Published: October 27, 2021
Colleagues from Unity Trust Bank are coming together today to celebrate Black History Month.
Now in its 34th year, Black History Month takes place throughout October in the UK and provides an opportunity for people to learn about black history and celebrate the achievements of inspirational black people.
This year’s theme is Proud To Be and encourages black and brown people of all ages to share why they are proud to be who they are and shout about the contributions they make to their communities.
To mark this important month, Unity employees have organised an internal event at the bank’s headquarters in Brindleyplace, Birmingham.
There will be several presentations from staff, celebrating different black cultures and communities, and HR Director, Julia Tarpey, will talk about Unity’s approach to becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
One of these steps includes signing up to the Race at Work Charter and taking practical steps to ensure any barriers affecting underrepresented groups in recruitment and career progression are tackled.
Staff will then hear from special guest speaker Esther Odejimi-Uzokwe, Programme Director at 10000 Black Interns, which is a valued Unity customer.
London-based 10000 Black Interns has partnered with more than 700 companies across 24 different sectors to transform the horizons and prospects of young black people in the UK.
It seeks to offer 2,000 internships each year for five consecutive years and Esther will offer a unique insight into the fantastic work they are doing across industry.
Unity CEO, Deborah Hazell, will then share her thoughts on the importance of Black History Month before inviting staff to enjoy traditional African and Caribbean food. Staff have also collated a musical playlist of their favourite black artists.
Julia Tarpey said: “Hundreds of wonderful, inspiring events have been held up and down the country to mark Black History Month and we’re delighted to support this important date in the British calendar with our own celebrations at Unity.
“As a socially minded, commercial bank our values and beliefs are firmly embedded in our culture. We instil a sense of genuine inclusivity for our employees which align with our brand values of being ‘enabling, collaborative, inclusive and straightforward’.”
Unity employees have also been invited to nominate charities that support the black community to benefit from money raised during this fundraising event.
A precursor to Black History Month – Negro History Week was first created in the US in 1926 by historian Carter G Woodson.
This evolved into Black History Month in the US in 1970, which is held during February, and in the UK in 1987.