Black History Month

An opportunity to remember and celebrate black history, heritage, culture and achievements.

Observed across the world, Black History Month in October continues to educate, inspire and motivate millions of people, whilst acting as a catalyst for change.

Here at the University of Surrey, our focus on Black History Month forms part of our far-reaching and long-term strategy to increase equality, diversity and inclusion across the board.

To mark this year’s Black History Month, we are pleased to invite you to several events.

Events and activities for students

Piano keys

Afropiano Night

Saturday 7 October, 11pm - 3am, The Basement

Get ready for a night of infectious rhythms that bring together the magic of Afrobeats and the vibes of Amapiano music. Brought to you by Nigerian Society and Afro Caribbean Society.

Hari's Challenge

Tuesday 10 October, 7 - 9:30pm, Hari's Bar, Students' Union

The Students' Union pub quiz, with a special edition to celebrate Black History Month.

Black Tech Fest

Wednesday 11 October, 8:30am - 7pm, Magazine London, SE10 0JH

Attend the 'Futures Day' of the Black Tech Fest in London with the Students' Union.

turned on projector

Movie Night

Tuesday 17 October, 6 - 10pm, Rubix, Students' Union

Showing Hidden Figures from 6pm - 8pm and then King Richard from 8pm to 10pm.

Exhibition Trip to South London Gallery

Wednesday 18 October, 1pm - 7pm, South London Gallery

The Students' Union are organising a trip to London South Gallery for the 'Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes Exhibition' as part of their Black History Month events.

Thursday Market BHM edition

Thursday 19 October, 9am - 5pm, Rubix and The Front Room

Every Thursday our Students’ Union is transformed into a foodie’s paradise and this week, you can enjoy the taste of food from a variety of places and cultures.

a woman with dreadlocks talking on a cell phone

Cornrow and Braiding Workshop

Wednesday 25 October, 10am - 2pm and 3 - 7pm, The Basement

The Students' Union will be running two cornrow and braiding workshops to explore different techniques. Tickets will be available on Tixtu soon.

man in tracksuit standing by the black metal pull-up door posing

Afro Hip Hop Dance Class

Friday 27 October, 8pm - 9pm, University Hall

Learn the basics of Hip Hop style and try a new form of movement in this dance class organised by the Students' Union.

person in white dress shirt holding white paper

Employability Event

Monday 30 October, 6 - 10pm, 03 MS 01

An employability-themed event hosted by the Students' Union.

Events for all

HOPE Concert

Sunday 22 October 2023, 2:30 – 5pm, Bellairs Theatre, Ivy Arts Centre

Join us for this special event when musicians and other artists from across our community will come together to look back on challenging times and ahead to a better future, together.

Dr Peter Olusoga: Stress and Burnout in High-Performance Environments

Tuesday 31 October, 4 – 5:30pm, 28 AP 02 Seminar Room

In this lecture, Dr Pete Olusoga will explore how performers experience stress, how stress can lead to psychological burnout, and what we can learn from high-performance environments about being better at prioritising our own wellbeing.

Jacqueline C. Stephen

The Role of Engineers in Sustainable Development

Wednesday 1 November, 12:30 - 1:30pm, AP3

Hear Jacqueline Chinwe Stephen, Future Energy Leader & STEM Advocate speak on National Engineering Day. Jacqueline is a distinguished Energy and STEM professional who has been a force of inspiration, innovation and leadership. She is dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility within the energy sector.

Events for staff and postgraduate researchers

The Diversity Book Club and BHM

Tuesday 17 October 2023, 1 - 2pm, online

The Diversity Book Club is celebrating Black History Month by taking a close look at the BBC's Small Axe, a British anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen.

Please contact Namy Yu via for a booking link.

Femi Adeyemi-Ejeye, Annette Aliu, Steve Elliott

Lunch event

Monday 30 October 2023, 1 - 2pm, 30 BB 03

The School of Maths and Physics is hosting its first Black History Month event. Come along and hear the experiences of Femi Adeyemi-Ejeye (Senior Lecturer in Video Technology), Annette Aliu (Registered Nurse, PGR in Health and Medical Sciences) and Steve Elliott (Counsellor, Centre for Wellbeing). Spaces are limited so please confirm attendance.

Food and drink offers

  • Try sustainably sourced Ethiopian filter coffee at Hillside Coffee for just £2.
  • Enjoy daily African and Caribbean inspired specials at Hillside Food Court between 9-15 October. From £5.50.
  • Sample the new "Dabney Punch" cocktail inspired by John Dabney at Wates House.

More opportunities

Meet other students at a club or society

There are over 160 clubs and societies to choose from at Surrey. They're a great opportunity to meet likeminded people and learn new skills.

Join the SEED Network for staff and postgraduate researchers

SEED is a safe space for staff and postgraduate researchers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to explore collective identity related to race and ethnicity.

Visit the Library pop-up

Join us in the Library with Kiara Kataike (VP Voice) and her team to take part in a “pop-up” book giveaway. Kiara will be popping up between 16 – 27 October to support the Black History Month display and celebrate this year's theme of “Saluting our Sisters".

students outside the library

Enter the National Black History Month Poetry Competition

The National Black History Month Poetry Competition is an opportunity to learn about and celebrate black women who have made significant contributions in various fields.

The competition is open to university students and requires you to submit a poem about a pioneering black woman who has made an impact in their chosen field, explaining why she is an inspiration to you.

Entries close on 15 November 2023.

person writing in notebook

Student support and advice relating to Race and Racial Discrimination

The Centre for Wellbeing (CWB) recognise the challenges faced by many students of colour and those from diverse minority backgrounds. The team the welcome the opportunity to provide specific support especially in matters of racial discrimination, harassment, overt racism or microaggressions.

You can find out how to access specific support for Race and Racial Discrimination on MySurrey.

Supporting and working towards race equality at Surrey

We are committed to ensuring that our institutional values focus on creating equitable opportunities and outcomes for minority ethnic groups at Surrey. We have developed and implemented an extensive action plan that includes a focus on a reduction of the awarding gap between Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and White students, and a comprehensive approach to improving race equality for staff and students.