Why: After gaining her PHD on the clothing practices of Black, Muslim women at the University of Sheffield, Azeezat dedicated her career to dismantling racist structures and illuminating the Black experience in Geography. Her research highlighted ‘Black geographies, home, intersectionality, care, gender and embodiment has had a profound impact within and beyond Geography.’
Other works to check out:
Are you supposed to be in here? ’Racial microaggressions and knowledge production in Higher Education
Why: The Hard Stop is undeniably a difficult watch. It explores themes around injustice and police brutality which many of us may be familiar with from our own daily experiences. Serving as an exposé and an opportunity for some to air their experiences and providing them a platform for testimony for others to speak.
Watch now on Amazon Prime.
Other works to check out:
‘Black Power: A British Story of Resistance’ (George Amponsah) Watch on the BBC.
‘Enslaved’ featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Afua Hirsch (George Amponsah) Watch on Amazon Prime.
‘One People: The Celebration’ (Dionne Walker)
Black Protest Legal Support ‘are a group of lawyers and non-lawyers who know that peaceful protests are a vital part of any democratic citizen’s political engagement.’ They provide legal advice and support to protesters in the UK. Alongside legal aid to those who cannot afford it.
BLAM is a community-interest company that aims ‘to promote a positive dialogue of social identity and culture through history’. Their school-based projects work with primary and secondary schools across London to ‘ensure the school curriculum is more diverse and reflective’ of African and Caribbean cultures and histories.
Why: Ife Thompson studied Law with Politics at the University of Sussex, where she founded The Unit society with the aim of uniting people around Black British identity and culture. Following this she has taken her knowledge and expertise to found a multi-award-winning charity and a successful legal-support organisation. The campaigner and advocate shared that she felt ‘compelled to give back’ and ‘no choice but to resist [state violence and anti-blackness] because it affects me’.
Stemettes mission is to ‘engage, inform and connect the next generation of women and non-binary people’ into the world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) with women and non-binary people being equipped to make ‘informed decisions’ about a career in the field.
Why: Imfiadon boasts a stellar academic career as the youngest girl (at aged 11) to ever pass an A-level in Computing, a master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oxford (at aged 20), 5 Honorary Doctorates and an Honorary Fellowship. Using her prodigal academic attainment, she has co-founded an award-winning initiative to help fellow young women and non-binary people break into the field of STEAM. Since inception 10 years ago, Stemettes has ‘exposed 60,000 young people across Europe’ to Anne-Marie’s vision for diversity and ‘balance’ in the science and tech community.
Other works to check out:
She’s in CTRL a guidebook for women to take back tech.
CECWA was co-founded by Waveney with fellow campaigners Jessica Huntley and John La Rose. The association rapidly developed into ‘the initiating and co-ordinating body of black education issues.’ CECWA published ‘How the West Indian Child is Made Educationally Sub-normal in the British School System’ by Bernard Coard.
Why: Bushell became the first Black educational psychologist in the UK and the first Black, female psychologist to be admitted to the Child Guidance Training Centre in 1965. Her observations of the abnormally high number if Black children being classified as ‘educationally subnormal’ led her to critique the fairness of IQ tests, their centring in white-European cultural specificities and the disadvantage it created for Black Caribbean children. Bushell continued her work on liberated access to psychological services into her retirement through her own consultancy service for ‘educational and emotional needs of black children in care’.
Check out her interview with the British Psychological Society here.
MOBO Awards was launched in 1996 and has since brought the celebration of black music to mainstream culture in the UK and globally. The ethos of the award show is to ‘encourag[e] young people to achieve not only their musical dreams but also their entrepreneurial ones,’.
‘DanceStar’ – the global dance music awards platform spans across 3 continents.
Why: Kanya studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College and became an MBE in 1999. In a job as a TV Researcher, she saw a huge gap in the lack of celebration of music influenced and inspired by black music in mainstream British awards ceremony. She mortgaged her house to fund the TV production herself when she could not get financial backing to elevate British urban music from being under the radar. In 1996 she persuaded Carton TV to broadcast the event. “With Kanya’s expert guidance, the MOBO organisation has established itself as a champion of diversity, inclusion and recognition for BME talent within music, culture, arts, fashion, media and larger society as a whole.”
Check out her keynote speeches here.
‘Mathematics and Language Diversity’ is a study, published in 2016, that ‘provides a broad critical survey of research on mathematics education and language diversity’.
‘Adopt-a-Learner’ is a non-profit organisation that ‘provides financial and educational support to students from township and rural areas to acquire higher education qualifications.’
Why: Mamokgethi’s production of world-famous research in the field of mathematics education has transformed the education sector. Her devotion to removing barriers to Higher Education has enabled and empowered some of the most underprivileged students in South Africa to gain qualifications in Higher Education. Phakeng’s own attainments in education includes 2022 Winner of the African Education Medal; becoming the first Black woman from South Africa to gain a PHD in Mathematics Education; being named the most influential woman in academia in Africa.
Setati, M.; Adler, J.; Reed, Y.; Bapoo, A. (2002). Incomplete Journeys: Code-switching and other language practices in mathematics, science and English language classrooms in South Africa. Language and Education, 16(2), pp. 128 – 149.
Duvas Technologies’ mission is to deliver ‘customers with services and product to monitor air pollution whenever and wherever required easily and rapidly around the world.’
Why: Richards studied Chemistry at university and undertook an Atmospheric Physics PhD at Imperial college. Being the only black student in his class it was important to him to remain true to himself. “My research has evolved from chemistry to physics and now includes lots of maths and computing.
I have a passion for physics and through my research I have managed to develop something real, something useful, but more importantly, something that helps me to improve the quality of life for my family by allowing them to see the air they breathe.
As well as teaching at Imperial College, I am a founding director of a company that is developing my research so it can be used in the real-world to map air pollution and hopefully make a contribution to our ﬁght against climate change. We are making devices that detect pollutants in the air and we use these as indicators of the quality of air.”
Watch Dr Richard’s story:
Gal-Dem’s ethos is ‘taking control of the way we are portrayed in the media is essential – but our end goal is not simply representation: our journalism and creative work can shape debates, shift discussions, create new ways of thinking and contribute to social movements.’
Why: Liv studied Politics and Sociology at the University of Bristol and after graduating turned her frustrations with the lack of diversity, and under-representation of people of colour, in the mass media into an opportunity to address this by platforming talented people with lived experience of being in that demographic. The magazine now has over 70 regular contributors and an audience of 170k followers on social media. She was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 women in 2016 and writes for the Guardian on topics such as intersectionality, asylum and women’s rights. Her debut novel Rosewater will be published in 2016.