We had several speakers at the Parents' Personal Development open day. A few of the many points they raised included:
Dr. Kimani Nehusi
The Importance of Identity: Problem and Solution
For us as Afrikan people to form alliances with other groups, we first need to be clear about our own identity. That way, we will know what will benefit us and our community. Only when we are clear about our identity can we effectively determine which groups we want to ally with, and on what basis to form these alliances.
When you have your identity, you know what is in your interests. You will unify with those people who share your values and your interests.
History is an engagement with our ancestors.
Ancestors are a storehouse of knowledge. We will continue to confront the same problems from a condition of ignorance because we refuse to learn from our ancestors and our elders.
The Importance of Supplementary/Complementary Education
The campaigns against discrimination and for equal rights began in the African Caribbean community, amongst grassroots people and organisations.
We need to take over the regular schools, not just complementary education. Where our young people are in the majority, the community needs to take over the school and ensure a high quality of education.
We need to know our history in order to take pride in ourselves.
Dr. Lez Henry
Black children are failing because the educational system is not for them.
A qualification is a tool – that is all it is. It is certified by the dominant society.
Black self-empowerment, elevation and upliftment can be achieved by understanding how you can use knowledge to better your life chances.
Councillor Martin Seaton
The final speaker on the day was Councillor Martin Seaton, who related how he had become a school governor for a school situated across the street from where he lived. The school had poor test results, but he worked to improve the school’s performance and got other Black people to join as governors.
The school is now doing so well that they train governors at other schools. He is actively recruiting more Black people who have an interest in the community to become school governors.
He made the point that the Council and the education system believe that Black parents don’t care about their children’s education. They are surprised when they see us taking an active interest.
To join the Parent Personal Development Programme, contact:
Pamela Hamilton (020) 7525 5504 firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: New Course for Black Parents