Lewisham Homes staff celebrate Black History Month

Hillna giving a speech

Lewisham Homes staff marked Black History Month through a series of talks and activities designed to get people talking about unconscious bias and the impact of racism, and how we should respond.

On Thursday (24 October), office-based staff heard from Head of ICT Emmanuel Etsetowaghan on his journey from his childhood in Nigeria to his role as a senior ICT professional in London with first London and Quadrant and now Lewisham Homes. Following this, Hillna Fontaine from Mabadiliko CIC explained to staff about the problems with a ‘colourblind’ view of society and how we all need to take people’s different experiences into account. The day’s activities were rounded off by a speech from Lewisham Homes Board Chair Ainsley Forbes about his experience as one of the few Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) board leaders in the country.

Field staff take part in a quiz
Field staff take part in a quiz

Friday (25 October) brought field staff from the Repairs and Environmental Services teams into the office for a quiz about Black history and culture, plus another workshop from Hillna. Staff across the business enjoyed thinking about these complex issues and how to overcome them. In Ainsley’s words: ‘Believe in yourself – you are good enough.’

Many other activities have taken place across Lewisham borough to commemorate Black History Month. For more information, visit https://lewisham.gov.uk/blackhistorymonth