Black Voice Letchworth holds first leadership meeting to work with councils to tackle issues

PUBLISHED: 10:31 06 November 2020

Issues, solutions, actions, was the theme around the inaugural Black Voice Letchworth meeting with our leaders in Hertfordshire. Picture: Micaelia Clarke

Issues, solutions, actions, was the theme around the inaugural Black Voice Letchworth meeting with our leaders in Hertfordshire. Picture: Micaelia Clarke

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Black Voice Letchworth, set up off the back of the Black Lives Matter protests, held its first monthly meeting discussing the issues facing the Black community in North Herts.

Black Voice Letchworth has been formed to create a platform for Black voices in North Herts and create more leadership roles for the black community. Picture: Micaelia ClarkeBlack Voice Letchworth has been formed to create a platform for Black voices in North Herts and create more leadership roles for the black community. Picture: Micaelia Clarke

Founder Micaelia Clarke invited councillors from local authorities across Hertfordshire, to talk about issues such as institutions being systemically racist, as well as campaigning to increase Black leadership in Hertfordshire.

This was also a platform to discuss the work Black Voice Letchworth is doing, in terms of fundraising and campaigning, to open the UK’s First Black History Museum Library and School of Cultural and Creative Arts.

The meeting was attended by Dacorum Mayor Councillor Terry Douris, Davina from Hertfordshire Black Diaspora, BAME officer for North East Herts Labour Tina Bhartwas, Tom Plater from North East Herts Labour, NHDC councillors Val Bryant, Sam North, Sam Collins, Helen Oliver, Carol Stanier, Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, and Councillor Victor Eni from Hertsmere Borough Council.

Members of the public also joined to observe, listen, learn and be involved in the changes being made by the group.

Sage Pearce has been working with Micaelia after organising a Black Lives Matter march in Letchworth. Picture: Sage PearceSage Pearce has been working with Micaelia after organising a Black Lives Matter march in Letchworth. Picture: Sage Pearce

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Micaelia told the Comet: “The purpose of the meeting was to give the Black voices of Letchworth a platform where they can talk to our appointed leaders about the issues affecting the Black community.

“The meeting was very successful. It was open to all councillors and leaders and there were a lot of healthy conversations. The majority of leaders recognised the need for devising programmes to deal with those. Everyone is going to go back and have a think about ways to tackle the issues.”

At the next virtual get together, Micaelia has asked people to come back with some ideas and solutions, and has again invited councillors from across Hertfordshire, as well as our MPs – Sir Oliver Heald for North East Herts, and Bim Afolami for Hitchin and Harpenden – to attend.

Micaelia Clarke wanted to continue the momentum around tackling issues facing the Black community built up following the Black Lives Matter marches. Picture: Micaelia ClarkeMicaelia Clarke wanted to continue the momentum around tackling issues facing the Black community built up following the Black Lives Matter marches. Picture: Micaelia Clarke

“We are hoping they will come along to one of the meetings because we want the Black community to feel they can talk to our MPs,” Micaelia continued.

“We want to push all political parties to this safe space to work with us.”

Since forming the group in the summer, Micaelia and other members have created a Street Theatre Show One Woman Black History Show, and a short documentary. To watch, go to youtube.com/channel/UC6lRbk3hd9hKJAgcK-9GP0A.

The next meeting will be held virtually, on November 27 at 8pm.


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