Every October, Black History Month (BHM) in the UK celebrates black history, arts, and culture.

At Imperial we have marked the month in the past with a range of events including from talks from successful Black academics and professionals, workshops, panel discussions, and social events. In 2018 Imperial celebrated with a digital exhibition that took over the screens across campuses. We showcased black staff, students and alumni, and recognised the inspiring work of renowned black scientists past and present. You can still explore these Black History Month profiles online.

If you are planning an activity for Black History Month, or an EDI event at any time of the year, please get in touch with the EDI Centre.

Black History Month 2023

Beyond Ethnicity Careers Conference

Friday 29 September, South Kensington campus

The 2023 Beyond Ethnicity Career Conference (BECC) for Minority Ethnic staff and students will take place on Friday 29 September on South Kensington Campus.

Register your place now. The first 50 people who register and attend on the day will receive a copy of Eric Collins’s book We Don't Need Permission: How Black Business can Change our World.

This is a one-day event open to everyone at early career stage including research, professional and operational staff, and MSc and PhD students. We welcome those both from Imperial College and from external institutions.

The keynote address will be from Eric Collins, American businessman, serial entrepreneur, technology expert and former President Obama appointee.

Civil Engineering Black History Month – Ambassador Yvette Stevens talk

Thursday 19 October, 13:00-14.00, LT 201 Skempton Building, South Kensington Campus and online


Ambassador Yvette Stevens will showcase the contribution of black people to modern science and technology over the ages. This would not only be restricted to well-known names in science and technology, but contributions of indigenous African knowledge and techniques to modern day science.

More information about the event and how to register can be found on the Event page.

Coded bias screening and Q&A

Wednesday 25 October 2023, 15:00-17:00 Lecture theatre G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, South Kensington Campus

This is a 90 minute film screening followed by a Q&A with Director Shalini Kantayya.

Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers the most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected. You can register to attend at the Event page.

Discovering Modern African Art

10 week course, starting in October


Africa is a huge continent with over fifty different countries and thousands of different ethnic groups. The cultures of each of these differ dramatically, making Africa a rich and fertile ground for the creative arts.

Join Alinta Sara for this 10 week course on a journey around the modern and contemporary art of Africa. As well as seeing some astonishingly beautiful works of art made over the past 100 years, the course will challenge the assumption often made by art historians that African art belongs under the categories of folk art or so-called 'tribal' art.

More details on the course and how to enrol are on the Adult Education webpage.

... and from previous years

In October 2018 Imperial As One invited Sarah Rogers from Anthony Nolan and Calvin Campbell from B-Positive Choir to discuss Saving the Lives of People with Blood Cancer - The need to diversify the UK’s Stem Cell Register. This lunctime talk is available to stream and provides valuable insight into how taking a more inclusive approach to medical science can benefit groups who are at the sharp end of health inequality.

Members of Imperial community on BHM Month and need for change

Less Talk, More Action

Every individual at Imperial should feel safe and comfortable to bring their whole self to their place of work or study. 

For BHM 2020 we spoke to members of our community about why the Month is important, what changes we as an institution need to make, and their vision of a bright future.

Chi Onwurah, MP, reflects on her own experiences of studying and working in STEM and what universities need to do.

The importance of diversity in STEMM

As part of BHM 2018, Imperial invited Chi Onwurah MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM. 

Chi reflected on her own experiences of studying and working in STEM and what universities need to do. She also talked about the importance of diversity as an economic imperative and focuses on the need for systematic change.