Diversity Champions - the 2019 cohort
The selection and application process for selecting the eleven new Diversity Champions for the 2019 cohort involved creating and sending off application forms into five high schools: Loreto High School, Chorlton High School, East Manchester Academy, Oasis Academy Media City and Cedar Mount Academy. We attended both Oasis Academy and Cedar Mount Academy, where Catherine delivered presentations outlining the project and how students could get involved.
Once the applications from each school were received, we went into the schools and gave interviews before selecting two strongest candidates from each school.
The sessions for both the 2019 cohort of Diversity Champions and the Diversity Champions Alumni began on Monday 18 February with a group training session. This gave the opportunity for the new Diversity Champions to get to know each other and also find out more about the project through the Alumni.
They then had their first session with Anthony Lishak from Learning from the Righteous on Tuesday 19 February where they explored the topic of identity.
On Wednesday 20 February, the Diversity Champions had their first training session with the Anthony Walker Foundation where they learnt about issues of racial hate crime. On the same day, the Alumni had their first session with Future Fires where they explored issues of hate crime with a particular focus on micro aggressions.
On Tuesday 5 March, our Diversity Champions Alumni will be attending the Houses of Parliament to speak about their experiences on the programme as well as to meet other organisations involved in Holocaust Education. They will continue to receive two more sessions from Future Fires and will also attend the Learning from the Righteous sessions alongside the Diversity Champions. The Diversity Champions will receive training from different organisations such as the Proud Trust and will also start thinking about putting on a Diversity Day in their schools.
If you would like to know more or keep updated, follow us on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DivChampsMcr &
Studying Hip Hop
We are very pleased to announce that our long-awaited Hip Hop Study Guide is now up and running. It can be found on our website under the study support section, and physical copies are available in the library. It includes reading lists, lesson plans and a Hip Hop glossary, all in the hope of putting Hip Hop Education on Manchester’s radar!
Here's a photo from a recent session in which we introduced the Study Guide to University of Manchester American Studies students:
Coming In From The Cold - the first year, and after
It's hard to believe that the Coming In From The Cold project managed to cram so much activity in to their first year! Here are some of the highlights of Year 1:
- From 45 initial project inquiries, 19 projects received detailed application advice and 17 projects were supported in delivery.
- 15 new archives accepted in to the AIURRRC collection
- An audit of existing oral histories and developed plans to make them more visible and accessible.
- Supported the development of archives trainee, Laila Benhaida.
- Working on plans to revise the AIUET website so it is more reflective of our current activities.
- Produced an easy-to-use template for creating digital exhibitions and uploaded two new projects to the screens in Archives+ (
- Hosted 2 sharing events and 6 open workshops.
- In addition to steering group members, recruited 17 volunteers
- Produced one printed publicity booklet and have a further booklet in draft
- Publicised the project through the CIFTC blog, the AIURRRC collections blog, posts for BHM on the Archives+ blog and articles in the UoM Social Responsibility newsletter
- Completed a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan under the guidance of external evaluator, Kevin Bolton and have been collecting and collating evidence accordingly
During the first quarter of 2019 we will have delivered 5 training sessions to:
One Manchester – Markets Heritage project
Wai Yin, Crossing Borders Project
Apostolic Order of St Hadrian, Flames Malawi Heritage project
Our Heritage Group, African & Caribbean Migrant workers in the NHS
Cartwheel Arts, Overspill project
Most were in basic oral history skills but we’ve also done some more in depth work with ZIWO/ Aratta/ and Crossing Borders to help with better quality documentation – so they are logged more accurately, written up correctly and can be shared more easily with the public.
Jo has two volunteers – Ruth and Dorothy – producing transcripts for the Kashmiri Lives archive. Once they are ready we can prepare a bound volume for the library, so they are available to read. Jo also organised the reunion of the staff and management committee from ‘Speaking for Ourselves’, the Sikh Family History project funded by Manpower Services which ran in the 1980s. (see below)
Drew has also been working with student volunteers – Natalie and Holly – to prepare albums of material from the Pan African Congress archive. The albums will allow us to share selected audio excerpts once the Trust website has been revamped. This will be the first time researchers will be able to explore our sound archive remotely. We hope it will spark more interest in our oral history collections.
Sikh Family History Project Reunion - Reminiscence Session
On 1 February we held a reminiscence session and invited the original participants of one of the biggest oral history projects set up in Manchester in the 1980s.
The aim of the project was to record and document people’s stories of migration, community and identity.
Daljit and Raj originally set up the project with input from a number of professional individuals and volunteers. In the 1980s there was very little activity in recording the histories of ethnic groups and this project pioneered the way leading to other similar projects in different communities.
The aim of the session was to record and capture their reflections whilst working on the project. We started with a relaxed and informal feel with the group catching up with each other as many of them had not seen each other for over 30 years! It was lovely to witness such a warming reunion.
After tea and biscuits we gathered, sat down and set the recorders. Participants shared some of the original material gathered from the project which in turn kick started some interesting conversations sharing their experience whilst working on the project and talking about their lives since.
The depth of the conversations amazed us, the project not only influenced and motivated them as individuals but it also provided a positive impact within the community and beyond.
The oral history recording from this session will be archived here and made accessible soon along with books, documents and photographs donated by the participants.
My Big Fat Asian Wedding Event - 1 Feb 2019
This wonderful end of project evening event was held by the members of local community group ‘Community on Solid Ground’.
Project leader Nusrat hosted the ladies only ‘wedding’ celebration event at a local banqueting hall in Longsight, Manchester.
The huge hall was decorated beautifully in South Asian wedding style and all of the guests looked stunning in their sparkling Asian dress. Also on display were tables of pretty wedding decorations and embroidery work which had been hand crafted by members of the community group.
The evening started with a fashion show and then a talk by Nusrat sharing the traditions of South Asian weddings, the meanings behind them and what is still practised today.
We were then served delicious starters, curries and naan followed by Zarda which is a sweet rice dish.
The evening ended with a very entertaining ‘pretend wedding’ ceremony followed by music and dancing.
Well done to Nusrat and her fantastic group for all their hard work.
Did you know...
...that our library caters for younger readers too?
We have a growing range of children's books, from the picture books in the big book boxes through to novels for teens, taking in history, biography, traditional stories and much more along the way.
We are always open to suggestions for new additions to our collection, so do let us know if there are any books you think you'd like to see on our shelves, And you're always welcome to drop in for some reading time with the family!
Last but not least
We are really looking forward to welcoming Safina Islam as the head of our team later this month. In our next newsletter, we hope she will introduce herself to our readers in her own words!
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