Power of the Network

Co-convenors of the BAME network, Marina Laurie and Doreen Caesar, introduce Frontline’s Black History Month 

Marina Laurie and Doreen Caesar
Doreen Caesar and Marina Laurie are co-convenors of the BAME network

This month, the UK honours the often unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons, and so we feature members striving for excellence in their respective fields, with experiences and successes of interest to all. 

Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of the CSP BAME network over the past 25 years. This maturity or, ‘coming of age’, could not be more timely as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement have seen the BAME network work together to support members through turbulent times. And there is a true sense of belonging.

Many have given time to advise and support members. It is so gratifying to see them grow in confidence, bolstered by energy from the network, to bring forward their ideas and proposals.

Dedication, persistence and tenacity from those who have given of themselves freely, combined with a new receptiveness and awareness on the part of the CSP itself, has led to greater consultation with the network which, in turn, has increased our power to influence future strategies.

A breakthrough moment for the BAME network this year was when a number of members felt empowered to run as candidates for CSP Council, resulting in the first Black representatives being elected, namely Leanne Antoine and Ishmael Beckford.

Over the past year, close working between the three diversity and inclusion networks (BAME, DisAbility and LGBTQIA+) has expanded considerably, especially as there may be members in two of the three groups, or in all three, and this co-production enhances our power to bring about change, increases understanding and strengthens our voice. 

As we celebrate excellence, we are grateful as conveners to all members of the network who make life better for each other and provide a safe space for sharing successes and difficulties. It is a joy to see the encouragement, resilience, and the opportunities shared via the network.

The future looks great and promising – because of all you do. 

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