BILT Briefings, News

BILT Briefing Issue 108

As many of you will be aware, October is Black History Month. Every year, the same question emerges – why are we only choosing to recognise Black history in October? Black history is history and therefore should be recognised all year round. 

We agree with this notion. As BILT, we strive to be inclusive however there is still a long way to go. Colleagues working on decolonisation projects and centres such as the Perivoli African Research Centre are making brilliant progress in these areas and we are proud to support them. 

We weren’t sure of the right way to approach Black History Month, but equally we didn’t feel it should pass by without us recognising it. We have decided to use this month to celebrate our Black colleagues and the work they’ve done in observing where race and education collide. We want to share opportunities to join in the collaboration with the wider Bristol community, such as the CARGO movement and Universal City project. We want to draw attention to some brilliant resources available online and hope to inspire you.

We’d love to hear from colleagues about the best way you believe we should celebrate Black History Month in future and welcome comments below.  

  • Foluke’s accompanying article published in Campus sets out some practical steps we must take to ensure decolonisation is an effective activity and not just a buzzword.
  • Bristol University Press have shared their top book recommendations for Black History Month with us which are available for all staff and students to access free-of-charge.
  • They also have a number of blog posts on Transforming Society on the topic of race.
  • This article, written by colleagues here at the University, is an inspiring read about four incredible Black women who have changed the world.
  • Finally, we wanted to highlight this research by the Perivoli African Research Centre, in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of South Africa (UNISA), which looks to create a charter to to redress entrenched power imbalances in global knowledge production.

A colleague who is doing really important work training teachers to become researchers is Dr Marie-Annick Gournet.

Marie-Annick is working with sixteen teachers from the Bristol Global Majority Teachers Network to inform her research project ‘Transformative inclusive pedagogy’ and is looking primarily at four strands of education:

  • Globalisation of the curriculum – investigating the hierarchy of culture and how in the west we favour certain forms of knowledge over others.
  • Parental engagement – understanding how the legacy of different cultures can either be a positive influence on or a barrier to how people engage with education.
  • Leadership – understanding how the lack of representation for different cultures is linked to the high rate of teachers leaving the profession. This stream also investigates the link between staff experiences and mental wellbeing.
  • Community engagement – looking into the role communities can play when students experience a lack of diversity and how schools can better engage with external stakeholders.

Being part of the research group has strengthened my practice by providing an evidence base to underpin my work. It has lent credibility to our experiences as people of colour.

Vanetta Spence, Headteacher

Whilst this project focuses on teachers in primary and secondary education, each of these streams also has relevance for higher education. The last stream in particular will provide useful advice to the University on how we can broaden the scope of the groups we work with and tap into their expertise and knowledge to help inform pedagogy research.

We look forward to reading more when the findings are published in July 2024!

The funding for Marie-Annick’s project is provided by UKRI. If you are interested in carrying out research please contact

While we are celebrating Black excellence and looking at race in Education, we wanted to reshape this brilliant Zine made by one of our Student Fellows from last year, Evelyn Miller.

This Zine has an amazing collection of interviews, case studies and reflections from across the University and beyond. If you’d like a print version of this Zine, please get in touch with us.

Read the Zine here.

Lawrence Hoo and Chaz Golding founded the CARGO Movement in 2016. CARGO stands for “Charting African Resilience Generating Opportunities”.

The CARGO Movement illuminates the contributions and achievements of people of African and African diaspora heritage, through poetry, illustrations, art installations, videos and educational resources, telling the stories of people who have catalysed change and moved humanity forward.

Visit the CARGO Classroom website for information, inspiration and resources.

11 October 2023, 12.30-2 pm, Social Sciences Cafe, 12A Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TZ

Register for this event here.

Come and join our celebration and launch of the Universal City platform, a unique educational partnership between UoB and CARGO aimed at community engagement, social cohesion and reduction of prejudice.

There will be a short demonstration by CARGO and some refreshments will be provided.  

*Universal City has been produced by Lawrence Hoo and Charles Golding of CARGO with the support of Leon Tikly, Alvin Birdi and Marie-Annick Gournet. All of its content is produced together with Bristolians, including University students and staff and the communities of Bristol. 

Dominique Duff shares another case study from this Sociology unit and positive feedback about the unusual and authentic assessment.

Prof. James Norman shares the latest post in this series, reflecting on conflicting feelings about finishing his book and asks readers to comment on his precis.

Dr. Charlotte Verney shares some of the key insights from this event and where they might align with Bristol’s new Assessment Strategy.

We have published two more blogs in this inspiring series by Dr Christophe Fricker on Resonance Pedagogy.

Dr Patricia Neville shares the first in a two-part series looking at the use of metaphors for learning.

Are you doing something innovative or exciting with your large group teaching this year? Or even something relatively ‘normal’ but is receiving a good reception? We are looking to share good practice of large group teaching – get in touch with us if there’s something you can share with us!

We’re also always looking for case studies on:

  • Decolonising the curriculum
  • Assessment, particularly group assessment, inclusive assessment and engaging with the AI revolution
  • International students’ experience

Contact us at

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