BHM - Opening the conversations
Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Ken Kittoe — No comments
The power of conversation amidst the Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat social media era, has almost become an understated commodity and when our D&I team proposed their plan to publish a series of interviews with some of Venn’s Black community for Black History Month, I thought it was a great idea. Race shouldn’t be a taboo subject, it should be something that is embraced and celebrated as Chloe refers to in her article. Her mum speaks 5 languages and has been the strong Black Female role model that has encouraged Chloe to become the woman she is today. Justin touches on the subject of representation which is highly important – how can young children from ethnic minorities aspire to be great when they don’t see people who look like them, doing amazing things?
Even though I would consider Justin, Jim and Chloe as friends, I learnt a lot reading their articles and that’s both from a personal perspective but also general knowledge. For example, the Bristol bus boycotts is something I’d never even heard of but in school I was taught about the Montgomery Bus Boycott during the 1956 Civil Rights Movement in America. Why have we been taught about injustice in America but not right here in our very own UK?
If you haven’t already, then I really suggest you have a read through the interviews given by myself, Chloe, Justin and Jim. They offer insight and education in an articulate, objective way. Each interview speaks on our individual perspectives of how Black History has been perceived and issues that need light shed on them.
As Venn Group’s newly appointed Executive Ambassador for Diversity and Inclusion, D&I is clearly a passion of mine and so I’ve spent a lot of time speaking to many people of different walks of life, from a range of ethnicities, backgrounds, creeds and colours and it’s been crystal clear that education is going to be the main driving force for change. In a discussion with our CEO Deirdra about race, injustice, gender inequality and the workplace, she said something that really resonated with me – “as a white woman, I have no idea how it feels to live as a black person” and it opened my eyes to the fact we all need to be brave, honest and open to share how it feels and give perspective to others who don’t walk in our shoes on a day to day basis.
Our series for BHM has been well received and if anyone took away even one piece of knowledge or information, then that’s progress, baby steps are better than no steps. In my new position it will be my aim to give everyone a voice to educate and celebrate our differences. As human beings, we as a race of people are more similar than different and it’s these unique differences that need to be championed and not demonised.