Project update: October 2020 - Black History Month

Hello all – we’ve had a whirlwind month at the Meeting House!

Firstly – our events programme this month has been fantastic and we want to thank again The Black Exchange, Alternative Fictions and our fantastic Events Co-ordinator for making this happen! During October we were in the extremely lucky position to still be able to host events in the Meeting House with a strict 40 person capacity (with COVID compliancy) so not only have we hosted engaging online events – but also in person too.

Take a look at some of the events that took place last month:



From the Black Germany exhibition (still on display online and in the Meeting House until January 2021 courtesy of Robbie Aitken – Sheffield Hallam and his wonderful research), to The Black Exchange‘s Black History Month takeover focusing on the arts and Black experience, to Alternative Fictions‘ wonderful film-focused events on inclusion and solidarity – it’s been a varied programme which shows the wide range of themes that are explored through the Meeting House’s history and legacy.

Next month there is more in store – from zine workshops from Grrrl Zine Fair to another Alternative Statue Tour from Hackney Tours. We’ll be updating you as soon as we can on the annual Richard Price Memorial Lecture and how that will be affected by the new lockdown rules.

On top of this we have been delivering weekly tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which have been really well attended – and we are so grateful to the wonderful volunteers who deliver these and have done a great job working on their scripts whilst the building was still under development. We would also like to thank the volunteers who help us open, keep us safe and welcome visitors to the building – we really could not do it without you.

Our work with local communities continues – and we work closely with Mini Kardes, through their amazing work with the local Turkish and Kurdish community. Amy, the project manager, teaches two groups of local parents English online every week and we recently invited some of these learners into the building to share the history of the building with them – and we are working on a Turkish translation of our guides so we can become more accessible for the local community.

Work with schools is difficult in the current circumstances – but we were fortunate to be invited to Woodberry Down primary school where we delivered assemblies on ‘How we remember history – discussing untold histories during Black History Month and engaged 720 learners (all of their y1-y6 cohort!). The learners were so mature and supportive of each other discussing recent events this year, like the death of George Floyd and how this has impacted how we think about our history.

And finally (because we can’t fit everything in!) you might have seen us in the national news this month! Thanks to the hard work of our Communications Manager – we were featured in The Guardian, Hackney Gazette and the BBC News!

Next month we will have more exciting news – and we cannot wait to see the sculpture to Mary Wollstonecraft finally on the green – thanks to the amazing hard work of the Mary on the Green campaign after 10 years!






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