Black History Week Celebrates Diversity
A Visit From the Rev Nims Obunge MBE
On Monday 12 October, Epsom College was delighted to welcome the Rev Nims Obunge MBE, DL to preach at our Chapel Service. This was to start our celebration of Black History Week.
The service is available to view here:
Nims is senior pastor to Freedom’s Ark Church in Tottenham and CEO of The Peace Alliance. He serves as a faith and community leader with passions for justice, peace, equality and social cohesion. His organisation, The Peace Alliance is a charity that works in partnership with the police, government agencies, the corporate sector, and faith and voluntary organisations. Nims chaired the London Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board; he also developed Haringey’s multi-faith forum.
Nims’ passion for young people inspired the development of the Young Peace Champions Leadership Programme; What’s the Point? comic, addressing knife crime and stop and search; and Untouchable? a multimedia pack addressing gun crime. He provides employment for citizens imprisoned for violent criminal offences and has watched them make significant life changes. Additionally, the Revd speaks passionately in prisons, challenging inmates to adopt alternative lifestyle choices.
Pastor Nims has been awarded the High Sheriff of Greater London Award, the Justice Awards, and the Metropolitan Police Volunteer Award. He was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty, The Queen. He was later appointed as Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London.
At Chapel. Nims spoke with conviction and authority on how the whole of humanity needs to work together in the pursuit of justice. He implored the Upper Sixth students to take up the opportunity to create a world free from discrimination and prejudice of any kind.
During the service the Sixth Form Chapel Choir, with soloist Gemima, beautifully sang ‘For Your Glory’ a popular hymn arranged by Mr Johns, Deputy Director of Music.
Lower Sixth Podcast Explores Complex and Topical Issues
Over the summer, a group of independent-minded students approached their teachers with the idea of launching a series of podcasts. This term, the pupils, now in Lower Sixth have succeeded in putting their ideas into practice. The team consists of Ollie Butcher (H), Jude Clark (G), Maddie Fairbank (M), Max Franks (H), Oskar Giles and Allegra Sheen (M).
The second podcast is a special release as part of the College’s Black History Week. Maddie Fairbank and Max Franks interview Olaiya Adeniji (F), Remi Adeniji (W) and Ida Saidy (W). They explore complex and topical issues such as police brutality, colonialism and the school curriculum. Listen below:
Workshop on Equality, Diversity Inclusion & Race
During a PSD workshop, Lower School pupils were asked to consider what racial equality means to them. They discussed the origin of the Black Lives Matter campaign, discussed examples of white privilege, and privilege in general, and brainstormed ideas of how to further celebrate black culture in the College curriculum. The group then compiled some ‘top tips’ which can be viewed below:
- “Be fair to anyone, no matter their skin colour/religion and treat people how you want to be treated”
- “Even if it’s not happening here you shouldn’t stand there and do nothing”
- “Stand up to prejudice in whatever form it takes”
- “Celebrate our differences, the more diversity the better”
- “You can make a difference no matter how small”
- “We’re all the same on the inside we are all humans”
- “Speak up if you witness injustice on and off line”
- “It’s up to us we can change the future & teach the older generations”
Screening Of BBC documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History
On Thursday evening a group of Sixth Form students gathered in the Art Department’s library to watch the BBC documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History.
The documentary features British artist Sonia Boyce MBE and her team searching Britain’s Public Art archives and discovering nearly 2,000 works by artists of African and Asian descent, many of whose works have rarely been displayed before.
The screening of the documentary prompted students to think about racial discrimination in the arts, and was followed by an open discussion about the role of the individual in addressing those issues.
“Diversity, Equality and Inclusion is an area the Art Department takes seriously. In recent years, we have been very active in embedding and promoting a diverse range of cultural references within all year groups, as well as using screenings such as this to raise awareness of issues around race, gender and social inequality,” said Mr Nikolas Arvanitis, Head of Art.
Displays showcasing the Department’s collection of monographs of black and ethnic minority artists’ work were created during Black History Month and students were encouraged to borrow books and use them in their personal investigations.