Islington is host to a number of organisations run by black people and providing support for black people. Here are a just a few of the organisations in the borough that have contributed to our online display for Black History Month, see the gallery of images here. If you would like to contribute to the display please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information go here.
Avril’s Walks and Talks
Avril Nanton set up Avril’s Walks and Talks in 2016, focusing her walking tours in particular on the African Caribbean histories and communities across London. In 1965 she moved to Britain from Dominica and grew up in Canonbury, Islington. She is now one of the few black female professional guides in London and a member of various institutions including the British Library and the London Metropolitan Archives.
Avril’s tours include historical sites across London such as Trafalgar Square and Cleopatra’s Needle in Westminster. In Islington, Avril’s Walks and Talks will take you on a journey through some of the prominent black histories in the borough from the British headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC) to the Eritrean Embassy in London.
Avril’s Walks and Talks website: www.avrilswalksandtalks.co.uk
Every voice is an organisation, established in the borough of Islington in 2009, that works on anti-racist practices and co-creating spaces for healing and liberation. With three main steams of work they focus on: Research, Advocacy and Reflection, Healing and Liberation, and Critical Histories and Futures.
Every Voice’s campaign work aims to address persistent social inequalities affecting black and brown communities. The Islington Race Equality Forum is a network, bringing together community organisations, residents and activists, with quarterly meetings to discuss and reflect on issues of social inequality. Every Voice also collaborates with other organisations to provide events and activities for the community including Black History events. Find out more about the various work streams and projects that Every Voice is involved in on their website.
Every Voice website: www.everyvoice.org.uk
REWRITE is an organisation set up to support and champion black women and women of colour writers by providing the tools, space and confidence they need to achieve their writing goals. REWRITE is run entirely by women. Founded in 2018 by Christina Fonthes, a Congolese-British writer, after her own search for a supportive writing community focused on black women and women of colour, and noticing there was a need to create support in this area.
REWITE offers courses, masterclasses and workshops for women to explore their creativity and develop their skills. Their first courses took place at New Beacon Books, the UK’s first black publisher and specialist bookshop. They also review books of all genres and produce their own literary magazine titled REWITE READS which features work by black women and women of colour. Find out more on their website.
Say It Loud Club
In 2010 the Say It Loud Club, a support group for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, was established in London by Aloysius Ssali. Aloysius set up the first Say It Loud Club in Uganda in 1994, where homosexuality is a crime. He was forced to flee from Uganda when the club was reported to the authorities and managed to gain asylum in Britain on the grounds of sexuality.
The Club provides community, understanding and improves wellbeing; in particular, caring for the mental health and reducing loneliness in the LGBTQ+ refugee and asylum seeker community. People using the service are often from countries in which homosexuality is criminalised and scorned. They are able to share their experiences through the club to give them the confidence to live openly with their sexuality.
Say It Loud website: www.sayitloudclub.org
Talk for Health
Talk for Health is a programme developed by psychotherapists to teach people a method for therapeutic talking to improve health and wellbeing. The organisation was started in 2008 by Nicky Forsythe. In response to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter campaign, a member of the Talk for Health community set of a monthly Black Lives Matter chair and share group. The group is going strong. Anyone wishing to join can get in contact by emailing email@example.com
Talk for Health website: www.talkforhealth.co.uk
Head over to the image gallery to explore more black culture and history in Islington