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Black Teachers Conference Report

Julie Walters-Nisbett, Organiser Leicester NUT Black Teachers' Network
30th January 2018

We (all nine of us) arrived at the conference on Friday evening on Midlands Railway. It was an excellently organised reception. The new venue, the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, proved very convenient as it was literally next door to our accommodation at The Holiday Inn.

Friday night's welcome meal was followed by an exciting Open Mic night, where the soulful music of our very own Linda Bradshaw was enjoyed by all.

After a hearty breakfast we headed off to an action packed day of workshops and discussions. Motions were discussed and amended and moved. It is a very thorough process and one must attend to understand. There were workshops on health and well being, islamaphobia (MEND), difficult conversations (which is NPQML module) , SEND and law around racist incidents. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the massage and tapping involved in the Looking After Your Wellbeing in The Workplace by Sam.

We managed to forge better links with the Birmingham Black Teachers' Section, and Camille LondonMiyo, Leicester NUT Equalities' Officer, will be our representative as we attempt to organise a joint Midlands event.

The Saturday night disco was a definite highlight with all of us feeling hot, hot, hot. There were three conga lines and at least two versions of the Electric Slide. At least two of the ten of us danced until midnight.

Finally, the highlight on Sunday was definitely the talk by Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of UK Black Pride.

Celebrating success was one of the key themes of the weekend and the Leicester NUT Black Teachers' Section would like to celebrate moving from five delegates to The BTC in 2016 to nine in 2017. All found the experience enlightening and useful. We are looking forward to more attending in 2018.

Gillian O'Garro, one of the other delegates, said of the conference:

I truly feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to attend the Black Teachers' Conference 2017. As a first-time delegate, I was impressed with the thoroughness involved in preparing delegates for the event and the detailed communication that was sent out ahead of the event. This left very little room for misconceptions and as a result the actual conference met all of my expectations. True to its word, I was provided with fantastic opportunities to network with fellow teachers who are experiencing the same plights as I am facing. Being able to actively participate in the workshops and discuss current issues, has proved invaluable. Already, the advice which was received has begun to make a difference within my life. I am a member of a union that cares.

You can read more about The Black Teachers' Conference on page 11 of the January/February edition Teacher Magazine.


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