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Celebrating Black history in Hertsmere

Last Modified October 03, 2022

Hertsmere has kicked off its celebration of Black communities in the borough, along with its many other diverse communities, with a flag-raising ceremony and Caribbean lunch.

Community leaders joined the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere for the ceremony marking the start of Black History Month, outside the Civic Offices in Borehamwood today (Monday 3 October). Following the raising of the Black History Month flag, the Mayor, Cllr John Graham spoke of the valuable contribution made by Black, Asian and other minority communities to the cultural, economic and social fabric of the area, and reiterated our commitment to fostering an inclusive, multicultural and thriving place to live, work and visit. Lunch was provided by Hertfordshire-based Carmen’s Caribbean Kitchen.

Representatives with the Black History Month flag.

Also speaking at the ceremony was Deputy Mayor, Cllr Victor Eni, who has been instrumental in organising the Elstree and Borehamwood Diversity Festival. In attendance were the council’s Managing Director, Sajida Bijle; leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Cllr Paul Richards; Chief Inspector Mark Bilsdon from Hertfordshire Police; Interim Services Manager from Hertfordshire University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wilfrid McKerras and Gareth Bradbury, Group Commander for Hertsmere and Welwyn Hatfield for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

Cllr Graham said: “It was wonderful to see so many people from across different aspects of life in Hertsmere join us for this event and partake in the wonderful food on offer.

“This year’s Black History Month theme is a Time for Change and it’s aimed at encouraging people from all backgrounds and ethnicities to come together to bring about change for the better.

“Following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers in the United States, we passed an all-party motion to ensure Hertsmere continues to strive to be actively inclusive and anti-racist.

“As a council, we cannot hope to realise that pledge on our own, but must work with our partners to support one another to end discrimination and racism, and to help create a world in which no one race or group holds sway over another.

“Events like this help us to reaffirm our pledge, showcases all that is being done and highlights what more needs to be done to bring about positive change.”

A key focus identified in our new corporate vision is ensuring Hertsmere is inclusive and equitable. As part of that vision, we have committed to championing social justice and supporting inclusive communities.

Our Community Grants scheme was specifically aimed this year at supporting initiatives which celebrated the diverse communities and promoted inclusion. 

Among this year’s recipients for grant funding were Elstree and Borehamwood Unity Network which runs the diversity festival, aimed at bringing together people from different backgrounds and showcasing cultures. The network was awarded £2000 towards this year’s festival which is being held on 29 and 30 October at Fairway Hall in Borehamwood.

In addition, a further £1660 was awarded to charity Learning Through the Arts to help fund a series of October half-term activities and workshops on Black History Month.

To find out more go about Hertsmere’s vision go here.


Posted on Monday 3rd October 2022

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