Black History Month 2022: a reflection

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Founder and Director of Let’s Talk About Loss, Beth French, reflects on the actions Let’s Talk About Loss took during Black History Month 2022, what we learnt, and what we can do better and continue to improve on.

October marks Black History Month in the UK. We know that at Let’s Talk About Loss we still have a lot to do to make our spaces more equitable and inclusive. That’s why our actions this year were to hand the mic to others, who could share their stories and speak authentically on their grief and their experiences.

Our commitment

At the start of the month, we posted the following statement:

October marks Black History Month, and the theme for 2022 is “Actions not words”. We wanted to start the month by explaining what this means to Let’s Talk About Loss.

In response to the murder of George Floyd and the impact this had on the Black community we committed to learning and improving our charity to make it more inclusive and accessible. We committed to being anti-racist and acknowledged that we had much work to do. Since then, we have continued that commitment and have created a Racial Equity Advisory Board, have worked with (in a paid capacity) Black freelancers and consultants to help us create content, shared stories from young Black grievers on our blog and in our book Letters from the Grief Club, and have attended training events with expert organisations to understand how we can continue to take down barriers.

As a small charity we know we still have a lot of work to do, and in our 5 year strategic plan, we have committed to increasing the number of young Black grievers who attend and Host our meet ups. This month, we will be passing the mic regularly to young Black grievers we admire in this space and would encourage our followers to also follow their accounts and learn from them. Alongside other content (for example Baby Loss Awareness Week later this month), we’ll hear from members of the Racial Equity Advisory Board, contributors to our book, our Trustee Sanisha, and friends of LTAL from across the grief space.

We will continue to work with our Racial Equity Advisory Board and partners and LTAL supporters to shape a better organisation that is safe and empowering for young Black grievers. This is how Let’s Talk About Loss is ensuring we are prioritising action over words but as always we would love to hear from you if you’d like to join our Racial Equity Advisory Board, partner with us or support us in this in any way.

Instagram Weekend Takeovers

During October, we handed over our Instagram account to three black creators – Sanisha Wynter, J.Nicole and Ben Acquaah. They shared three posts explaining more about themselves, their grief journey and what Black History Month means to them. You can look back at the posts on our Instagram account here.

Hearing from our Racial Equity Advisory Board

We also asked our Racial Equity Advisory Board to share their thoughts and ideas on what we could be doing better. The Chair of the Board, Teni, shared a short video during the month explaining what being a part of the Board meant for her. We’re continuing to listen to the challenges and ideas from the Board all year round.

Spotlighting our book contributors

In our book, Letters from the Grief Club, we were privileged to work with many black contributors, whose writing we’ve been profiling on our social channels throughout the month. You can read more on this page, all about the book.

Training on equity, diversity and inclusion

Finally, at our Trustee meeting in October, we had incredible training from Sanisha Wynter, one of our Trustees, on equity, diversity and inclusion. As a team, we now feel more confident and equipped to do what we can to improve the work at Let’s Talk About Loss.

What is next?

We’re speaking to a researcher to help us gather better content for our website, and to freelance trainers and consultants who can create new training videos for our volunteer Hosts. We have a list of practical changes we need to make – some small, some large, and will be seeking funding to make the big dreams a reality. If you are interested in supporting us, either by volunteering to join our Racial Equity Advisory Board, or by offering your services as a consultant, please get in touch.

Beth French, 31st October 2022

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you’d like to find out more about Let’s Talk About Loss, visit this page to read our vision, mission and values. If you’d like to support Let’s Talk About Loss financially so we can continue this work, please click here.