October is Black History Month in the UK, an event that has been celebrated nationwide for more than 30 years. The month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations.

This year’s Black History Month (BHM) is themed ‘Proud to Be’, encouraging all black and brown people to be proud of their roots and to share what they are proud to be.

We talked to Dr Linda Harris OBE, Chief Executive of Spectrum CIC, about what BHM means to her:

BAME Network

As part of Spectrum’s approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, the first BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Staff Network was set up in June 2021.

Dealing with the pandemic over the past couple years has brought national attention to the inequalities affecting BAME communities and staff. Unfortunately, race inequality is still a part of society and we do need to talk about it, be sensitive to it and act to reduce it.

The network aims to bring together Spectrum staff from across the whole organisation, to look at a range of race inequalities issues in order to co-create solutions and approaches to tackle them. The network aims to:

  • Provide a safe and supportive space for staff to meet and have a clear voice
  • Explore the needs of Black and Minority Ethnic staff
  • Develop Spectrum’s inclusive and supportive culture for BAME staff
  • Highlight and address root causes of race inequality, to work in a collaborative way
  • Look at our data and promote good practice
  • Explore opportunities and barriers to BAME staff development and career progression
  • And much, much more

Whilst we want our BAME staff at Spectrum to be a large part of the group, this is not a BAME-only network. Non-BAME staff are welcome to join as “allies”, which will be critical to the success of the group. Meetings are currently held monthly.