Published on: 25th September 2019

An award-winning photographer is sharing the stories of Salford’s black, Asian and minority ethnic communities through an exhibition at The Lowry marking Black History Month.

Still I Rise celebrates black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) culture in Salford and tells the stories of some of those working in the city’s public and voluntary sectors.

The idea for the exhibition came from Salford’s BAME Mental Health Champions, a group of volunteers representing people in their communities – including African, Yemeni and Chinese – who work with NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group to act as links to mental health services in Salford.

Working with Salford’s Equality Partnership, the champions have co-produced Still I Rise with acclaimed photographer Allie Crewe, a University of Salford graduate and one of the winners of this year’s Portrait of Britain 2019 award.

Still I Rise will run throughout Black History Month (October) opening September 28 until November 3 at the famous Salford theatre and features 16 portraits including Raj Jain, Chief Executive of the Northern Care Alliance, which runs Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Councillor Wilson Nkurunziza of Salford City Council and members of the BAME Mental Health Champions.

Michal Alfred-Kamara, BAME champion, said: “I took part in this exhibition as I think it is immensely valuable to be able to see BAME leaders portrayed in all their complexity. The portraits show us showing our strength, vulnerability and joy and I hope the exhibition will spark a conversation about what it means to be a BAME leader.”

Raj Jain, Chief Executive of Northern Care Alliance, said: “Black History Month offers us the chance to celebrate the impact black and ethnic minority staff have had at our hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester. I am proud to display my picture at the Lowry and say a little bit about my own background and working in the NHS. I am from a humble family and my experiences growing up have driven me to work hard to achieve my career and aspirations in life. I am passionate about supporting fair opportunities for all, not just in the NHS, but in everything that we do.”

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the amazing people who bring so much to our public and voluntary sectors. Allie’s winning photo in the Portrait of Britain award was superb and I look forward to seeing the full exhibition when it opens to the public.”

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Along with the exhibition, the champions are co-producing an event with Salford CCG and Salford City Council to bring together communities and key agencies to celebrate Black History Month. The event will be held at Eccles Town Hall on Sunday, 20 October.

Pendleton residents will also be celebrating Black History Month on Saturday October 26 from 1pm to 3pm at Langworthy Cornerstone, Liverpool Road, Langworthy.

It’s a chance for community organisations to get together for food, dancing and share information about what’s on locally as they celebrate different cultures. It has been organised by Salford City Council, Pendleton Together and the UK Unity group. For more information please contact Marie Shields, Neighbourhood Manager, by calling 0161 6034091.

More information about Still I Rise, individual stories and photos are available here.

Edward Vitalis, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group.jpg