Somerset Youth Parliament is proud to promote and support this year’s British Black History Month (BHM) and celebrate the strength that diversity brings to our communities.
The Youth Parliament is appealing to schools and colleges, youth groups, services and businesses to celebrate BHM and help raise awareness of the rich cultures that help define Somerset.
Organisations are encouraged to try running events, quizzes or workshops – or simply promote BHM on social media.
There are so many ways to appreciate, celebrate and be inspired by the cultural contributions that continue to shape our world, such as music, dance, food, fashion, art, poetry, literature and film.
Somerset’s young people are passionate about improving the awareness and inclusion of ethnic minority voices, and the Youth Parliament continues to promote understanding, mutual respect, fairness and equality.
Jack Collard, a Somerset Youth Forum member, said: “We need to amplify ethnic minority voices and encourage people to listen, embrace and share what they hear.
“Black History Month is a month for education, celebration and action to foster a future in which Black History can be explored throughout the entire year.”
Hannah Wittek, a member of the Somerset Youth Parliament, added: “I believe that Black History Month is a time to reflect and celebrate, to come together and to empower.
“Black lives do matter and this should be emphasised among schools, services and public events so that any form of racism or inequality can be challenged and abolished.
“It is so important that we build equality into schools while young people are at a young age because they can change the future.”
Somerset Youth Parliament is open to anyone aged 11-17 years old who lives or attends school or college in Somerset and who would like to represent young people in the county. The group is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and is an apolitical universal youth voice group which welcomes people from all backgrounds, experiences and abilities.
The Youth Parliament, which is supported by Somerset County Council’s Youth and Community Service, welcomes new volunteers to join its friendly and committed team. It is a great way to learn new skills, gain confidence, make new friends, and make a difference.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “It is really good to see Somerset Youth Parliament and our young people promoting and supporting Black History Month.
“The history curriculum in schools – and elsewhere – needs to be as wide and diverse as possible so that it can speak to every student.
“Only by understanding our past can we be the society we want to be, and that means all of us need to know about all of it, not just some parts.
“Only with that knowledge can we build an equal society where all our diverse contributions are recognised and valued.”
To read more about the ‘Make your Mark’ event and find out more about national campaigns and the British Youth Council search: http://www.byc.org.uk
You can find out more about Somerset UK Youth Parliament group, Make Your Mark BIG VOTE and/ or local Campaigns by contacting: Kdarlington@somerset.gov.uk
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