Intimate Archives is a free display offering a window into African diasporic social experiments, rituals, and practices of hair care. Along with this ongoing exhibition, Horniman is hosting a Future Heroes craft workshop to celebrate Black History Month with artist Habiba Nabisubi, do grab your tickets!

Black History Walks – Their first hosted walk since the pandemic, discover the life, times, and activities of numerous African/Caribbean women in Brixton from the 1950s – 1980s.

Black Plaque Project – An initiative by Nubian Jak Community Trust to commemorate the contributions of black people throughout history. Use their online map to discover each historic location and plaque across London and discover Black history in our city.


Business Talks

Black Women Business Talks – A space to learn effective growth strategies for business development and career success for the Black community and allies, with industry leaders from leading banks and publications. A must-attend event for open, honest business discussions.

Inspiring Entrepreneurs at British Library – Learn how Black entrepreneurs are building empires online by using their influence and creativity. Followed by an open discussion on community building with Black Pound Day founder and So Solid Crew member, Swiss.


Fashion & Shopping

AFWL – African Fashion Week London is the largest global showcase of African fashion and design with a collaborative catwalk, exhibitions, and business development programs, all hosted at the Freemasons Hall.

Black Culture Market 1st – 2nd Oct – Explore a host of emerging businesses of African and Caribbean descent at this Brixton-based market. Shop a huge host of entrepreneurs selling unique gifts, jewellery clothing and more!

Bohemia Place Market 1st – 2nd Oct – Located in the heart of Hackney, discover London’s best Black-owned Street food, artisan traders and many more Black-owned businesses!


Film & Performance

To What End at the Barbican – Six inspiring short performances blend dance and live music, developed by South African artists at William Kentridge’s leading centre for experimental, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary arts.

The Woman King – Inspired by true events Gina Prince-Bythewood directs the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s.

Kirkou and the Sorceress – Part of the Barbican family film club, this masterful animation is based on a West African folk tale of powerful bravery and adventure.

An evening with David Harewood – Rio Cinema Hackney presents the critical acclaim actor in conversation presenting his powerful memoir of race and identity.



Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live at the Southbank Centre, the incredible South African vocal powerhouse play heir first UK tour in years in celebration with Black History Month.

The Music of Otis Reading – Experience the incredible sound of Otis Redding as two of the UK’s most exciting soul acts join forces to celebrate the King of Soul at Camden’s Jazz Café.

Hollie Cook – British reggae tropical pop star Hollie Cook performs at Village Underground, reflecting on her path from West London roots to critically acclaimed records.