October 31, 2022, by aczjb1

Black History Month 2022 – Take Action and Change Your Future

As part of the University of Nottingham’s Black History Month programme, Professor Judy Muthuri and the team at Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) welcomed 50 local black school children from Y3-Y13 for a visit to Jubilee Campus on Wednesday 20 October. This half-day event was part of the widening participation agenda of the Business School, aiming to inspire young children from black ethnic backgrounds to aspire to pursue higher education.

Over the last ten years, Professor Muthuri has hosted these events at NUBS to help address the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities among under-represented communities in Nottinghamshire.  She has built a network of supportive colleagues across the university as well as an extensive group in the wider community who are committed to encouraging inclusivity and diversity within higher education and within our own University.

On this day, the children were taken on a tour of Jubilee Campus led by Mike Kioko (Estates team). They were able to learn about the sustainability of the buildings and how the university is working towards being carbon neutral.  It was a great opportunity for them to learn about the spaces where they could potentially work and study.

This was then followed by inspirational talks from recent graduate and Ingenuity Lab member Peter Ankanko and current student Myrah Oloo (School of Politics) sharing their university experiences about business and students as change agents respectively.  Importantly, Peter and Myrah narrated how the University of Nottingham has supported their own passions, and were on hand to answer questions from an inquisitive audience. They also had an opportunity to hear from the Enactus Nottingham team that is representing the UK at the Enactus World Cup in Puerto Rico this month.

The Enactus Nottingham team speak to our young guests

After a welcome snack break, where everyone enjoyed pizza and time with their new friends, the group split up to take part in age-specific activities.  The younger children between Y3-Y6 developed a creative response to UN Sustainable Development Goal  (SDG) 14 Life Below Water by creating posters or poems about how to tackle the issues.  The session was facilitated by a group of students from Enactus Nottingham learning about the SDGs.  As Ellah, Y3 commented: “This was truly a fun afternoon. I want more of these visits to Nottingham so I can do more creative stuff.”

The secondary age group had a separate careers event.  They took part in a careers quiz led by Prof. Judy Muthuri and heard the experiences from BME academics from the Schools of Law (Dr. Timothy Masiko), Engineering (Dr. Omobosede Fashedemi) and Business (Prof. Musa Mangena). According to Prof. Muthuri, we should not underestimate the power of black children seeing black academics succeeding at Nottingham as this gives them tremendous hope that Universities are spaces for them.

This is what some of the young children had to say of the event:

“I had a great time at the University with different lecturers sharing amazing experiences of their journey to become whom they are today. Nottingham is an amazing university to go study and to start our own careers. I hope I go there some day.” (Ezekeil, Year 6).

“The day was very informative. I had such a great time learning about different things like careers, business and education at Nottingham. I really do hope other children like me learned from it like I did.” (Elisha, Year 8).

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