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

This year's theme is 'Saluting Our Sisters'. 

Find out more on the Black History Month organisation page.

Here are some reading materials to help highlight the contribution of our Sisters:

Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy.  An unforgettable memoir by a trailblazing black headteacher in post-war London

Staying Power Report by Professor Nicola Rollock. In 2018, there were just 25 Black British female Professors in UK universities – the smallest group of Professors in terms of both race and gender. This report, the first study of its kind in the UK, delves into the experiences and challenges of this virtually invisible group of women.

The Incredible Power of Staff Networks by Cherron Inko-Tariah. This sets out to make the business case for staff networks so that anyone involved in the corporate health of an organisation can tap into their staff networks and offers practical insight into how to run an effective staff network.

Mixed Blessing from a Cambridge Union by Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu. An inspiring story about childhood, race, identity, family, friendship, hope and what makes us who we are.

When we read these accounts we understand why we need to celebrate and 'Salute Our Sisters'.

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.

Events run by Imperial College Union

The Student’s Union will be running events and initiatives throughout October, including African-Caribbean Special menu items in the Senior Common Room, CRUK Insight Session for Black Leaders in Cancer PhD Scholarship Programme on 11 October, a  BHM celebration on the 21 October and an Open Dialogue Event by the Nigerian Society on the 28 October. For more details see Imperial College Union’s Black History Month webpage.

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.


Meet the Author with Winston Trew

Thursday, 19 October 2023 17:30-18:30 City and Guilds Building 200 South Kensington Campus

 Imperial As One are hosting an exciting evening with the renowned author, Winston Trew. Get ready to dive into the captivating world of his latest book as he takes us on a journey through his imagination. Immerse yourself in an intimate gathering where you'll have the opportunity to meet Winston Trew in person. Engage in lively discussions, ask burning questions, and gain insights into his creative process. Whether you're a long-time fan or new to his work, this event promises to be a memorable experience.

Register at EventBrite for your ticket.

Events in the Chemistry Department


Show racism the red card

Friday 20 October 12:00-13:00, MSRH, B10, White City

20 places available. Please contact Ingrid Kedissa to book and for more information.

Celebrating black heritage

Tuesday 31 October 16:30-18:00, The Works White City Campus

20 places available. Please contact Ingrid Kedissa to book and for more information.

Friday doughnuts

The Chemistry Postgraduate Committee will be featuring a scientist of colour (with biography and details on their work) for each Friday doughnuts in October.

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.

Previous years

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. 

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.