12th October 2022
An opportunity to learn and explore…
Civica’s Kasey Koom-Dadzie explores the importance of Black History Month as an opportunity to educate people of all ages about black history:
“I’m Kasey Koom-Dadzie, a Software Developer in our Central Government team. I joined Civica in October 2021 as a graduate and I’m an active member of our UK Race and Ethnicity Affinity Group.
“I’m proud to be of British Black and Asian heritage - my mom is British Indian and my dad is Ghanian. Being of mixed heritage, Black History Month gives me the space to consider the history of my rich heritage and my Ghanian roots. Growing up as a Black-British man, black history was not taught in schools, and the only thing that was really focused on was slavery. However, there is a rich tapestry of history before slavery that many people are unaware of; by celebrating Black History Month, we can learn more about the wealth, achievements, and discoveries of the African continent.
“While black history is now more widely recognised and taught in schools, there are generations of people that have not benefitted from learning about black history and its impact on modern day society. Unfortunately, systematic prejudices and racial stereotypes still occur to the black community and there needs to be more awareness to break down negative stereotypes and misunderstanding.
“As a Civica employee, I have conversations with my colleagues about my roots and where I originate from in Ghana - the areas I have visited, the foods I eat, and our traditions. I also embrace my culture with my hairstyle, as I choose to wear it in natural braids. I feel proud to be a part of Civica as we’re encouraged to bring our whole selves to work, and to foster a culture of belonging. By being my true chatty and bubbly self in a diverse and inclusive organisation, I’m able to perform at my best, be involved, and open.
“The month also provides an opportunity to remember key figures in history who led the fight for change. Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiration to me; his speech, “I Have a Dream”, spoken at a time of racial segregation between ‘Whites’ and ‘Blacks’, fostered a spirit of change that resulted in campaigns, protests, and ultimately, the beginnings of equal rights for all ethnic backgrounds. For me, Martin Luther King Jr. embodies this year’s Black History Month theme, ‘Time for change: action not words.’
“Civica’s Global D&I Lead, Andrea Rowe, has also inspired me as an example of putting words into action. She has established our Affinity Groups and many other initiatives which have enabled people from unrepresented backgrounds to come together, network, and share similar issues that they face as a minority. I enjoy being involved in our Affinity Groups as they enable us to drive positive change within Civica for all our colleagues.”