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Leading housing associations form partnership to create a Black History digital archive

Two of southern England’s largest housing providers, VIVID and Abri, have formed a partnership to support Black History Month South in creating a Black History archive.

The digital archive will highlight stories that demonstrate the unique contribution of black communities across the south of England to our heritage, history and culture. The aim is to improve understanding of the contribution of people from an African and Caribbean background to society and ensure that their stories are uncovered and preserved for future generations.

Both VIVID and Abri are long-term supporters of Black History Month and share a desire to improve understanding of the issues that can contribute towards racial discrimination and prevent society from being as fair and inclusive as it should be.

Derek Streek, Head of Neighbourhoods at VIVID added: “We’re very excited about this opportunity to work with Abri and Black History Month South to build greater understanding and recognition of the contribution of people from our black communities.”

Andy Skarzynski, Executive Director at Abri said: “Partnering with VIVID to support Black History Month South makes complete sense because we’re all committed to improving community cohesion and creating a fairer and more tolerant society”.

The Black History Archive is led by BHM South with support from the University of Southampton, the John Hansard Gallery and Southampton City Council, The African Women’s Forum and the Cultural Diversity Consortium in Basingstoke. VIVID and Abri are the latest partners to lend their support.

Lou Taylor, BHM South, said: “The Black History Archive is such an important project and we are delighted to have the support of both Abri and VIVID in bringing the project to life.”

Support for new roles

VIVID and Abri will provide Black History Month South with financial support so that it can recruit and train an archive manager and four ambassadors to help in the collation and recording of individual stories. The role of the ambassador will be to work closely with local black communities to ensure that people can tell their individuals stories before they are lost to future generations. The ambassador will be a voluntary role but will benefit from training and a contribution towards any expenses incurred.

For more details about the archive and to register your interest in getting involved, please contact: blackhistorymonthsouth@gmail.com

The digital archive will highlight stories that demonstrate the unique contribution of black communities across the south of England to our heritage, history and culture.

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