Residents of North Kent attended annual Black History Month celebrations in Gravesham which boasted a spectacular programme of performances, films, speeches and presentations on Thursday 20th October. Organised by Kent Equality Cohesion Council in partnership with North Kent Caribbean Network and Cohesion Plus, the event was attended by local residents, community groups and civic guests and was funded by Involve Kent and Arts Council England.
Civic guests included Deputy Lieutenant Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven, Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Peter Scollard, KCC Chair Cllr Lesley Game and Chief Constable Tim Smith all of whom spoke about the significant contributions Black communities had made to the UK past and present.
There were musical performances from young local talent Kofi as well as films showcased by GTown Talent and NHS Diversity and Inclusion lead Helanna Irvine which focused on domestic abuse and the Windrush Generation’s impact on the NHS post World War II.
As part of the event, special community awards were awarded to local community heroes, organisations and residents Genny Jones, GTown Talents, Mina Smith, Medway Culture Club and Dr Vasudaven DL. Each award winner was recognised for the positive contribution and impact that they made through their community initiatives, artistic offerings, service to the community and volunteering.
Gurvinder Sandher MBE, CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council of the event commented, “We are so proud of the celebrations we delivered this month working in partnership with North Kent Caribbean Network. We aim to get bigger and better year upon year and especially with the 75th anniversary of Windrush taking place next year our ambitions are high. We look forward to working again with valued partners NKCN to deliver future events that promote and champion coming together to celebrate shared values and experiences.”
Michelle Bramble, Chair of the North Kent Caribbean commented, “It’s such a pleasure to deliver this event working with KECC, in order to celebrate all the wonderful work and contributions made by members of the diverse community past and present. Events like these serve to remind us that there is more that unites us than divides us and that there is a whole history of events and people that have shaped who we are today. Those events and people unfortunately have been overlooked and forgotten in the past, however these celebrations serve as a valuable reminder to acknowledge our shared heritage.”