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Impressive line-up of speakers at Black History Month conference

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is working with Wiltshire County Council and other local partners to host a free online conference with an impressive line-up of speakers to mark Black History Month 2021.

The conference takes place on 11 October from 1.00pm-5.00pm, and the speakers include:

  • Historian and writer David Olusoga OBE
  • Broadcaster and campaigner June Sarpong OBE
  • Author and brother of Stephen Lawrence, the Rt Hon Stuart Lawrence
  • Former professional footballer, Anton Ferdinand

The theme of this year's Black History Month is 'Proud to be'.

Black History Month is an annual global event observed in the UK in October to celebrate the culture, history and achievements of African and Caribbean communities.

It provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and positive contributions from black and other ethnic minority communities and address inequalities that sadly still exist in society today.

The event is free for anyone to attend, but they must register at

The event has been made possible thanks to a number of other partners, including our Trust, working with Wiltshire Council and providing funding.

They include:

  • Wiltshire Police
  • The office of the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust
  • University of Bath
  • Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Bath Spa University
  • Herman Miller Cares
  • NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Environment Agency
  • Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC)
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Patrick Ismond, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are proud to be part of such a comprehensive and inspiring event with all of these local organisations.

"Providing this opportunity for learning and understanding the importance of Black history in our community and workplaces is a great step for all involved."

Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council, said: "We're delighted and very proud to be collaborating with partners to host this event with such a variety of fascinating high profile speakers.

"All partners involved are passionately supporting this event and recognise its importance and the impact it could have on each of our staff, communities and everyone else that attends.

"Black History Month is such an important event on the calendar, and this conference will be an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of this country and our county, and to learn more about some really vital issues. I'd urge everyone to sign-up to attend."

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "We'd like to thank our partners for supporting this conference and helping us put together a really interesting agenda that will cover so much.

"Black History Month is a chance to reflect upon, discuss, and celebrate the accomplishments of black Britons and we're looking forward to people hearing from the range of inspirational speakers."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: "I am proud to support Black History Month and this partnership between the Civil Service, Wiltshire Council and local public services.

"For generations people of African and Caribbean descent have been shaping this nation, making an extraordinary contribution to all facets of our national, communal, and cultural life.

"Black History Month is as much about making history as it is about telling it. And so we also celebrate people like Darren Henry MP, whose family came from the Caribbean before he served 20 years in the RAF, as a Councillor in Wiltshire, was elected MP this Parliament and appointed Trade Envoy to the region.

"As a country, we stand resolute against racism and all forms of discrimination and prejudice wherever we encounter it - whether that be on the pitch, online or elsewhere."

Further information

For more information about Black History Month, please see the Black History Month website.

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