Wokingham Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Forum started its celebration of Black History Month with the official opening of its annual exhibition in the Mall Gallery at the Civic Offices in Wokingham.
Black History Month is held every October to recognise the contribution of black people to British society. It helps to promote a greater knowledge of black history, culture and heritage in wider communities.
To celebrate Black History Month 2019, this year’s exhibition focuses on activities and services provided by some of the community groups who support residents with a BME heritage in and around the Wokingham Borough. Exhibition contributions have been received from the Indian Community Centre, African Caribbean Society, Ramgarhia Sabha Sikh Centre, Gujarat Samaj and Bengali community. The BME forum also included a special mention for the late former councillor and honorary alderman Bob Wyatt, who was a great advocate and supporter of the BME Forum since it formed in 2004.
The celebration of Black History Month comes to a close on Saturday 9 November with the annual Taster and Performance evening at Woodley Baptist Church. Local performers will once again take the stage for an evening of world music and dance while the audience will also have an opportunity to sample food from Caribbean and Asian communities.
For more than ten years the Wokingham BME Forum has been successful in celebrating diversity within the borough, providing a voice for the black or minority ethnic heritage community who make up more than 10% of the overall population, The BME forum meet on a quarterly basis focusing on matters which affect the BME community such as health and fitness and community matters.
In September 2019, a new chair for the BME Forum was elected with Ramnik Saund taking the helm for the group. The next BME forum will be held on 14 January 2020 at the Civic Offices at Shute End, Wokingham. The forum is open for all to attend. For further information you can contact community.engagement.Localities@wokingham.gov.uk
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure and co-chair of the BME Forum, said: “It’s wonderful to use this year’s Black History Month to showcase the aims and activities of some of the BME groups within the borough who consistently play a vital role within our communities. I hope that this exhibition encourages people to find out more about these groups and how we can support them to further enhance their positive contribution to the quality of life within the borough.”