Celebrating Black Voices – 24 May 2022
Continuing the series of Celebrating Black Voices events, we particularly wanted to celebrate local voices for this event.
The afternoon featured presentations from Mana Gondolora from the Kingston People with Lived Experience (PLE) Group and Catherine Boakye, the founder of Mangotree Kids, creators of African drumming programmes, toys and learning resources.
Mana’s presentation centred around redefining and finding identity through adversities, including her personal and professional experiences with being Black and in care. She emphasised the need for access to therapy, for forgiveness in order to overcome past experiences, and the importance of empowering others.
Catherine spoke about the importance of children having experiences and resources to help them learn about their own and other cultures. She also shared her experiences fighting legal battles with the clothes retailer Mango, when trademarking her business.
Many attendees reflected that they found Mana and Catherine’s presentations hugely inspiring and highlighted the importance of representation and understanding and appreciating identity. A massive thank you to Mana and Catherine for sharing their experiences.
This was followed by a montage to celebrate prominent local Black figures, and time for open discussions and reflections. To view the montage slideshow, please click here.
The response to this was very positive, saying that it was inspiring to have a reminder about all the varied talents that we have in our communities, which can go unnoticed in the ‘mainstream’.