Black History Month 2021

A key part of UCASU’s mission is to represent students from all backgrounds and experiences and celebrate the diversity of everyone who is part of UCA, as well as ensuring that nobody is at a disadvantage due to the colour of their skin or their life experiences. Part of this mission is achieved through events that allow members of UCA to learn more about a particular culture or group of people and in turn celebrate our differences. By building this awareness, we hope to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment at UCA, ensuring that no student or staff member feels dismissed or victimised due to their differences. Events like Black History Month are important to increasing understanding and acceptance of diversity, but this is just the start for UCASU. 

The theme of Black History Month 2021 is "Proud to Be", inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events. You can find out more about this year's campaign here.

We are proud to announce our calendar of events for Black History Month and hope that these will help educate everyone on the plights black people have faced at home and overseas. We also want people to experience all the amazing cultural differences in the Students of Colour community, from food to art to film!


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Pot luck - Share your favourite dish with the UCA community, whilst sampling dishes yourself from cultures worldwide.

Film screenings - Join us as we screen Hidden Figures, the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.

BHM Exhibition - Join us throughout October in celebrating the creativity and imaginations of Black/African Diaspora UCA students. Showcased in galleries at every campus, we’ll be curating exhibitions that support Black History Month. If you’d like to submit work to be included, please head over to UCASU.COM/BHM, and simply fill out the form. Keep in mind that the deadline for submissions is the 5th of October. The theme for this year is “Proud To Be!”, you can respond directly to this theme, or create anything that inspires or represents you!

Workshops - Get educated on a range of topics relating to Black History Month. All workshops can be joined remotely, click the link to the workshops below to join:

Canterbury - Decolonising Our Education - 6 October @ 6pm

Rochester - Building Your Anti-Racism Toolkit - 13 October @ 6pm

Farnham - Stereo Types: A Conversation on Ethnic Typography - 20 October @ 6pm

Epsom - Demystifying Microaggressions - 27 October @ 6pm


Anti-Racism Education Pack

Workshop Sign Up
Glossary of terms

How people most affected by legacies of colonialism are described

AAME. BAME. BME. African, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (UK only) Common in media and policy making. Contested usefulness as it promotes binary with ‘White’ or those not routinely radicalised. Often used as a word without expansion or detail. BIPOC. Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (North America).


African American Vernacular English, a subsection of English created and used by the African Diaspora in North America. Culturally diverse/ethnically diverse. Gaining popularity as a short-hand for people with non-European ancestry/self-identity.

Ethnic minority/minority ethnic

Related to acronym BAME.

Indigenous people.

Those who lived and live in lands that were later colonised, in North America also known as First Nations. Immigrants and migrants (black and brown) vs. colonial settlers and ex-pats (white).

Intersectional. Intersectionality.

The combination of disadvantage experienced by a person because of multiple forms of prejudice e.g. race and gender, or race and disability, or geographic origin/accent and class. May also describe a complex of multiple identities. Marginalised. Describing people who are denied decision-making powers and representation in public spaces and roles, including collections. Also underserved.


People of colour.



People who experience or are disadvantaged by systemic racism. Also those whose ethnicity is usually highlighted in descriptions and policy, in comparison to those whose ethnicity is ignored.

Source communities.

People whose direct cultural and ancestral heritage resides in institutions outside their country and those in diaspora communities with a connection to that heritage.


Those who disproportionately do not benefit from services because of unfair practices.

Other ways in which decolonising practice is talked about



Anti-African hate and racism.



Specific racial prejudice against Black people. Including anti-black sentiment in non-white cultural groups.



Actively against colonial actions, structures and institutions, often calling for their dismantling.



Hatred and distrust of Jews and Jewishness.

Black Lives Matter. #BlackLivesMatter. Sometimes shortened to BLM.


Decentralised social and political movement originating in the USA but spreading globally in 2020 to campaign for systemic societal change and the dismantling of white supremacy.



Prevailing Western starting point based in culturally Christian dogma (not an attack on Christianity as religious belief and practice).



Denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation.

Diversity, diverse.


Most commonly used to refer to representation in a group or workforce based on expanding from the dominance of people with a narrow range of identities and lived experiences, e.g. racial or ethnic diversity, disability and neurodiversity, class and wealth. Also used to describe the progressive attitude/behaviour of an organisation in relation to its people, or ‘undiverse’ being the opposite. Frequently used in conjunction with equality, equity and inclusion.



Giving people who are marginalised or disadvantaged what they need to access things or be represented fairly.



Making assumptions about another culture or group based on preconceptions originating in one’s own culture or cultural understanding; or assuming your race or nationality is superior to those of other cultures.



Assuming the preeminence or importance of people and things originating in European countries e.g. Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy.

Exceptionalism, supremacy.


Belief in the superiority of one cultural group or race over another e.g. White supremacy, English exceptionalism.

Global South.


Countries previously described as ‘third-world’ or ‘developing’. A shifting meaning, used in economics and post-colonial studies.

Historical ignorance.


Selective telling, remembering of partial histories that suppress stories of wrong-doing, oppression of and violence against other people.

Identity politics.


Employing the discourse of marginalisation and oppression to further the cause of raising awareness of your people, a community, or those who hold similar beliefs to you or have a similar socio-cultural background and experience.

Inclusion, inclusivity.


Creating new ways of doing that are centred on removing barriers to access and participation, be they physical, psychological, social or financial.



How identities combine. How racism is experienced when combined with other prejudices e.g. those based on disability, class culture, age, gender, sexuality, migration, language.



Hatred and distrust of Muslims and Islam. Also Anti-Muslim racism.

Offensive language.


Hateful and derogatory words, vocabulary and terms that are experienced as psychological violence. Also referred to as outdated language such as that found in historical records and archives.



Work on regions of the world and their people after the end of empire.

Institutional, structural and systemic racism = racist policy


and practice in terms of outcomes e.g. recruitment, decision-making, interpretation, collections development and management.



a proactive stance against racism in all forms seen in actions and work rather than statements and policy.



Often used interchangeably with repatriation, specifically to a clearly identified owner, but may also refer to restorative practices such as compensation.



Of cultural artefacts taken, looted (spoliated) during war or colonial occupation.

Whiteness, white gaze, white fragility, conditional whiteness.


Facets of cultural and historic attitudes to and by people of white British and European heritage as espoused in critical race theory.

Expression of colonial and and other power relations

Being ‘colour-blind’.


Proclamation of not seeing or not choosing to notice dimensions of race in another, also called ‘oppression blindness’.

Dismantle, dismantling.


To deconstruct or displace colonial or dominant social, cultural and political structures that are based on the dominance of one group of people over another. Includes addressing concepts like white supremacy, and even the very idea of a museum and hierarchically organised collections.

Emotional labour.


Psychological burdens experienced mainly by people of colour to do all the work, in the same category as ‘diversity hires‘.



Manipulation of other people’s reality. Trying to get someone else (or a group of people) to question their own reality, memory or perceptions.



Less obvious racism in everyday life, e.g. “where are you from? No, where are you really from?”



Being pejorative about people different to you, or viewing all people who are different, e.g. those with a different appearance or voice as one homogeneous group e.g. migrants

Performative allyship.


Statements not backed up by actions and core practice.



Being self-aware of your power and privilege in relation to another.

Prejudice and discrimination.


Words commonly associated with oppressive power play.



Usually, not always, associated with white privilege. Systemic and institutional racism can benefit those with privilege, as well as disadvantage those without privilege.

Re-writing history.


Accusation commonly made against those who campaign for tangible decolonial acts, e.g. taking down statues of slave owners and proponents of Colonial and post-colonial racist policy; changing the names of galleries, rooms and museums; changing the school curriculum to more truthfully reflect Colonial racism, violence and oppression.

Reverse racism.


Accusation made by those from privileged groups (e.g. people of White European heritage) who experience prejudice from others based on their looks, colour of their skin or perceived life advantage.



On racism and racist practices, on prejudices, on policies that will exclude.

Trust and trustworthy.


Particularly important in museums as, in general, society believes museums to be trustworthy.

Violence and oppression.


Oppressive practices. Deeply rooted normalised practices and power play e.g. questions on diversity monitoring forms, procedures, the experience of confronting displays, language used in description, marketing and labelling, many others….

Virtue signalling.


Associating yourself or organisation with a cause to make yourself look good by aligning yourself with others e.g. anti-racism or decolonisation, for example, by making statements, but not living by them or actioning them in practice.



Having sensitivity towards injustice, particularly racism, homophobia and ableism. Also used under the guise of culture wars as a derogatory term towards those raising awareness of injustice, especially racial injustice.


Glossary courtesy of Curatorial Research Centre, read more here.

Pot Luck Sign Up


BHM Exhibition - Proud To Be!

Join us throughout October in celebrating the creativity and imaginations of Black/African Diaspora UCA students. Showcased in galleries at every campus, we have been curating exhibitions that support Black History Month. As a specialist Arts University, we want to make sure that we celebrate and uplift all students in our community, not just the ones who have historically held the spotlight. We are very happy to be able to say that - with the help of UCA’s amazing curators, Georgie Scott and Liam Green - we have been able to book a physical space on each campus to display your works. For obvious reasons, last year's exhibition was limited to online viewing, we are therefore extra excited to be able to experience your works in all its glory, the way it was meant to be viewed. The exhibitions will all be held from the 11th until the 31st of October, please feel free to pop in to view this year's exhibitions if you are able. We look forward to seeing you there!

Canterbury - Students’ Union Corridor
11 - 31 October

Rochester - Zandra Rhodes Gallery
11 - 31 October

Farnham - Elaine Thomas Library
11- 31 October

Epsom - Canteen Corridor
11 - 31 October


Artwork Submission

instagram takeover tuesday

Every Tuesday during Black History Month, we'll be dedicating our feed to Black students and their work, and giving them the opportunity to tell our followers about their creative endeavours. So whether you're a graphic designer, photographer, game designer, or a musical theatre student, we'll let you use our platform to promote your work!

You can sign up to takeover our Instagram here.