Coram is marking Black History Month by reflecting on our history, celebrating Black culture and taking the opportunity to share the views and experiences of the Black children and young people we support
Exploring our past to inform our future – Dr Carol Homden, Coram CEO
“Earlier this year Coram decided to take the opportunity presented by the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to examine all relevant aspects of our practice and reaffirm our commitment to delivering an inclusive and diverse environment for all of our staff and service users.
As well as working to ensure we incorporate equality and diversity best practice across the Group day-to-day, we have been examining Coram’s archives in the light of renewed interest ignited across our community by BLM.
With regard to our earliest supporters, it is clear that some of our patrons in the 1700s were either involved with or built their wealth directly from industries supported by the slave trade, and did not see any contradiction between this and their support for social progress in the shape of the Foundling Hospital.
However uncomfortable, this is part of our history. We remain committed to understanding and recognising this complicated past and our work will continue. Coram today strives to champion equality, diversity and inclusion, tackling discrimination and building social justice in all that we do.”
See our CEO’s full statement here.
Find out more about what historian and writer Carol Harris discovered in our archives here. (see sections Thomas Coram, Foundling Hospital Governors and Black Lives, and Black Lives at the Foundling Hospital.)
Here is a summary of highlights celebrating Black History Month from across the Coram Group, with more to come throughout October.
Don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up with the latest news too.
Get reading with Coram Beanstalk
500 Words: Black Lives Matter
Read an inspirational collection of short stories submitted by children to the 500 Words: Black Lives Matter Virgin Radio competition and help Coram Beanstalk reach even more children in Black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities who need reading support. This collection of stories written by children aged 5-13, express personal experiences, tales of empathy, learning and respect, building on the international conversation around Black Lives Matter. All royalties to be matched by publisher Bonnier Books and donated to Coram Beanstalk. Find out more here.
Top picks – Brilliant books for Black History Month
Check out Coram Beanstalk’s top picks of books for children packed full of incredible triumphs chosen to celebrate Black History Month, but which are obviously wonderful to share all year round!
Free toolkit for schools from Coram Life Education
Schools can gain invaluable insight into the issues facing migrant children and young people with the Belonging Toolkit from Coram Life Education, made in collaboration with Coram’s Young Citizens. Featuring lesson plans, teachers’ guidance, films and activities for KS2 and KS3, all clearly linked to the PSHE Association Learning Opportunities, as recommended by the DfE.
Find out how to get your free school toolkit here
Our adopters talk about the importance of adoption by people of colour
Coram adopter, Veronica (not her real name) spoke to the Metro to encourage more Black adopters to step forward. She explains that while she understands children should be offered a loving home first and foremost, it is also important for them to be placed with a family who looks similar to them and understands their cultural heritage. Read the article here.
Food, culture and identity from Coram’s Young Citizens
Coram’s Young Citizens share their favourite food from their countries, challenges with food in the UK and advice for other young people. Young Citizens share their experiences to help other young people who are new to the UK.
Training and reflection for professionals with CoramBAAF
CoramBAAF’s annual members’ day today (1 October), also marking the organisation’s 40th anniversary, is themed ‘looking back and looking forward’ and includes a presentation addressing Black Lives Matter and family placement.
Later in October CoramBAAF will be:
- a new ‘Briefing Note’ series ‘Black Lives Matter and family placement’ exploring the key issues for practitioners in relation to anti-racist/discriminatory practice
- key UK data about children from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in the care system and a commentary on the information
- a comprehensive resource list for social care and health professionals of key books/articles/training materials, including resources for foster carers and adopters.
- a podcast on adoption and Islam.
Find out more about CoramBAAF’s resources and membership here