On Friday 1st October, Owen Power and the charity BHA for Equality co-organised a Black History Month event in Pendleton.
Stalls and speakers provided health information and HIV testing for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Salford.
Mr Power, who has lived in Pendleton for 21 years, said: “It’s a visible event and it’s very important to get some attention and get conversations going.”
As a proud gay, deaf man, he actively campaigns for LGBTQ+ and disability inclusion in his community.
Three years ago, Mr Power launched a National HIV Testing Week, where he collaborated with the charity BHA for Equality (formerly the Black Health Agency) to promote the health and wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s BAME community.
Elisabete Miranda, a Sexual Health Advisor and Leader of HIV Testing for the charity said: “It’s definitely important to celebrate this event and to promote health because Black, Asian and other minorities are very affected by different types of health inequalities and different types of illness so it’s very important to have this day and to talk about it, to create awareness on how important it is to be healthy, and how important it is to be included in society.”
Mr Power is a resident of Pendleton Together social housing, who advocate for tenancy involvement based on the principles of Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (FREDIE).
Pendleton Together stated: “Salford is changing all the time and it is full of rich heritage with many different ethnicities and cultures all living in the same place.
“It’s important to promote important issues that reflect our country and Black History Month does this.”
Griot Gabriel from Ardwick used his own experiences with racism to write poetry, which he shared at the event.
With this year’s theme being Proud to Be, the poet expressed how Black History should be a year-long topic, not just for October.
He said: “What we need to make sure doesn’t happen is that the outrage and the anger is momentary, and we need consistent pressure, consistent education and ideally we need those in power to listen and to understand what’s going on.”
Thanks to his community work, Owen Power has been nominated for a Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Award for Tenant of the Year with Pendleton Together social housing.
Gareth Wilkinson, Customer Involvement Manager at Pendleton Together said: “His impact on Pendleton Together’s ways of working over the last 12 months have been significant but are upstaged by his tireless campaigning on issues right across the board.”
Mr Power stated: “Salford has been a great home for me and it must provide a safe space for people…We need to resist some of the current rhetoric and be welcoming, by all working together.”