MAYOR OF London Sadiq Khan has been urged to ensure that Black history is properly taught and celebrated all year round by the London Assembly.
The Assembly unanimously passed a motion to recognise the United Nations International Decade of African Descent, which sets out the request, on February 4.
The International Decade spans from 2015-2024 and aims to reinforce and protect the human rights of persons of African descent, through the themes of justice, recognition and development.
The Assembly, which scrutinises the actions and policies of the Mayor of London, has called on Khan to recognise the decade by working to achieve the requests from its programme of activities.
The requests include working with schools and community organisations to ensure that histories and narratives of black people are celebrated all year round, not just during Black History Month, and to review policies that have a discriminatory effect on peoples of African descent across London.
The other two requests call for the Mayor to ensure the equal enjoyment of rights and opportunities for people of African descent, and to ensure that the end of the decade is marked in 2024, celebrating progress made in moving towards racial justice.
The programme of activities for the International Decade was decided and agreed by the UN General Assembly.
Ife Thompson, who worked with the London Assembly on the motion, is the first UK UN fellow to get the UN’s Decade passed through a localised government body.
Thompson, who is also the founder of Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health (BLAM), a charity committed to supporting the Black diaspora in the UK, said: “I am pleased that the London Assembly has passed this motion to recognise and pledge to the aims of the UN International decade for persons of African descent.
“It is a great framework we as the international community can use in making sure the human rights of Black people are being protected and that Racial Justice is being achieved for the Black Community. I am glad the Assembly is using the framework of the International Decade to show up for Black lives and Black futures.”
Jennette Arnold OBE AM, a member of the Assembly and who proposed the motion said: “City Hall has been making progress to tackle racial inequality head on, through its new Action Plan to address disproportionality in policing, commissioning of work from the Black Curriculum organisation, and its research into the acute impacts of the pandemic upon Londoners from Black, Asian and minority backgrounds.
“But my extra call upon the Mayor is all about pushing further towards securing justice for Black people who have been historically oppressed and amplifying the voices of Black Londoners as we shape the future of our capital during these challenging times.”