How we got involved with Black History Month this October
If you took part in any Black History Month events this year you’ll be aware that the theme was ‘Saluting our Sisters’, which gave us the opportunity to share the inspirational lives and careers of Black and Black heritage women to highlight how they’ve contributed to their local communities and the wider world throughout history.
To capture the views of our workforce, we asked our officers and staff to reflect on what Black History Month means to them, as well as who inspires them from Black history, past or present. We heard about Rosa Parks, Nanny Maroon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as well as Jude Bellingham, and Martin Luther King to name a few.
The month was full of events to bring communities together, including the National Black Police Association conference which was attended by our officers and staff to understand what’s happening nationally.
We even hosted our own local Black History Month event on the 27th October, which featured inspirational women guest speakers from the policing and justice sectors. The event brought together officers, staff and members of the community to hear more about our force plans for the Police and Community Race Action Plan, and to hear more about the careers of Coretta Hine, a former detective superintendent, Sunita Gamblin, a former deputy chief constable, Anita Grant, assistant chief officer for trust and legitimacy at Sussex Police, and Amy Hollis, the most highly trained Black female police driver in the North West.
We also hosted a virtual conversation with Lionel Idan, the first Black chief crown prosecutor, to hear about his career pathway and what it’s like to be the national hate crime lead and the domestic abuse lead for London. The conversation allowed officers to ask any questions and hear about how Lionel’s own experiences led to him creating a future manager’s programme to help develop talent in the next generation.
Our local teams were also busy engaging with communities, as they do throughout the year, hosting virtual community chats, attending community events, hosting their own Black History Month events and engaging with local universities.
Although Black History Month is over, we will continue to engage with communities, our officers and staff throughout the year to ensure that the views of Black and Black heritage communities are reflected in our future policing plans, with an aim to improve confidence in policing for everyone across the county.