Updated: Feb 18, 2022
It's Black History Month!
Even though Black History should be celebrated everyday duh!
Throughout the month of February, we will be celebrating black talents that have been really impactful in supporting the growth of the black community.
This week, we will be bringing to light a Black historian, writer, founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum ; Lavinya Stennett!
In 2019, at just 23 years old, Lavinya Stennett began her social enterprise with the overarching aim of making it mandatory to teach Black histories in schools, because, as she explains, it can help “instil a sense of identity” and “challenge systemic issues.”
Lavinya earned a scholarship to study in Aotearoa. Whilst studying the national dance, kapa haka, she admired the commitment to studying and engaging with indigenous culture. She was interested in the way indigenous and colonial history was a part of the everyday and made accessible to everyone at all ages, giving them a sense of belonging.
The vision to create the black curriculum came from the first hand experiences in British formal education, where she witnessed the effects of systemic disenfranchisement through the execution of black pupils and black British history.
The Black Curriculum is an educational project initiated by Stennett, with the aim to revamp the education system to ensure all children get taught the black history in school. The social enterprise runs virtual and in-person programmes for young people, schools, and corporations promoting the importance of Black history all-year-round.
Before the pandemic, Stennett and her rapidly growing team went into schools and did workshops with students, while also providing teachers with the resources to introduce more black history in their lessons.
Stennett is by no means the first person to suggest the UK curriculum needs to be more inclusive and representative of society. This is largely down to her remarkable work ethic. She is determined to challenge the Eurocentricity of the school curriculum at a nationwide level.
Lavinya believes in the power of education and the act to ultimately transform the lives of people and ensure all are taught the black British history all year round.
Photo credits from Gal-dem