Black History Month: join the conversation on race

To celebrate BHM, ICE invites members to take the ‘challenging’ step of talking about race.

The theme for Black History Month 2021 is
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is 'Proud to be'. Image credit: Shutterstock

Black engineers need to share their lived experiences and everyone needs to join the conversation on race for Black History Month.

This is key message from Meshi Taka, ICE North East Fairness, Inclusion and Respect lead, in an ICE blog to mark the month.

“It may sometimes feel like a colossal challenge to join the conversation on race, but avoiding it does not resolve anything,” she wrote.

ICE is encouraging its members to take part in the conversation and is supporting Black History Month by sharing profiles of some of its Black members throughout the period, and highlighting some of the Black engineers making their mark on the industry in a blog later this week.

How to take part in the race conversation

The theme for this Black History Month is ‘Proud To Be’, which gave Taka a “moment of reflection”.

“I’m reminded of why it’s important to share our lived experiences and add our voices to include Black British history in our schoolbooks and curriculum,” she said.

“No matter how small or large the contribution, every little helps!”

Taka shared some ideas to help people take part in the conversation on race, and encouraged people to “be curious” and to “learn more about our lived experiences”.

“Open your mind to a different reality,” she wrote, and offered a more tangible action: “Help update the history books.”

Black role models

Also as part of Black History Month at ICE, Ayo Sokale, civil engineer at the Environment Agency, has shared her experience of being a BBC Bitesize presenter.

In her blog, “Representation isn’t just nice to have, it’s a matter of life or death”, she discusses the importance of being a Black role model, but also highlights the challenging expectations and issues that come with this.

Top