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Black History Month Community Spotlight - Dion Holmes Johnson and Leon Turton (Youth Connect)

Dion Holmes Johnson and Leon Turton are both Youth Workers at Youth Connect.

Dion Holmes Johnson - Youth Worker


What does Black History Month (BHM) mean to you?

BHM means a lot to me, just the acknowledgement of the history and struggle of Black people and how we have in the face of adversity progressed to make significant contributions to society. I don’t think all communities embrace the month to learn from each other, which is a shame.


What does it mean to be Black and British?

I’m very proud of my background and culture, I was only more aware of the colour of my skin early on in life as I did experience some racism as a child. I now have a mix friendship group of all cultures and that is important in me truly understanding my culture and being able to share it with others.


Who inspires you?

My Grandma, she was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the UK, she told me she had to battle racism left, right and centre. Yet she still worked hard and contributed to community life with the Black Sisters. I remember fondly of her taking me to different churches every Sunday and the happy times she gave me.


What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

I hope in the future I achieve all that I dream about. I am gaining valuable skills and knowledge through my work and hope that I can pass that onto others especially younger people.

Leon Turton – Youth Worker

What does Black History Month mean to you?

BHM to me is really important because it means more than just Slavery, yes this is an important part of all history but for me, I like to focus on the positives of Black History and culture.


What does it mean to be Black and British?

I’m proud of my heritage and the contribution of Black people to British culture and British Life, we have made an indelible mark from music, sports, entertainment and let’s not forget the food.


Who inspires you?

My parents really inspire me as well as other important people that have made their mark, such as Michael Holding who is a famous cricketer and now commentator.


What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

That all other cultures learn, not just about Black history, but their own history and how we all connect as one humanity. At Youth Connect, we know the challenges that young people from all communities and backgrounds face and we share more in common than the differences we all have. My hope is that we can continue to bridge the divide and come together united for the future of all the people.

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