Activists gather in Edinburgh to launch Year of Black Workers

Delegates make their voices heard at Scottish city’s International Conference Centre

Black activists from across our region headed to Edinburgh on the weekend of 20-22 January for this year’s National Black Members Conference.

As well as the formal launch of the 2023 Year Of Black Workers, the three day event saw a range of motions debated on everything from the indignity faced by Black workers who feel the need to westernise their names, to young Black workers and mental health.

Speakers across the weekend included Conference Chair Kebba Manneh, UNISON General Secretary Christina McAnea, UNISON President Andrea Egan and Professor Gus John. West Midlands activist Carol Sewell was also presented with the UNISON Nelson Mandela Award. 

SE Black Members Committee co-Chair Bill Acharjee was proud to move the region’s motion on challenging the employment barriers faced by newly-qualified Black social workers. The motion was developed by Oxfordshire County branch activists Dolcie Obhiozele and Shirley Owen.

Overall, the weekend was another successful Black Members conference packed to the brim with useful information, advice, and guidance on how to deal with racism, prejudice and discrimination in society and the workplace.

Connecting and meeting with Black members throughout the UK
is always such a rewarding and empowering experience, and the key message to remind ourselves daily is that: “United we stand, divided we fall!”

Words and pictures courtesy Bill Acharjee. You can read his full conference report here