BLACK History Month was officially launched in Thurrock last week with an event in the Civic Offices, New Road, Grays.
The council’s chief executive, Graham Farrant, joined Lee Jasper — an adviser to local and national government on equalities and a national equalities advocate — to launch the month.
Mr Jasper explained the importance of cultural change and leadership, including making equality central to the work of the council which has a responsibility to show strong community leadership by confronting negative messages, promoting positive ones and celebrating diversity.
Those at Friday’s event also heard from the council’s heritage officer, Jonathan Catton, who gave a historical view of the last 75 years of Thurrock with a view of the changing community from a black, minority-ethnic perspective. The event was organised by the council’s BME staff forum and its chair, Janice White.
Among other events planned for October are an International Food Festival on Friday, 21 October, noon to 2pm, Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays; and an art exhibition by Dub Poet and Presenter of A History of Black Music, Jeffery Porter, www.jeffreyporter.co.uk at the Thameside Gallery until Saturday, 22 October.