Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives has been shortlisted for the community organisation award for race, faith and religion at this year’s National Diversity Awards – the UK’s largest.
Winners will be announced at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on 16 September.
The awards celebrate the achievements of people who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion – regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.
More than 20,000 nominations and votes were received this year, paying tribute to grass roots communities nationwide.
Founded in 1981, the Black Cultural Archives’ heritage centre is the first of its kind and its unique collection includes rare historical documents, photographs, ephemera, oral history testimonies and an eclectic range of objects dating from the second century to the present day.
The BCA’s new centre opened two years ago on Windrush Square in Brixton and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lambeth council.
The centre attracted more than 30,000 visitors in its first year and displayed three main exhibitions including Re-imagine: Black Women in Britain; Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s – 1990s, in partnership with the V&A Museum; and Black Georgians: The Shock of the Familiar.
Miranda Brawn, vice chair of the BCA, said: “The Black Cultural Archives have been working on increasing diversity, equality and inclusion, especially regarding race, within the UK for the past 30 years. We are delighted and very proud that our work has been recognised at the National Diversity Awards”.
Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the awards’ supporters include Stephen Fry, Adam Hills and Sir Lenny Henry. Another is British Olympic diver and television presenter Tom Daley who said the awards were “a celebration of the fantastic work within diversity, equality and inclusion” by positive role models and community organisations.
“Everybody who has been nominated and shortlisted is striving towards making society better for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, faith, religion, sexual orientation, or disability,” he said.
Paul Sesay, founder of The National Diversity Awards and the BEAM Awards, said: “The quality of nominations exceeds my expectations every year. This year was no exception, with a host of inspirational role models and community organisations nominated across the country.
“Those shortlisted should be extremely proud, you truly are all winners.”