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Black History Month

Black History Month gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate the history and achievements of Black people and share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture

Here at the University of Exeter Business School, we are committed to a truly embedded inclusive culture that runs through everything we do and represents the diverse community we are and continue to build. This year the Business School’s Black History Month programme will be our strongest to date with an incredible line-up of expert speakers, each of whom possesses a unique gift for reclaiming the narrative of Black history and relating it to who we are in British society today.

There is also a student focus through the involvement of the African and Caribbean Society and we look forward to their contribution throughout the month.

Read the full 2021 press release.


As part of our commitment to our core EDI values, we promote Black Lives Matter as a human rights and societal issue. We are demonstrating our commitment through our Black History Month activities for the shared, peer learning and development of our students and wider communities.

6 October
09:30 - 10:30 

Black British Contributions

Join Professor David Olusoga OBE, British-Nigerian historian and award-winning broadcaster and film-maker, as he shares his thoughts on what it means to be Black and British, exploring the challenges faced and the contributions the Black community has made to the fabric of British society. This event will be co-hosted by Oli Young, Chief Diversity Officer for the Business School and Anastasia-Eziche, President of the Exeter and Falmouth African and Caribbean Society.

Wednesday 13 October 13:00 - 14:00 

Putting the Black into British History: New Perspectives

Join Dr Angelina Osborne as she explores the African and Caribbean presence in the history of the UK from the Roman era to the present, with a focus on the South West of England, demonstrating that Black history is British history, and whether one is talking about one or the other, Britain is always at the centre. View the session here.
Wednesday 20 October 13:00 - 14:00 

From Allyship to Solidarity: Moving Forwards an Inclusive Culture and Language

Join Dr Muna Abdi as she looks at why it is important to create an inclusive culture and language, looking at the concepts of privilege and allyship, and why there is a need to move beyond this towards solidarity. View the session here.

Wednesday 27 October 13:00 - 14:00 

Cross Cultural Leadership - Back to the future workshop

The pandemic has pushed the EDI agenda for many organisations to the fore, making the values of Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equity (DICE) and anti-racist practice priorities for HR and people managers. In her workshop, Cross Cultural Leadership - Back to the future, Inclusion specialist Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi will help attendees reflect on how bias permeates in the workplace, focusing on DICE values and cross-cultural leadership and how we can go about building genuinely cohesive communities.
Thursday 1 - 29 October 16:00

Build the Change workshops

University of Exeter students, staff and alumni were invited to attend a Build the Change workshop with Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi, Inclusion and Cohesion Specialist

The workshops allowed participants to develop the language, skills and knowledge to approach Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equality with confidence in their professional and personal life.

Learning Outcomes from these workshops:

- Consider tools and practises that influence change

- Understand the Values and Business case for DICE®

- Influence organisational and community development on DICE® matters

Friday 2 October 16:00

The Making of 100 Great Black Britons with Dr Patrick Vernon OBE

Patrick launched the original 100 Great Black Britons campaign 17 years ago as a result of his frustration at the exclusion of the Black British community from mainstream notions of Britishness in education and the media. The campaign honoured and celebrated the remarkable achievements of Black British individuals over history to ensure the continued legacy and achievement of Black people in Britain. In 2019 Patrick relaunched the campaign, with a new list of great Black Britons and an accompanying publication announced in September 2020. Following the talk there was an opportunity for Q&A with the audience.

Monday 5 October 16:00

Our university’s role in addressing racism and enabling DICE discussions

A panel discussion with Pamela Maynard (CEO, Avanade), Ian Thomas CBE (Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Kingston Council) and Wol Kolade (Managing Partner of Livingbridge), facilitated by Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi (BCohCo).

Panelists discussed how our University community can engage positively in the vital discussion and actions necessary to address Racism and to achieve our goals of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Tuesday 6 October 16:00

Building Cohesive Communities: Embedding DICE® with Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi

This talk considered how social inequality and injustice affects different communities. It aimed to explain how embedding DICE® practice is key to professional development in the post-Covid world, covering the following four areas:

  • Social Inclusion
  • Social Capital
  • Social Mobility
  • Social Cohesion
Thursday 8 October 16:00

How businesses can support their people of colour community and staff

A panel discussion with Shumailla Dar (Senior Policy Lead for Equalities at the London Borough of Harrow Council) and Dean Fearon (VP Digital Platform Services at JP Morgan); facilitated by Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi (BCohCo).

Panelists shared their experiences on how they have overcome adversity in the past and turned them into success and how businesses/organisations can support their People of colour (POC) community staff.

Wednesday 14 October 16:00

Black History Month: Making your way as a black entrepreneur

As part of Black History Month, broadcaster and journalist Brenda Emmanus chaired a panel of black entrepreneurs who discussed and shared their experiences on becoming successful and respected professionals within their field.

Brenda, who has appeared on a number of programmes on BBC One, BBC Radio Two, ITV, Sky and Radio 4, was joined in conversation with Erika Brodnock, a multi-award-winning entrepreneur (including Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Intel’s Global Business Challenge). 

Joining Erika on the panel were Jabo Butera, a successful business entrepreneur and Founder and Managing Director of Diversity Business Incubator,  a business hub for minority ethnicity entrepreneurs providing advice, training and mentorship to harness entrepreneurship in the community, create wealth and a rise in start-up businesses from the BAME community, and diversity expert Pavita Cooper. founder of More Difference, a talent and career insight business that works with individuals and organisations to promote and accelerate talent in all its forms.

View the session here.

Wednesday 14 October 16:00

Geographies of slavery heritage tourism: places of remembrance and dialogue with Dr. Emmanuel Akwasi Adu-Ampong

This lecture focused on the diverse forms of tourism practices and performances at slavery heritage sites across different geographical locations: Elmina Castle in Ghana, Gorée Island in Senegal, Liverpool Slavery Trail, Bristol Transatlantic Slavery Walk, Slavery & the City Walk in London, Black Heritage Tours in Amsterdam, Black Pioneers Tour in the Hague, Plantation Tours in the US and Plantation Tours in the Caribbean among other places.

Wednesday 21 October 16:00

Understanding and avoiding micro-aggressive behaviours with Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi

This talk considered:

  • Bias - Conscious or Unconscious
  • Manifestation – Micro-aggressions
  • The Power of Language
  • Impact
Dr Angelina Osborne

October 13 2021 - Putting the Black into British History with Dr Angelina Osborne

Dr Muna Abdi

October 20 2021 - From Allyship to Solidarity: Moving Forwards an Inclusive Culture and Language with Dr Muna Abdi

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Our aim is to capture the views, ongoing issues and ideas of our community, we particularly welcome feedback from groups who may currently be under-represented in the school.