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Black History Month at St Mary's

The start of October also marks the start of Black History Month - an opportunity for us to reflect on and celebrate the many achievements of our Black community members and the rich and longstanding contribution people of African and Caribbean descent have made to British society and culture.

We will be marking the month with a few key events, as well as educational web content, culminating with our spectacular Black-Tie Gala at the end of October.

Recognising the need to celebrate and the history and contributions of our Black colleagues and students beyond the month of October, we will host the following events from November onwards:

  • Steel Drum event at the Exchange
  • Winter Carnival
  • Black Business Student Networking event
  • Barbershop Initiative for Black Men’s Mental Health

Keep an eye out for more information on these events coming soon!

The Staff and Student BAME Networks, alongside the UK:ME Society, have partnered to create some incredible events for staff and students to participate in:

Monday 3rd October – The Ref – African style food on the menu

As part of the Ref lunch offering on Monday, the Catering team will be creating some delicious African style food to enjoy, served in the Ref between 12pm – 2pm.

Friday 14th October –The Exchange - Celebrating art through spoken word poetry

In partnership with Richmond Borough Council (RBC), students will be invited to a workshop at The Exchange from 5pm-6pm, led by a poet called Dfiza Benson. The workshop will give students the chance to create spoken word performances inspired by a piece of artwork.

  • Performance of Poetry – The Exchange - From 7pm - 8pm, open to all.  Guests are invited to a performance of poetry, where students will present their poems in the Conservatory.

Tuesday 18th October – Sport St Mary’s Tennis Hall - Rep your flag

Join us in the Tennis Hall between 2pm – 5pm. Bring your flag, pull out your bright colours, put on your trainers, and join in the fun for a football tournament. From 5pm, students and staff are invited to join us in the SU Lounge to enjoy some traditional Somali food.

Monday 24th October – African Apocalypse screening and discussion

The Institute of Theology and Liberal Arts is delighted to announce that film director and founder of Old Street Films, Rob Lemkin, will be coming to St Mary's University to discuss his latest production, African Apocalypse. It is a non-fiction retelling of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2020 and was broadcast on BBC2 in May 2021.

Rob will be showing excerpts of the film at the talk but, if you wish to watch it beforehand, it is available on BBC iPlayer. 

Please book by emailing 

Tuesday 1st November – Waldegrave Drawing Room – Black Tie Gala

Following the success of last year’s event, we are organising another Black Tie gala to celebrate all of the amazing initiatives held for Black History Month.  More details and information on student ticket sales will be shared with our University community soon.

Black History Month Advent Calendar

Each day of the month, learn more about key historical Black figures on the:

Black History Month Advent Calendar

Learn more about our ongoing Race Equality efforts and support at St Mary’s, by visiting the following pages:

Race Equality Charter

Staff BAME and Allies Network

Student BAME Network

Report and Support*

Linking staff & students to internal and external support including student services, our employee assistance programme, our staff mental health first-aiders, and community-specific external organisations.

UK: Me Society

To get regular updates on our race equality and broader equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) activities, follow @SMUCharters on Twitter.