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October is Black History Month and an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Black Britons and the Black Community. IAC embraces this opportunity to celebrate.
Throughout the month we will be publishing posts on our social media each day to highlight what needs to be celebrated and acknowledged but also areas where more work and change is still required.
This year as we are doing most things virtually a range of events are happening online and worth checking out. It is a great way to access new information, learn from debates and participate in celebrations.
One of the important debates happening right now is the use of the term BAME to describe a hugely diverse group of people and it is essential that we understand why this is important and participate in the debate itself. This is crucial for an organisation like IAC where 85% of our applications to adopt are from people who do not identify as White British. We certainly do not view them as one homogenous group, but we have until recently routinely used the term BAME.
We know from the data being highlighted by the You Can Adopt campaign, which launched last month, that many of the children who wait the longest for adoption in this country are those classed as being from BAME backgrounds, but further analysis shows that who really waits the longest are in fact children of African and African Caribbean heritage, and within that groups it is boys more than girls. As an international adoption agency though we are also conscious that the pandemic will have a devastating affect on children everywhere, particularly the 15 million children already growing up without parents and family to care for them and, that sadly, this number is likely to grow.
We also know that the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement are still emerging as we make our way through 2020 so Black History Month is also an opportunity to keep fighting the cause and challenging the racism that exists in society. Sadly, daily reports in the media continue to show us that, whilst progress is being made, we have a long way to go.
Education, as well as the work we are doing, is important, but as long as Black History and Black Lives remain outside of the national curriculum being taught in our schools, we will continue to do a disservice to those Black people that changed the course of history for us, and continue to fail future generations, regardless of their ethnicities. Change is possible and IAC’s own mission as a charity is serving children, nearly all of whom are Black, so we fully support the campaign to reimagine the education in our schools.
2020 has been a turbulent year so far but with turbulence comes change, innovation, and hope. Let us hope we can celebrate the good during Black History Month, and together keep challenging racism and injustice, so that the world we leave behind for the children we seek to serve is truly a better one.