During this Black History Month, Calderdale Council is honouring the significant contributions made by Black individuals to society.

The national theme for this year is ‘saluting our sisters’, which acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of Black women in shaping history, instigating change, and fostering communities.

Calderdale’s libraries have curated special displays featuring works by Black authors. These collections are accessible for viewing and borrowing at libraries in Elland, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, and Todmorden.

Moreover, Brighouse, Central, and Todmorden Libraries have hosted the ‘Light Up Our Lives’ exhibition, which showcases a collaborative effort between verd de gris arts and the local charity Light Up Black African Heritage & Culture. Through their temporary exhibit and accompanying booklet, their aim is to inspire and empower members of the Black African community in Calderdale to discuss and share their cultural heritage. This initiative underscores its significance and seeks to enhance mutual understanding among various communities.

All these library exhibitions align with the goals of Black History Month, striving to celebrate and encourage a deeper understanding of the remarkable history, heritage, and culture of Black communities.

Calderdale Council has recently become the inaugural employer in Yorkshire and the Humber region to adopt UNISON’s national Anti-Racism Charter.

This reaffirms the Council’s commitment to reducing disparities and its dedication to promoting equality, diversity, inclusion, and confronting and eradicating racism in all its manifestations within the workplace.

As part of this Charter, the Council is rolling out a policy on race equality along with a series of anti-racism initiatives and activities in the coming year.

Throughout Black History Month, ‘Let’s Talk about Race’ sessions will provide an opportunity for Council staff to delve into the details of the Charter, explore the concept of modern racism, and engage in conversations about positive changes that foster equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, stated; “Calderdale has a rich and diverse heritage that makes it the wonderful place it is today.

“Join us in celebrating the valuable role of Black people in shaping our communities, and the talented and enterprising Black women who have inspired us and blazed a trail.

“By learning more about different cultures, we can keep Calderdale’s proud tradition of diversity alive, helping to reduce inequalities by uniting as a borough.”

For more information about Calderdale Council’s library service, please visit https://new.calderdale.gov.uk/libraries.