Black History, Book Festival and Conference on Bullying

October is Black History Month in Birmingham, with events that talk about the history of Black people in Birmingham and the rest of the world. Events include films, music, spoken word productions and exhibitions, whilst some are by invitation only most are open to the public. A booklet detailing events can be found at most public libraries.

This week (7th to 14th October) is also the Orange Birmingham Book Festival. Events include poetry readings, readings by authors and advice sessions from professionals in the fields of writing and publishing on how to improve your writing and get it published. Some events are free but most have an entrance fee.

Finally, this Wednesday sees the Dignity At Work Now (DAWN) AntiBullying Conference at Carrs Lane Church. DAWN is an organisation dedicated to fighting workplace bullying and the effects of such bullying (including deaths). Bullying is a common feature of contemporary office work life where managers use bullying as a substitute for good leadership to drive their staff, instead of motivating them, to achieve unrealistic goals. The Health and Safety Executive recently launched their “Watch Your Step” campaign to get people to report unsafe workplaces. It is quite common for bullying managers to attack or marginalise employees who raise health and safety concerns so concerns are not reported and injuries or deaths occur. In my own workplace an employee who recently raised a concern about stacks of paper blocking walkways has been subjected to two separate extra-procedural disciplinary actions on spurious and unrelated grounds.

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