Today's Community Champion

Sipho T Williams

Community Activist, Script Writer,Presenter, Filmmaker,Director, Motivator & Garvyite

Sipho T. Williams  is first and foremost a humanitarian and a determine community activist, social critic, writer and change maker who possesses an unquenchable desire and commitment to the social and economic well being and total upliftment of the African people both at home and abroad. From an early age Sipho wanted to work with people helping to make a positive difference in their lives. by using the media as a tool she hoped to reach many minds in the community at the same time. She decided to study film and television as this allows her to maintain her passion for writing ad well as serving the community. Sipho started her own independent film and theatre company some years ago hoping to employ and develop young (African) people's talents especially those who were/are failed by the system - this she hoped would also be a positive distraction from negative street culture.


Sipho also has a passion for promoting positive images of Africans (Black people) correcting general misconceptions and changing mindsets; this was the inspiration for the "Do for Self" monthly program in London - a positive, inspiring and uplifting space where Africans were encouraged to be constructive in all areas of their lives (education,training etc.) by utilising their talents and smashing negative stereotypes which had a positive impact especially for young people. Sipho was integrally engaged in community life working with young people of African descent in the diaspora and volunteering for community legal centres.  


Sipho sight one of her biggest challenges getting the true African stories/histories told globally. She using film because film has a wide scope therefore perfect medium to reach minds educating and educating all communities. She believes that by telling our factual stories Africans will have reasons to elevate themselves and distracting from gang and knife culture.


Sipho spearheaded Green Palm Club drop in centre for vulnerable people and spends her dpare time visiting isolated, lonely and disabled elders in need of help with shopping cooking cleaning running errands or just a little conversation.


Being African Caribbean her travels to Africa gave her the opportunity to experience and observe the culture relating and making comparisons between African, Black British and Caribbean cultures relating to the African race; helping to break down barriers or division thereforre unifies.


More Community Champions

Claudine Reid MBE


Claudine Reid MBE is a Director PJ’s Community Service

PJ’s Community Service is a social enterprise that provides care services for vulnerable adults, education services for young people and business training for entrepreneurs.

Based in Thornton Heath, London, the organisation employs a team of 40 and owns facilities that include five music studios, a nursery, office space and a dance studio.

Director Claudine Reid has served as a Social Enterprise Ambassador for the Cabinet Office and was named one of the Top 100 Most Entrepreneurial Women in the UK by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In 2008, Claudine was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the community.

Maxie Hayles

Community Activist, Author, Public Speaker, Mentor

Maxie Hayles is a name synonymous with the fight for civil rights, justice from racism and oppression. As the former chair of (BRAMU) Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit Maxie Hayles has made a remarkable contribution using his NGO status to ensure and promote free speech with effective strategies to instigate positive change within a number of fundamental institutions.

BRAMU's positive input was welcomed round the world and Maxie has been among keynote speakers at such prestigious events as the United Nations Convention (CERD) Committee for the Eradication of all forms of Racial Discrimination. Alongside other NGO's he presented a paper on the 'Exclusion of African Caribbean Pupils' held in Geneva in 2000 and on 'Deaths in Police and Prison Custody in 2003.

Maxie Hayles has over 30 years' experience of working with race and human rights issues. During this time he has worked as a mentor for the /west Midlands Probation Service, where he proved to be a positive role model for African Caribbean men caught up in the criminal justice system.

In addition he has also worked in schools as mentor to assist in the prevention of mass school exclusions and expulsions, primarily in African and Caribbean communities.

An avid supporter of the Stephen Lawrence Campaign Maxie has played within the inquiry process. After persuading Sir. William MacPherson and his inquiry team to come to Birmingham and provide an oral and written submission to the enquiry panel of BRAMU. For more details see the book, which featured Maxie's contribution, 'Hidden Stories of the Stephen Lawrence of Inquiry' by Dr. Richard Stone.Accolades & Awards

  • Winner of Community and Diversity Elders Award 2000
  • Winner of the Prime Minister Regional and National Active Awards 2000 for Building a fair and just Community
  • Lifetime achievement award presented by the civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson to Maxie Hayles for his outstanding work defending Human Rights and Race Equality, 2008.
  • Community Lifetime Achievement Award Winner February 2013

Stafford Scott

Race Equality Consultant

Stafford Scott was a co-founder of the Broadwater Farm Defence Campaign in 1985 and is now a Consultant on racial equality and community engagement. He is also project director of the Bernie Grant trust which has a broad remit to address disadvantage arising from race and ethnicity. It has delivered Community Leadership Programmes in several UK locations.

Sharon Tomlin

Family Historian

Sharon is a Family Historian and Genealogist , Tutor and facilitator with over 20 years experience of working within the wider community. Her passion for working towards strengthening communities is long standing.

She plays a leading role in the organisation  Routes Change. Routes Change  originated in 2007 as “Family History Jamaica”, a site that was created to share information on researching genealogy and family history for the community with either biological or non-biological connections and historical interest in Jamaica.This has been a passion for over 20 years that initially started with tracing her family history of which most of her ancestors originated in Jamaica, Africa and England.

Routes Change has evolved over the years as an organisation that offers research services in genealogy and family history as well as specialism in the field of Community Organising in the community.

Sharon is also involved with Sobus  whose networking supports voluntary and community organisations to share intelligence and build effective partnerships with each other and across sectors.

Jerome Harvey-Agyei

Senior Children & Youth Participation worker - Violence Reduction Unit (VRU)

Jerome Harvey-Agyei is a passionate and driven young man who has grown up in the care system from the age of 4 years old. Although he has been through many struggles like many he uses these experiences to reach out to the most disengaged and help to empower them to fulfil their full potentials (pain to positivity). Jerome’s core values are around ‘creative empowerment’, creativity is the hook and the empowerment is the message underneath it. He has run for local councillor to inspire young people to become leaders and came 3 rd, 

As well as spoken at various events, schools and companies at all levels to help spread the message of peace, Love and growth and is passionate about people, a phrase he most commonly uses is “It’s not about ME! It’s about US!” Jerome has also been featured on a variety of Platforms in regards to some of the work he has done. some of the platforms are; BBC three, BBC news, ITV London, Channel 4, Channel 4 news, Barnardo’s magazine, Waltham forest guardian, the national guardian, community care live, frontline campaign, Free your mind CIC campaigns and many more upcoming campaigns… He has been nominated for a number of awards such as ; Waltham forest council leaders awards, I make a difference, black youth achievements award and more recently BEFFTA (British, Entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts) and won Youth leadership award.

He is also Co- Founder of ‘The Tope Project’ The Tope are working on strategies to inject love into various systems such as the care, health and education systems to help bring back the meaning behind the work many do and help those who may not see beyond their circumstances understand their life potential. As well as put the relationships between children and service users and professionals at the heart of services. ‘The Tope project’ aka– volunteer run project – Supporting care leavers at X’Mas – Turning pain to positivity…… Providing a space on Christmas day for care leavers 16 -28, with food, games and lots of fun to help give young people positive memories and a amazing experience where normally they would be alone. Shine Fostering Young people’s Mentor 

Jerome currently works for a fostering agency, advocating for young people, getting involved in activities and helping children within shines care to have the best experiences through their care journey. He is a Learning Behaviour Mentor  which involves supporting staff & Young people to get the best out of the summer programme through empowerment and motivational tools , engage young people struggling or sorting out disputes. Also reigniting energy & Enthusiasm for 50+ groups, using games , empowerment and engagement activities. 

Jerome is also a Restorative Justice scrutiny panel member  which involves scrutinising the service delivery of a victim led restorative justice service to help future services related to restorative justice and its effectiveness. 

As an Advocate  for Barnardo’s, he is supporting young people under Child protection, in care, care leavers. - Helping young people understand their rights and entitlements - Supporting with complaints - Giving young people a voice within the processes Chairman- 

He heads an Empowerment Movement team where Jerome and some of his friends have come together to provide empowerment days and shows as well as opportunities for young people and support or collaborate with organisations aiming to do the same. 

Jerome's talents and energy are almost limitless. Other projects include  Masquerade 2000 carnival band -Touring  all around the UK & produce carnival costumes for Notting hill carnival. Being a Presenter/host/speaker JB Presenters As a host/speaker/presenter  For Ted Talks . Host for Streetlife radio ward shows.

As part of the Mayor of London Violence Reduction Unit he has overseen projects such as  the House of Parliament - One minute in May ‘against gun and knife crime’ - Waltham forest town hall - Crep City - Mo’chic launch event and run  workshops and assemblies at many schools - much more Artist management – Signature UK ltd –Supporting artist’s in development and management. Connected to many UK Artists and presenters within the music and radio, TV industry, Helping artists understand their journey Radio host for Don City Radio- ‘The Free Speech show’- Mondays 9-11pm Interviewing various people from all backgrounds to help Capture inspiring stories and help the listeners to learn from various people coming from a variety of backgrounds . 

On his journey he has had the pleasure of being invited to Buckingham palace and  on a separate occasion meeting President Barack Obama!! 

Jerome is now on a mission to open up an empowerment centre to help bring together all the skills, knowledge and people on his journey and then help to build an environment that creatively empowers people to go for their dreams and helps to grow amazing communities that nourish future generations to come . 

Bryan Hall

Chairman Peckham Town F.C.

Peckham Town Football club was established in 1982 by the then 13-year-old Bryan Hall. The FA finally relented after many phone calls from a young lad insisting he wanted to register a new football team. The initial name of the club was Brimington Park FC, and was named after the park that a group of friends used to hold kickabouts on every evening. This park is located off Colmer Road, SE15 and is now called Sparks. The only way was up after the team's first game - a 18-0 defeat in the U14 Mercury League!

By the end of 1982 the Jamaican Embassy had agreed to sponsor the team and it was decided that the club's name would change Drovers Athletic FC, as most of the players came from the Drovers Place housing estate. At the end of 1983 the team again changed its name by popular demand to represent the Peckham community to our present name - Peckham Town Football Club.

Peckham Town was solely a youth football team for around the first ten-years of its existence. There were teams from U10 upwards, and were a strong presence in the Mercury League.

Now over 35 years later, the Club is established in the Kent Senior League at Semi-pro level.Over the years Town have played all across South London, from Clapham Common to Belair Park in West Dulwich, but now have a permanent home at the Southwark Sports Ground in Dulwich.

Famous players who have pulled on the Town shirt include the Ferdinands, Rio and Anton, and Jason Euell.

Rishi Shori

Community Activist, Policy Advisor

Rishi Shori is the former Labour leader of Bury council. He was  the first ever BAME leader of a council in Greater Manchester and the youngest leader Bury council has ever had. He now works for Birmingham City Council.

In May 2017 he was appointed to Greater Manchester’s mayoral leadership for young people and social cohesion by the mayor, Andy Burnham.

He was first elected in 2009, and has held the portfolio of adult care, health and housing. Under his leadership, the council was ranked as having the best adult care services in the north-west.

Khareem Jamal


Khareem Jamal is the Founder and a senior lecturer of The School of Africology in Bromley, London, for the study of African history and phenomena, which seeks to provide African History and education that the school curriculum does not. He is a Co-Creator and musical director of the music play “Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame”. Also writer and director of “The Abolitionist” and co-director of “Whirlwind and The Storm”. And author of the recently launched play “The Voices of Black Folk”.

Jehangir Malik

Chief Executive

Jehangir Malik is the CEO of Muslim Aid, a faith-based British humanitarian charity, its work is governed by the social justice teachings of Islam, such as compassion, empathy, generosity and helping others in need. Prior to Muslim Aid in September 2016, Jehangir was Chief Executive of Olympic Legacy Charity International Inspiration. Before this, he was at Islamic Relief for 23 years, starting as a volunteer and working up to national fundraising director and after that he was its UK Director for six years. Jehangir engages with government departments and think tanks, by providing policy briefings and strategic engagement on international development and foreign policy issues. He has been on humanitarian missions around the globe in some of the most hostile environments. In 2010, Jehangir was awarded an OBE in recognition of his 20 years of contribution to the humanitarian cause. Jehangir is currently on the board of trustees at ACEVO, an Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, and The Runnymede Trust, a leading Race & Equality think tank in UK.

Tutu Agyare

Managing Partner

Tutu  is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Nubuke. Nubuke champions investment opportunities right across the African Frontier Markets.

Tutu Agyare has over 25 years experience in proprietary trading, investment banking, derivatives trading and business management. He was head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for UBS Investment Bank between 2001 and 2007.

He managed an emerging markets-focused proprietary portfolio between 1993 and 2007, including running the top ranked Institutional Investor emerging markets business for five out of the last six years from 2001 to 2007. Tutu began his career on the trading floor of the London Stock Exchange, trading derivatives for O’Connor Securities and has held proprietary trading positions covering UK, Europe and Asia, as well as EMEA. He has a BSc. (Hons) from the University of Ghana.

Chetna Patel

Private Secretary

Chetna is the Private Secretary to the director general, economic and consular affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Over the past ten years, Chetna has built a strong academic and professional foundation in the public sector. In her role at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, she has made a positive contribution to civil service reform and broadened her impact into the international arena, notably helping to coordinate the aid response during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year. She graduated in 2006 from the London School of Economics, and has previously worked at HM Treasury, and the Cabinet Office.

Mavela Daley


Mavela is Founder of Britain’s Successful Black Woman- the social (online) network. It was officially launched by Daley on the 20th of December 2009 from her uni halls room as a Cambridge student. The aim of the group was to add something more than the usual online networks such as Myspace and Facebook, Mavela said: 'to connect with black women in Britain and for us to feel as sense of unity as we were aiming to achieve our dreams and goals.'

Mavela, was the first of her immediate family to go to university, and graduated in Social Sciences and is embarking on a career in London. She was born in Montserrat and came to England in 1997 (aged eight) and grew-up in a close knit and supportive family of nine. Her mum, always helping people and advising friends on relationships and spirituality, is an inspiration for the website.

She is a charismatic Leader of BSBW, ‘Rising to Success Together’ together is the slogan.

Bobby Kasanga

Football Manager

Bobby Kasanga's wrong choices  led him to a prison sentence for theft. “I had everything going for me: college, football, I had a good part-time job. It should have been enough. I should have been leading a productive life. Instead I spent most of my 20s doing time.” He recalls.

 However he used his time productively to gain a degree via The Open University and when he was released  he wanted to make a lasting difference. So in January 2015, he established Hackney Wick FC. And, within three seasons, thanks to his tireless enthusiasm, energy and skill in accessing funds, the first team are playing semi-professionally in the Middlesex Senior League, there is a women’s team and the club have 250 junior playing members. By 2017/18,they played in the FA Cup for the first time and drew over 750 for a derby with Clapton FC. And their founder has ambition to climb much higher.

“I see AFC Wimbledon as our role model,” he says. “Twenty years ago, they didn’t exist. Now they are in League One with a new stadium planned. Given where we’ve got in three years, I can’t see why we shouldn’t be thinking of doing the same.”

The point about Hackney Wick, their founder says, is that they were not established as an ordinary club. They are ones with a message. This was a club set up to challenge the supremacy of crime, to give proper alternative to gang culture. By locking the club into the community, the intention is to address the growing dislocation between the youth and the mainstream where criminality festers. Thus everyone who joins has to guarantee to do a minimum of two hours a month voluntary work in Hackney.

“We have a collective ambition to represent our borough positively,” he says. “We’ve got more than 250 people playing for us. Yeah, maybe they’d be playing elsewhere. But when they come here we can try to deliver our message. And when it comes to being anti-crime, one thing I can do is point out I’ve been there. I know what I’m talking about.”

Beryl De Souza

Plastic Surgeon

Beryl is a plastic surgeon at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust and a honorary clinical lecturer at Imperial College.

Beryl De Souza has been actively involved in widening participation schemes at medical schools such as Queen Mary University, London, The Royal College of Surgeons of England and Imperial College. Not only has she carried out research and published widely in her field, Beryl has been a local Trustee at Enfield Racial and Equality Council for five years, using her medical expertise to implement and promote health projects in the community. She has recently been awarded the Health Service Journal - Black Minority and Ethnic Pioneer Award for her inspiring role for women in Medicine and Surgery.

Troy Townend

Education Manager

Troy Townend has a varied role at t Kick It Out. He leads on the Equality Inspires Programme in partnership with the Premier League. The workshops provide equality and inclusion education within the PL Academy Programme, from U9-U23, staff and parents/carers. 

His other other responsibility is the Raise Your Game {RYG} programme. RYG provides opportunities for people that want to work in the industry to be mentored, with the possibility of gaining work placement/job opportunities.The 8th National RYG Conference was recently {16 April} held at the Emirates, with top names connected to the game offering career advice to those looking to gain a foothold in the industry. The event is now the biggest mentoring event in Football, with a record 100 mentors from the game. In February, RYG Debate was born. The very first at Twitter HQ was ‘Solutions to the lack of Black Managers/Coaches. With the likes of Chris Hughton and Ramsey in attendance.Current judge for the London Football Awards and The FA Respect Awards.

Troy is a proud patron for Football Beyond Borders.In 2013, he was named as one of The FA's 150 Grassroots Hero's followed by a visit to Buckingham Palace to receive the award from Prince William. Recognised at The FA's 150th Gala Dinner. Privileged to make the draw for The FA Cup 5th Round, in 2014. Named on 'Football's Blacklist' in 2014& 2017. Behind the Scenes Award Winner 2018. 

Troy Formed S&T Academy in June 2010, for talented youngsters from deprived areas who needed guidance, mentoring & professional coaching. S&T Academy joined Redbridge FC in June 2014, to continue that development.

 As well as  academy side Redwood, he also managed non-league sides Cheshunt & Leyton FC, as well as being assistant at Boreham Wood, Dover Athletic & coach at Slough Town & Potters Bar.

Mohammed Abi Saleh MBE

Detective Constable

Mohammed Abi Saleh MBE is Detective Constable,CSE Team Lancashire Constabulary. Having completed his studies at Blackburn College, he joined Lancashire Constabulary as a Police Officer at the age of 20. He  worked as a Uniform Response Officer, then progressed to Detective within CID and the Public Protection Unit.  He since specialised in investigating domestic violence and child sexual exploitation, supporting the most vulnerable adult and child victims. 

In his free time, Mohammed volunteers for Abu Hanifah Foundation in Blackburn; a children's charity offering a number of community services including football, sports and scouting for over 400 boys and girls. 

He was awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for my services to Policing and the communities in East Lancashire. 

Dr. Karim Murji


Dr. Karim is based in the Sociology department at The Open University Milton Keynes, UK. He has written materials for courses in Sociology, Social Policy, Politics, Geography and social research methods. His Research interests are culture, ethnicity and racism, applied to fields such as race equality, policing, public sociology, and diaspora and identity. These interests are the reason why he is a trustee at the organisation Race on The Agenda. Contributed with its Transformative Justice Forum and offering his skills and qualities by building on and combining his academic expertise and previous experience. Contributing with his knowledge of the situation of BAME communities in London and Nationally, including the changing dynamics of ethnicity and racism.

Carol Lake

Head of International Markets

Carol Lake has worked for J.P. Morgan for over 10 years and currently leads the firm's corporate responsibility agenda for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). This includes direct management of the firm's sponsorship activities, all philanthropic grant making as well as employee engagement and community relations activities.She has held a number of management positions working in the UK, Australia and Caribbean, with her involvement in philanthropy dating back to her time in the Caribbean, where she set up a charitable fund to respond to extensive hardships resulting from two major hurricanes.In 2005 Carol served as a member of the UK Government's Expert Panel during the development of the Equality Review.  In 2008, she served as a member of the Expert Group during the development of the Children's Plan. In 2009 Carol became a Fellow of the RSA. Outside work, Carol is a passionate supporter of the arts and is a board member of The Young Vic Theatre and is Chair of Theatre Royal Stratford East.

In 2017,U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May tapped JPMorgan Chase’s Carol Lake to join the Race Disparity Audit Advisory group. The group is tasked with improving equality and opportunity across British society.


Afrah Qassim

Community Development Worker

Afrah Qassim is a Community Development worker, with a Yemeni origin, for Liverpool Primacy Care Trust as well as a charity worker dedicated to tackling domestic abuse within BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) communities to change attitudes towards DA and harmful practices such as forced marriage, ‘honour’ based violence and female genital mutilation, in charities such as Savera.

She has been awarded with the Merseyside Woman of the Year Humanitarian award for her outstanding contribution to protecting some of the most vulnerable and marginalised women in our local communities.

Asif Sadiq

Special Sergant

Asif is Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness for EY financial services UK. He joined this company as an Assistant Director and was previously the Head of the Equality Diversity and Human Rights Unity for the City of London Police. Working for the City of London police he worked at a number of different departments and currently he is a Special Sergeant. He has worked on a number of voluntary schemes to try to help people from the community, through this work he has received many awards including the Leadership, Enterprise and Citizenship Award, Lion Heart Business Challenge Award, Year of the volunteer Award and the prestigious Mosaic Award for mentoring. He has also won the NAMP Multi Faith Award, Police Officer of the Year Award, the Civil Servant of the Year Award and the prestigious Asian Professional Award. Asif was honored in the Queen's birthday honors list with an MBE for his services to Policing and the Communities. He is also a Freeman of the City of London. Asif is also the former President of the National Association of Muslim Police, an association that plays an important role in bridging the gap between the police and the Muslim Community.

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan

Writer, Spoken-word Poet, Speaker, Playwright

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a Muslim woman of Pakistani heritage from the UK. She was born in Bradford, raised and state-schooled in Leeds, graduated from a history degree at Cambridge University and master’s in Postcolonial Studies at SOAS.    Suhaiymah is a writer, spoken-word poet, speaker, playwright and founder of, a popular she started where she has written on topics including race, gender, Islamophobia, intersectional feminism and the decolonising of academia.     She has been featured in The Independent, on BBC Radio stations, ITV, The Islam Channel, TEDx conferences, festivals, US slams and UK universities. She is a contributor to the “Cut From the Same Cloth” anthology which will be published in 2018-19. Suhaiymah won second place title in the London Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2017 with her poem, ‘This is Not a Humanising Poem’ which subsequently went viral on the internet. All Suhaiymah’s activism is rooted in Islam.

Zita Holbourne

Trade Union Activist, Author and Artist

Zita is an award-winning, trade union, community campaigner and activist. She is also an author, visual artist, curator, poet and writer.

She studied art & graphic design at the London College of Printing and Watford School of Art. Zita has over 30 years of experience working as a graphic designer, illustrator & make-up artist and exhibits at a range of cultural, community & political events. She centres and creates political and cultural art exhibitions to challenge racism. She recently was one of the contributors to the Daughters of New Africa- an International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent Book by Margaret Busby.

She is also the Co-Founder and National Co-Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, elected to the ACTSA (successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement) National Executive Council and the Movement Against Xenophobia National Steering Group.

She is a Labour Party activist and was Co-founder of United Black Labour for Jeremy Corbyn.

Zita campaigns for Equality, Freedom, Justice & Human Rights through art, poetry and activism.


International Reggae Artist, Music Activist

Scratchylus promotes conscious messages in  his music and has appeared on many world stages including World stage Notting Hill Carnival UK, Banjul National Stadium Gambia,Bob Marley concert Trenchtown Jamaica,.One Love Festival UK    

He has addressed the TUC, has  been covered on ITV News and BBC, and Television Jamaica, discussing most of the issues that we face in these very challenging times. 

Scratchylus was born in London but has spent most of the last 7 years in Jamaica working very hard to produce a live Smash Hit album called Reset The Mindset Revisited with the likes of Earl Chinna Smith, Kiddus I, Errol Dunkley, Sizzla Kalonji, Bushman, Junior Reid, and Scratchylus daughter Empress Reggae. 

He has also very recently produced two 7 inch vinyl singles: 1. Sweet Child Precious Little Child, featuring Scratchylus' daughter Empress Reggae and the Legendary Rockers  movie icon Kiddus I (Graduation of Zion) .2. Woman Wants De Lovin With A Little Reggae starring the Melodic Scratchylus and the Inna De Yard musical band . Both of these songs were produced in Jimmy Cliff studio Kingston Jamaica.

Scratchylus  has toured the world including 40 UK Universities,Oxford University twice, London South Bank Uni, Birkbeck, UCL, Westminster University, Greenwich University Goldsmiths,University  Kingston University, Liverpool University and Manchester University, Lincoln University, Bath University, Reading University,Winchester University, South Wales University, Aberystwyth University, Glasgow University, and St Andrews University in Scotland.

Scratchylus adds:

"My consistency comes from really wanting to heal the fractured society. I am  planning  the 'Black History 365 Resetting The Mindset Tour'. The aim and goal of the tour is to raise awareness and provoke debate, so we can create an environment where we can begin to heal misunderstandings, perceptions, stereotypes, ignorance and fear  ."


Sonia Meggie

Diversity Advisor

Sonia Meggie is a Diversity Advisor based in London. She has supported and empowered women and ethnic minorities in the UK for over 10 years. She is the founder of Inspirational YOU, a uk based Social Enterprise that specialises in delivering empowering masterclasses and workshops for women, students and start ups.     Sonia works with senior leaders, management teams and the third sector organisations to create, implement and sustain change and improvement.    Her work has brought her many awards, she has been named as one of the Top 30 most inspirational women in the city by Brummel (Diversity Champion category) in 2015, also the BE Mogul award for being one of the most influential and successful black business people in Britain. 

Syed Khalid

Chairman for the Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre

Syed Khalid Miah Olid is a leading figure in the Bangladeshi community, acting as chairman for the Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre. He has  memories of the Liberation War, back in Bangladeshi before ending up in the  North of England as a refugee.

His organisation is open to all and providing space for other organisations to run their own activities, through running an efficient letting service and proving refreshments and equipment to support the activity taking place.

As well managing their own projects , the Centre supports the development of local social enterprises and providing advice to individuals and support to groups who use the centre

Valerie Dias

Chief Risk Officer

Valerie is the Chief Risk Officer and a member of the Executive Team at Visa Europe.

Valerie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants, and previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer from 1999 to 2006 at Visa Europe.

In March 2015, she was appointed Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Ipswich Building Society, and she chairs their Audit & Compliance Committee.  

Valerie is also a trustee on the Board of the Chartered Management Institute, UK and in June 2015, she stood down from being a trustee on the board of World Vision, a position she held since 2007.

Valerie truly believes that with her finance and risk background, she is well placed to use her relevant experience to ensure that Ufi VocTech Trust's decisions are made on initiatives with full and comprehensive understanding of the value of the proposals.

Marcia Rigg

Mental Health Activist

Marcia Rigg is the sister of Sean Rigg who died in Brixton police station in 2008. Marcia is a mental health activist and runs the Sean Rigg Justice And Change Campaign. She adds

"I Am Tired of Reports and Recommendations - What We Need Is a Culture Change in Attitudes Towards Mental Health

To mitigate these risks, we need better training for specialists, more mental health nurses in police stations and independent mental health advocacy available to patients. More fundamentally, we need to end the stigmatisation of the mentally ill. Our vulnerable loved ones need people who care both in the community and in state settings."

Joy Odili

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Joy  is a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon St George’s Hospital, London and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer St George's University. She also has admitting rights to the following London private hospitals: the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth (in St John's Wood), and Parkside Hospital, Wimbledon.

Joy has a special interest in general plastic surgery and skin malignancies. She is a member of the Government’s Melanoma Taskforce: an expert panel of skin cancer and melanoma specialists convened to develop strategies to tackle the rising incidence and mortality rates from the disease. My other special interests include aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the ear and breast, vascular malformations, and post-bariatric surgery. As part of her  day-to-day work, she  regularly participate in governance and audit, training of postgraduate junior doctors and medical students, as well as continued personal development. Joy is a mentor for 6th form students and teach them practical skills at the Royal College of Surgeons. She is also mentor female medical students interested in a career in surgery.

Marlon Palmer

Managing Director

Marlon Palmer is dedicated to personally supporting young people and leading from the front to seek better educational opportunities for within the community!

The “Kush Film Club” was eventually re-launched in 2004 as the Kush ‘Film Boutique’ at the Prince Charles Cinema in London West End’s, an area Marlon always wanted to see black film titles up in lights! It was here Kush organised a UK exclusive screening of the Oscar® winning film ‘RAY’ to a near capacity 400 people. Marlon then went on to take Kush screenings to a new home at the prestigious Odeon Cinema in London’s Covent Garden once again, in the heart of central London. Kush members were some of the first to see films like: Ray, Coach Carter, Bullet Boy, Beauty Shop, The Four Brothers, Hustle & Flow & Crash. UK distributor Pathè then hired Kush to organise a specialised & targeted urban marketing campaign for the release of the fantastic Oscar® winning film ‘Crash’, this included Designing, Printing & Distributing 50,000 Promotional Flyers, Designing a mini Crash website, Organising an Exclusive Screening and After-Party, Online PR & Promotions & offline ethnic Press Advertising.

The Kush Film Club celebrated its 20th Anniversary in October 2018.

Magnus Djaba


Magnus is the CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon UK Group and  leads the ongoing transformation of the agency, expanding the services we offer our clients and ensures we are focused on creativity and business results. Formerly the MD at the start-up Fallon London, one of the UK’s most awarded and best known creative agencies, Magnus was responsible for creating groundbreaking campaigns including Cadbury ‘Gorilla’, Skoda ‘Cake’ and Sony ‘Balls’. He was appointed UK CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in November 2011 and promoted to CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon UK Group in April 2014.

Rioch Edwards-Brown

Social Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, Founder So You Wanna Be........

Rioch Edwards-Brown, mother of four, started So You Wanna Be In TV? after her son was shot and stabbed while in school. She didn’t want revenge and reached out to the community to give something back. Social Entrepreneur, Diversity and Future Talent expert in TV, Tech & Creative, Rioch is a new breed of influencer, leader and agenda-setting Gen Y / Gen Z consultant for C-Level management. So You Wanna Be In TV? is a disruptive social enterprise, addressing the lack of diversity, social mobility & skills gap through talent pipelines, campaigns and consultancy to future proof industry. Over 2,700 financially disadvantaged young people have benefitted, 68% of those mentored entered industry. 

Based on her successful model, Rioch launched So You Wanna Be In Tech? in 2016 and recently So You Wanna Be In Creative? So You Wanna Be In Law? will start in 2018. Sponsors include: NBCUniversal International, Sony Pictures Television, Tech London Advocates, The Guardian, Creative Skillset, ITV, BT Sports and Promax UK. 

Rioch says, "The answer to the lack of diversity lies in the community. Is TV ready for the new 5 billion online audience? We engage decision makers at the top of TV, tech and creative companies to change the way they recruit at the bottom.’ 

Rioch was a speaker and moderator at MIPCOM 2017 and WPP Stream Greece. She won the ‘Hero Of The Year’ at the European Diversity Awards 2015, Entrepreneur Of Excellence’ at the National Diversity Awards 2014 and is one of Computer Weekly’s 50 Most Influential Women In UK Tech 2017. Rioch is a Tech London Advocate (TLA), member of TLA Createch and TLA Edtech. She has over 100 media appearances for the BBC, ITV, Sky, Newsnight, Woman’s Hour and printed press.

Muhammad Madani

TV Presenter, Iman

Muhammad  Madani  is a Bangladeshi-born British television presenter and Imam. He is best known for presenting on Islamic programs on Channel S.

Madani was born in Khulna, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). In 1994, he graduated with BA (Hons) Arabic Language and Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Madinah. In 1995, he completed an MA in Arabic and in 1999, an MPhil from Dhaka University, achieving first-class honours in both. In 2008, he completed a PGCE from Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently studying for a PhD.

Madani is Principal of Jamiatul Ummah Secondary School and sixth form, and presents weekly prime time show Islam Essentials on Channel S.

Since April 2002, he has served as the Khatib of Darul Ummah Mosque in London..He is also Chairman of Global Aid Trust and Executive Member of Da’watul Islam.

Harinder Singh Pattar OBE

Head Teacher

Harinder   is Headteacher at The Heathland School in London and in June 2017 was made an OBE for services to Education.

Born in India, Mr Pattar moved to Hitchin at the age of five and attended Hitchin Boys' School until 1972.

After studying at London School of Economics, he completed his teacher training and has remained in the profession ever since.

He was appointed deputy head at Heathland, now rated outstanding by Ofsted, in 1988 and took over the headship in 1996.

Thanks to for the above information

Chris Sibia


Chris became a writer after having gone through events that caused him to turn his life arround, making him decide that he would encourage the next generation to do something positive and different instead. He has written “A product of mi environment”, which is an autobiographical book, as he thinks is important to tell your own story. He has put up a Publishing House, London’s Finest Distribution, to allow other potential authors express themselves. He is also an Inspirational Speaker and Mentor to many underprivileged in his community working closely with several charity organisations. 

Jackee Holder

Leadership Coach

Jackee Holder, based in London, is an executive leadership coach, reflective practitioner and a published author of “49 Way to write yourself well”, “Soul Purpose” and “Be your own best life coach”. She works nationally and internationally with teams and individuals and has supported and contributed to the development of hundreds of individuals to enrich and transform their lives. Jackee loves training coaches and offering one on one and team coaching. She really enjoys her work supporting writers and creative entrepreneurs and also encouraging reflective writing and journalism for women leaders.

Ibukun Olashore

Chief Executive

Born in Nigeria, Ibukun Olashore, now based in London, is the CEO at OBAC, organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans.     The organisation where she is CEO since its creation, was founded in 1988 by a group of visually impared African and Caribbean people and became a registered charity in 1994. The charity was set up to offer services to primarily people with sight loss from black and  ethnic minority backgrounds, and over the years they have included people with other sensory and physical impairments.    Her main duties include organisation development, strategy and fundraising. Her special compromise with disability, equality, diversity and human rights, have driven her to address the importance of these issues through public speaking numerous times throughout her career.

Michelle Hua

Writer, Speaker, CEO

Michelle Hua is a public speaker, writer, Founder & CEO of Made With Glove Ltd, a UK wearable tech start-up designing fashionable heated gloves for women. She is the Manchester Ambassador of Women of Wearables, a global organisation that supports, inspires and connects women in wearable tech, fashion tech, IoY AR and VR.    She regularly speaks with passion covering many topics at corporate events and universities in the UK. She also participates and moderates panel discussions.     She also delivers practical wearable tech workshops for university students and for girls and young women to inspire them to chose a career in STEM. Part of her volunteer work also includes being a mentor at Inspiring the Future, a UK national program that connects employers to students in schools and colleges to help them along their journey to a job, career or educational route.

Elizabeth Pears

Freelance News & Features Writer

Elizabeth Pears is a freelance news and feature writer based in London. She studied journalism at Brunel University and she has been a new editor for The Voice, Britain’s only black newspaper, and currently she is the website’s News Editor for BuzzFeed UK. She has also contributed to the Power List, an annual magazine profiling the most influential black people in Britain.She specialises in news editing, features editing, managing people and digital platforms, breaking news, feature writing, court reporting, race in Britain, criminal justice and young people.

Cllr Muhammed Butt

Leader Brent Council

Cllr Butt – born at Central Middlesex Hospital and a former pupil of Oakington Manor Primary School, Alperton Community School and Kilburn Polytechnic, has been a Councillor for 12 years now.

In 2012, he replaced the former leader of the Council, Ms John and said " “To be the leader of Brent Council is an honour. I’ve grown up here and the people I care about live here. I want to deliver the best for everyone."

Brent Council is one of the largest Councils in London and home to the iconic Wembley Stadium. It is also running one of the largest regeneration programmes in Britain with a focus on improving the homes and social environment of the poorest areas in the Borough.   


Sandra Brown-Pinnock


Sandra Brown-Pinnock is an entrepreneur and owner of Xsandy’s a Uk’s hair extensions brand and retail chain that is raising the bar within the Afro hair and beauty world. Being the only female, African-Caribbean retailer in South East London, she is using her business as a tool to empower other within the community to embrace enterpreneurship.     For over 15 years she worked in mental health care in te public sector. After that, moving to the private sector, she opened a social care organisation to facilitate the rehabilitation of mental health patients back into society. During eight years managing eleven homes, her role was instrumental as consultant to senior commissioners and placement officers, enabling them to assist thousands of clientes towards complete independent living.     In 2008 she embarked on a new journey manufacturing a successful line of hair extensions. Noting the lack of product knowledge she turned into a business woman and opened her first retail store.    She has recently won “Business Start-Up of the Year” and shortlisted for a “Precious Award”. Sandra hopes that sharing her experience will encourage others to embark on an entrepreneurial journey impacting positively the economic and social status of the community at large. 

Funke Abimbola

Solicitor,Public Speaker

Funke Abimbola MBE is a solicitor, working as the general counsel and head of financial compliance for Roche UK. She has a Nigerian origin. She studied at the Newcastle University where she obtained her law degree and came to Nigeria in the mid- 1990s to sit for Nigeria Bar examination, after that she has developed her career mainly in the UK. Abimbola is a public speaker and a multi award-winning solicitor. She is one of the most senior black lawyers in her field, she is ranked as a top 20 BAME leader globally according to the financial times, one of the most influential leaders of African/Afro-Caribbean heritage in the UK on The Powerlist and the most influential black lawyer in the UK on the Debretts 500 list for 2017.    Outside her day job, she works as a volunteer in the area of education and fundraising for cancer research, also as a diversity campaigner, mainly focusing on campaigning for more gender equality, race diversity and social mobility across UK society with a specific focus on the legal profession.


Founder British Black

Kwaku is the founder of British Black (BBM), the Black Music Congress (BMC)(,which have been running for more than fifteen years, and the British Black Music Month (held in June). He works all year-round promoting events, he is a familiar and supportive face at gatherings held by other promotors and organisations.    Kwaku is a key player on the Black British entertainment scene, having become an expert at music business for his encyclopedic knowledge of all things musical and historical pertaining to the African and Caribbean diasporas and also for his undeniable passion for connecting and uplifting people. 

Kwaku also often holds lectures and events around Black History and recently wrote an open letter to the British Government regarding the historically incorrect recognition of the arrival of HM Windrush in England. He points out that the ship arrived in Britain on June 21 (spent the night mid-stream on the River Thames) and came in to dock at Tilbury Docks on the morning of June 22.  A retired Historian from the British Library confirms the date of arrival was 21st June. A small detail perhaps but historically,  history should have recorded that the HM Windrush arrived in Britain on June 21 1948.        

Indu Deglukkar

Consultant Cardiac Surgeon

Indu is a consultant cardiac surgeon, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Indu decided to become a cardiac surgeon at the age of seven; now she is one of just five consultant cardiac surgeons in the UK. She specialises in high-risk aortic surgery and is the lead surgeon for the innovative TAVI service. She has also performed cutting-edge, award-winning research in gene therapy and myocardial revascularisation in the US. Her main aspiration is to make the University Hospital of Wales a National Referral Centre for aortic surgery.

Trishna Bharadia


Trishna Bharadia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008. Since then she has worked tirelessly to help and support others with MS, putting aside her own health issues to help raise awareness and inspire others with the illness. She has worked particularly hard with the Asian community, being an editor of the Asian MS quarterly newsletter, where she feels the disability is often hidden away and discriminated against, as well as with young people diagnosed with MS. She writes for MS and disability-awareness magazines and speaks at local events and also at large pharmaceutical conferences about MS. 

Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin

Education Project Director

Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin is an Education Project Director at Cambridge Development Initiative. She is a young woman who is already accumulating a set of achievements in various fields.   At just 16, she was the youngest ever shortlisted candidate for a Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize. At school, she created a science blog called “Darwin’s Beard”, making current research accessible for young audiences and inspiring students to science. For this she’s been nominated by Intel for a WISE Girl award for inspiring young women in science.    She is also an elite violinist and soprano singer, having played with Chetham’s Symphony   Orchestra, performing in masterclasses with Nicola Benedetti, Viktoria Grigorieva and Madeleine Mitchell. Currently she is first violin at the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra    She has also worked in Tanzania for two months as an Impact Evaluator for an International Education Charity, having been appointed project director for the next trip. She has also been named as one of The Independent's 'female groundbreakers of 2017'

Toyin Agbetu

Community Activist

Toyin Agbetu is a British African social rights activist and founder in 2000 of the Pan-African group Ligali. 

Agbetu emerged on the international stage on 27 March 2007, during a Westminster Abbey church service held to recognize the 200th anniversary of Great Britain's Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807.. Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance at the commemorative event, which marked the British government's decision to end the Atlantic Slave Trade, although slavery in British colonies would continue until 1834. In a dramatic display, Agbetu slipped past security guards at the 2007 service and strode into the open area in front of the church altar, standing three metres away from the queen and shouting that the service was an insult to those of African heritage. In subsequent interviews he called the service a self-congratulatory exercise for those who promote oppression and those who continued to prevent the social and intellctual freedom of oppressed peoples. As reported in major media, he yelled at the queen: "'You should be ashamed. We should not be here. This is an insult to us. I want all the Christians who are Africans to walk out of here with me!'" He was wrestled to the floor by security guards and removed from the church. Subsequently, a storm of media interest erupted, much of it negative. The Crown Prosecution Service advised that no charges be brought against him. Agbetu himself later explained in The Guardian what happened from his perspective: I was moved to make a collective voice heard at the commemorative ritual of appeasement and self-approval marking the bicentenary of the British parliamentary act to abolish what they disingenuously refer to as a "slave trade". The "Wilberfest" abolition commemoration has eradicated any mention of resistance, rebellion and revolution instigated by millions of African people. ... I stood up with my arms raised in a gesture of nonviolence and said "Not in our name" to Dr Rowan Williams, who was attempting to lead the congregation, which included a number of African people, to their knees to beg God's forgiveness for slavery. I went to the Queen and said that in the history of the Maafa, the British are the Nazis - but where the Germans had the humanity and humility to apologise and make reparations for the Holocaust, she, in not doing so, shames not only herself but her nation. I then turned to Tony Blair and told him he ought to feel ashamed for his behaviour. Blair quickly averted his gaze. The rest of what I said was directed to the members of my own community who were present. I don't believe it was right for us to have remained in a venue in which the British monarchy, government and church - all leading institutions of African enslavement during the Maafa - collectively refused to atone for their sins. Then a gang of men attempted to drag me out through the back door on my knees. I strongly asserted that I would be walking through the front door, on my feet, as an African. 

From late 2007, Agbetu wrote a weekly column called "Nyansapo" for the New Nation newspaper, and in 2009 started a weekly interactive community radio program called the Pan African Drum. He is also the author of publications that include Ukweli - A Political and Spiritual Basis for Pan Africanism (2010),Revoetry - Poems from an African British Perspective (2010) and The Manual: The Rules for Men (2002). Having founded in 2000 the Ligali Organisation, with the aim of challenging negative media representations of the African British community, Agbetu in 2010 resigned as the head of Ligali to become its curator-administrator. while continuinges to strive for a Pan-African voice for the oppressed. Ligali is described on its website ( as "a Pan African, human rights focused, non-profit voluntary organisation. We work for the socio-political and spiritual empowerment of African people with heritage direct from Africa or indirectly via African diasporic communities, such as those in the Caribbean and South America."

 Among Agbetu’s additional initiatives are "The Stuff You Should Know", a project aimed at informing young people of their rights, the "No N Word" campaign (focusing on stopping the rampant use and negative reclamation of the "n word" in media and social institutions), and support for establishing a national "African Remembrance Day".

Ratna Dutt OBE

Former Chief Executive (Retired)

Ratna Dutt, OBE  now retired, has dedicated her life to social work, specifically her social work has been aimed to achieving race equality. She had led the Race Equality Foundation in London for nearly 30 years, she has been a qualified social worker and chair of adoption panels.  Her field of expertise has been developed not only around race equality, but specially in the social care field. She has authored and co-authored several articles and publications in the field of social work and black communities. Her experience in generic and specialist social work have include advising on policy implementation of services to black and ethnic minority families.

Zanaib Atta

Financial Crime Compliance Manager

Zanaib Atta  is a London based Financial Crime Compliance (FCC) professional with Financial Services industry experience focused on maintaining FCC frameworks to support risk mitigation and a culture of FCC risk awareness.    Besides her financial experience and daily job she pursues other passions, having held a range of roles at various charities. One of such roles is as Chief Operating Officer at “Career Masterclass” where she supports the aim of giving women and BAME professionals a fighting foot by organising events and Masterclasses to improve and interpersonal skills. She is passionate about fairness and equity issues faced by women and BAME proffesionals in the workplace. She has been recognised for her hard work and dedication encouraging diversity and inclusion, being rewarded with the WeAreTheCity “Rinsing Star Award” in the banking category. 

Comfort Nsek

Trainee Solicitor

Comfort Nsek is a Nigerian born Trainee Solicitor specialising in Employment Law. She is also a popular Afro hair blogger and stylist. Comfort is passionate about seeing individuals and businesses achieve their objectives, having decided on a career in law since she was 10.     As an African woman with afro hair, she is often asked why she chooses to wear her hair out in a profession that may not be tolerating with it. This is exactly the reason why she decided to share her experience via social media, to remind other women that they can be themselves and be appreciated for the skills they bring to their industry. Coming from a family of Hair stylist she has been taught by her mother since she was a child and now she enjoys sharing her skills. Comfort also finds time to network, do charity work, mentor, travel and do photography.

Dr. Joan Myers OBE

Associate Director for Health Services & Chief Nurse

Joan Myers OBE is one of the UK’s leading children’s nursing experts and a BAME pioneer

She has helped to set up and develop several community children’s nursing teams in different parts of London and she became the first and only nurse consultant for community children nursing in 2003. In this role, she set up the first nurse-led eczema clinic in Islington so children would not have to wait for several months to see a dermatologist. 

Joan passionately believes in influencing change believing that It is  important to be sitting round the table where decisions are made so that she  can influence change positively for BME people. As  the only BME person on the Panel for NICE (National Institute for Clinical Health Effectiveness) guidelines for Eczema, she was able to influence the recognition in the guidelines the fact that children and young people from African, Asian or Caribbean backgrounds are likely to present with their skin conditions differently to Caucasians.

Between 2009 and 2011, Joan was seconded to the Department of Health as an advisor to the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England . She was instrumental in ensuring issues pertaining to BME staff and patients were raised and dealt with. In this role, Joan  led the review of Mary Seacole Scholarship Awards, which offer mentorship and development to BME nurses. And between June 2012 and March 2017, she chaired the CNO BME Strategic Advisory Group, which meant she was able to represent and ensure the voices of BME staff and patients were heard in the NHS.

In the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 2013, Joan was awarded  an OBE for services to children and nursing.

Smruti Sriram


Smruti is co-founder of The Wings of Hope Achievement Award and CEO of Supreme Creations.

When she was 18, Smruti set up The Wings of Hope Achievement Award (WOHAA), a national social-enterprise scheme for secondary-school students. Nine years on and the scheme - supported by members of the House of Lords and luminaries from the BBC, Saatchi & Saatchi and Clifford Chance - has attracted more than 25,000 students from over 400 schools across the UK, raising awareness and funds for education projects for underprivileged children in India and Malawi. Smruti is currently CEO of sustainable packaging company Supreme Creations.

Shane Ryan

Social Activist, Wrter

Shane is a British social activist, writer and currently the chief executive of Working with men since 2010, a charity supporting men and boys in the UK and also secretariat for the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) On Fatherhood. He is best known for his work in highlighting the plight of less affluent boys in the British education system and teenaged fathers in the UK as well as speaking nationally about support for unemployed young men and his work related to fathers and families

Chrisann Jarrett

Policy Advisor

Chrisann Jarrett, based in London, has recently become a policy advisor. She is also the founder of an equal access to higher education campaign called “Let Us Learn”.     She decided to create this campaign after being forced to take a gap year because her immigration status prevented her from being eligible for student finance. “Let Us Learn” was created with the aim of changing the secondary legislation that prevented young ambitious migrants from starting their degrees. Her campaigning efforts  and work with barristers and lawyers led to a change in the law which has benefitted to hundreds of young people.     Chrisann continues to campaign in order to broaden access to higher education, working full time on her Let us Learn campaign. Her efforts have already been widely recognised, she was shortlisted for a Liberty Human Right Award in 2015, named Young Woman of the Year 2015, Number 1 Future Leader by the Powerlist Magazine 2015/2016.

Sabbiyah Pervez

Communities Reporter

Sabbiyah Pervez is a Communities Reporter based in Leeds. She always had a passion for politics and local community, which made her start blogging and writing whilst at University. Having spent her summers in Kashmir she can confidently speak from the perspectives of two cultures.     She started working as a Broadcast Journalist for the BBC in 2014, giving her the opportunity to share her insight on stories ranging from grooming in Rotherham, to terrorism to election campaigning.     Currently she is a communities reporter and aims to serve the diverse settled and new emerging communities of Yorkshire. Finding, recording and sharing the stories of those who are part of our vast and changing society. Uncovering the issues that affect these communities and empowering them to tell their own stories through her.     Sabbiyah has three young children and juggles this with her continuing role as Communities Reporter at BBC Look North. She has been awarded for her work, with the Rising Star in Media award at the British Muslim Awards in January 2018.

Sangeeta Waldron

Public Relations

Sangeeta Waldron is a Public Relations Professional based in Enfield, London. Her career started writing speeches for a previous UK Prime Minister and Ministers, after that working at the top level with big, powerful global brands like the Economist Group, Cabinet Office, Times, Mayor of London and Cass Business School, including Charities such as Breast Cancer Campaign and Victim Support.     In 2009 she founded Serendipity PR, where she works with high-profile brands and organisations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She has been appointed to the Women In Enterprise Taskforce and was until recently chairman of Alternatives, London’s leading conscious well-being organisation.    She has also been a contributing editor for an international news platform, Justmeans, where she wrote on women and children, sustainability, climate change, social enterprise and social entrepreneurs. 

Nathaniel Peat

Social Entrepreneur and International Motivational Speaker

Nathaniel Peat is a social entrepreneur and international motivational speaker based in London. Nathaniel is co-founder of Gennex Solar, which provides innovative renewable energy products in Africa. He is also founded at age 25, the nonprofit organisation “The safety Box”, which uses training and development programmes with the aim of reducing youth violence and helping young people develop important skills. He is a regular television and radio commentator on youth and education.     In 2007 he was the first double award winner of the Enterprising Young Brits Awards awarded by the former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Peat was listed on the Courvoisier Observer's Future 500 Next Generation List in 2009. He was a key organiser and speaker of the first Youth Jamaica Diaspora Future Leaders Conference. In 2011 he became the first UK Future Leader Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board member to the minister responsible for Diaspora Affairs within the Jamaican Government.  In 2011 Peat received the Alumnus of the Year medal from Brunel University for outstanding achievement. Later that year he received the London Peace (DREAM) award at City Hall from former London Mayor Boris Johnson. In 2013, Peat was invited to become a fellow (FRSA) and was the winner of the UPF Youth Achievement Award.    Peat was honoured in June 2015 by Kings House where he received the Governor General Award for Excellence from Sir Patrick Allen. In 2016 he was listed in the Upstanding 100 Powerlist published by the Finnancial Times, recognised as an influential BME executive across the US, UK and Ireland. In 2017 he was listed in the UK Black Power List, 100 EMpower List published by the Financial Times and BAME Top 100 Board Index List. In 2018 he was invited to become a fellow of St George House, fellowship of leaders at Windsor Castle and was listed in the EMpower 100 (Ethnic Minority Power) List published by the Finnacial Times.

Yasmeen Sariff

Children's Services Manager

Yasmeen Sharif is a Children's Services Manager working mainly in the area of West Yorkshire. She has a Bachelor’s degree on Applied Social Studies and also a diploma on Social Work, having also certificates on Management and Mediation.    The main areas she focuses on are: assessment and court work, child protection and safeguarding work, direct work with children who have experienced abuse, business development and bid/tender writing, early years, managing duty and advice work with south asian families, parenting and relationship work, intensive family support work, family support work in children's centres and within a prison setting, work with key stakeholders and service development work, contract management and monitoring.    She is also a Trustee at Healthwatch Kirklees, an independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the community in Kirklees in relation to Health and Social Care. Also a Trustee at Healthwatch Calderdale, an independent charity with the aim of representing the views of children, young people and adults to the people who deliver and design health and social care services.

Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi

Director of Afghanistan and Central Asian Association

left Afghanistan with his young family in 1999, and in 2001 he established the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association of which he is Director. He wanted to help other refugees, so he began organising cultural events and day trips for the Afghan community in London. Since then, the organisation has flourished and developed into a vibran organisation working to free refugees and newcomers from the isolating feelings which can come with migration.     Dr. Nooralhaq Nasimi is also CEO of the European Campaign For Human Rights for the People of Afghanistan (ECHRA), where he is responsible for its strategic direction in Afghanistan and UK, managing projects with up to 7 NGO partners in the UK, EU and Afghanistan, paying special attention on the promotion of human rights in Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora.

Temi Mwale

Social Entrepreneur, Educator and Campaigner

Temi Mwale is a social entrepreneur, educator and campaigner from London, England. She has been actively seeking solutions to some of the worlds most pressing issues since she was 16.     Temi is the founding director of “The 4Front Project”, a youth-led social enterprise with the aim of empowering young people and communities to live free from violence. She has created an intervention program that empowers young people to find a new path.     Her work has been recognised through many awards, being one of the youngest change makers to be recognised by Forbes Magazine, featuring in their annual list as one of the Top 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs in Europe.     She is passionate about building platforms and using film, photography, music and other creative forms to captures and showcase the resilience of marginalised communities. 

Vanessa Vallely OBE


Vanessa Vallely OBE is an entrepreneur based in London. She is the founder of leading women’s network, job board and website, “WeAreTheCity” and “WeAreTheCity Jobs” which serves an audience of over 200.000 women each month in the UK and India. She also co-founded the UK wide diversity network, “The Network of Networks” (TNON) which includes the heads of women’s networks from 125 FTSE firms.    Vanessa’s experience is borne from a 25 year corporate career predominantly in IT and banking operations.  Vanessa had previously held roles such as Head of Business Management, Head of Governance as well as Chief Operating Officer in IT for a leading bank. For her corporate career and contribution towards female empowerment she has been recognised by a number of award bodies.     Having also judged over 20 different awards she now runs her own annual awards programme through “WeAreTheCity” which celebrates the achievements of women under a senior management level. Vanessa also sits on the board of Cancer Research “Women of Influence”.  Vanessa left her corporate position in 2013 and now dedicates her life to her family, charities, social enterprises, youth initiatives, speaking engagements as well as for running her own enterprises. 

Toks Okeniyi


Toks Okeniyi is a consultant and currently she is the head of UK Programmes and Operations at FORWARD, a charity that works primarily with women and girls of the African diaspora communities to tackle the practice of FGM in the UK through community engagement, youth activism and advocacy.     She is a persuasive communicator, innovative, with strong personal integrity and reputation for exceeding expectations and making things happen. She serves as a catalyst for change with a commitment to improve efficiency and adopts a systematic approach to problem solving and effectively analyses results and implement solutions. She has worked effectively with people from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds and communicated ideas in clear and easy to understand terms. 

Suki Sandhu


Suki Sandhu is a recognised expert in talent, diversity and inclusion. He is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of two businesses, Audeliss, a recruitment company and INvolve, a motherbrand sitting above OUTstanding, EMpower and HERoes, membership initiatives working respectively across LGBT+, ethnic minority and gender diversity. Through these companies he aims to make a difference by being a destination for diverse talent and the choice for clients wanting to improve the diversity of their leadership teams and boardrooms. With INvolve he delivers events, through leadership and advisory services, helping firms drive cultural change and create more inclusive workplaces.   His work has brought him awards such as “Innovator of the Year” at the 2013 European Diversity Awards and he was also named 64th in The Independent’s “Rainbow List”. He is also a Stonewall Ambassador and supports many charities including The Albert Kennedy Trust and Outright International.

Pamela Hutchinson

Head of Diversity

Pamela Hutchinson is a  based in London with more than 20 years of expertise in the subject matter across the globe from an strategic as well as an operational perspective.     Cited as one of the most respected thought leaders and vocal advocates for diversity within the private sector, she provides a pragmatic and engaging narrative which is inspiring for action leaders as well as for employees. She partners closely with HR and business leaders to facilitate the integration of Diversity and Inclusion into people and business processes and practices.     She has been awarded for her work numerous times, in 2014, she was a awarded a spot on Timewise’s Power Part Time List. The same year she was recognised by the Black British Business Award as a Financial Services Leader Finalist. In 2013, the European Diiversity Awards named her as an Inspirational Role Model of the year finalist.

Bijal Majithia

Business Change Manager

Bijal Majithia, based in London, works as a Business Change Manager, with a focus on diversity and inclusion. As the Hindu faith representative for EY she hosts regular events with the network as well as collaborative events with other networks.    Bijal is the Director and founder of Veda London, a non-profit organisation which shares mindfulness, meditation and wellbeing in the workplace. Veda London has attracted leading speakers on topics related to living a more spiritually focused lifestyle, having grown fast through its multiple events across the city.     She has also won an Award for her on going project “Food for the Mind, Body and Soul” in which she leads a team of 100 volunteers to serve various charitable and community projects across the UK and India. There include cooking for and feeding 9 homeless shelters, supporting an abandoned animals sanctuary, spending time at dementia care homes, collecting toys for Great Ormond street Hospital, helping at a sanctuary that serves autistic children and adults and building care packages for the homeless.    Bijal also project leads an experience she created recently called the ‘Veggie Steady Cook’ experience which aims to educate people on the benefits of a healthy and conscious diet.

Jiten Patel

Head of Equality, Diversity and Information Rights

Jiten Patel, based in Harrow (UK), is a Head of Equality, Diversity and Information Rights at The Open University. He has made a significant impact on the education sector through his passion for diversity and inclusion.     Jiten designed and delivered an outstanding Leadership Mentoring Programme for minority groups at The Open Univerisy, and is course Author for their Centre for Continual Professional Learning and Development. Additionally Jiten has specialised in ‘Positive Action’ and mentoring, and delivered pioneering diversity training to all staff at the National College for School Leadership. Jiten developed the cutting edge ‘Aspire’ programme for BAME staff, which due to its phenomenal success was extended to reach out to staff with disabilities.     An incredible amount of endorsements showcase Jiten as a perfect example of a diversity champion. “Highly commended” for his work in the 2016 and 2017 Excellence in Diversity Awards and Winner of the 2015 Excellence in Diversity Awards “Diversity Champion of the Education Sector”.

Afia Ahmed

Presenter, Writer and Researcher

Afia Ahmed is a presenter, writer and researcher based in London. She graduated with a degree in BA History, and is currently studying for a Masters at King’s College London on Education, Policy and Society.    Her areas of interest include Religion, Education, Social Mobility and Current Affairs. She has been an Undergraduate Research Assistant to PhD Candidate and Lecturer at the University of London researching into international Human Rights law, and the law of Armed Conflict.     Currently she is a researcher and presenter for the Islam Channel, providing weekly discussions on issues facing women, and political developments around the globe. Also a Secondary History Trainee. She dedicates the rest of her time to his one year old and writing on, a project created to represent muslim women. 

Keshav Singhal MBE

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Keshav has an interest in minimally invasive techniques like keyhole surgery, and needle fasciotomy for Dupuytren’s contractures. He regularly presents at Chair sessions at various conferences and has a research interest in hip biomechanics. Keshav has invented patented instruments for hip resurfacing surgery.

Omar Khan


Omar Khan is Runnymede's Director. Prior to this he was Runnymede's Head of Policy and led the financial inclusion programme.

Omar's other advisory positions include chair of Olmec, chair of the Ethnicity Strand Advisory Group to Understanding Society, chair of the advisory group of the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, Commissioner on the Financial Inclusion Commissionand a member of the 2014 REF assessment, the 2011 Census, and the UK representative (2009-2013) on the European Commission’s Socio-economic network of experts. Omar was previously a Governor at the University of East London and a 2012 Clore Social Leadership Fellow.

Omar is the author of Financial Inclusion and Ethnicity; Caring and Earning Among Low-income Caribbean, Pakistani and Somali People; Who Pays to Access Cash?; Why Do Assets Matter?; A Sense of Place; and The Costs of ‘Returning’ Home.

Omar has also published many articles and reports on political theory and British political history for Runnymede for over a decade and has spoken on topics including multiculturalism, integration, socio-economic disadvantage, and positive action. These include giving evidence to the United Nations in Geneva, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, academic conferences in Manchester, Oxford, Paris, and Warsaw, the CRE Race Convention, the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, a Treasury/DFID conference on remittances, St George’s House (Windsor Castle), Wilton Park, and many other engagements in the UK and Europe.

Omar completed his DPhil in Political Theory from the University of Oxford, a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Rajesh Agrawal

Deputy Mayor of London ( Business)

Rajesh Agrawal is the Deputy Mayor of London for Business. Born in India, Rajesh moved to London in 2001. As an entrepreneur he founded RationalFX in 2005, and Xendpay in 2014, both companies utilising technology to reduce the cost of international money transfer for businesses and individuals. 

Rajesh is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for young people. He was appointed Chair of Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme in 2015 and has been a Patron of the Prince’s Trust for many years.

As Deputy Mayor Rajesh aims to be a strong voice for London’s business community, protecting jobs and growth, and ensuring that the capital remains the most open and attractive place to do business in the world.

Rewati Prabhu

Principal Consultant

Rewati Prabhu is Co-founder and Board Member of Jagriti Yatra. Alongside working as a principal consultant at Pell Frischmann, a London-based engineering consultancy, Rewati is one of the driving forces behind Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day national train journey across the length and breadth of India. By inspiring young girls from small towns and villages in India to take part in this national journey - and by crafting a full curriculum of experience, securing sponsorship and setting up a women’s leadership network to support them - she has awakened their spirit of enterprise. As a direct result of Rewati's efforts, the Yatra has produced more than 290 startups, creating jobs in the smaller towns of India.

Mira Vyas OBE

Senior Executive Officer

Mira Vyas is  Senior Executive Officer for the  Universal Credit Programme at the Department for Work and Pensions and was awarded an OBE in the Queens 2017 New Years Honours List for services to Welfare and the community in London. 

Miraben has worked for the DWP for 33 years.She was described by colleagues as a “stalwart” of the Barnet community, known for founding a breakfast and after-school club in the area to help new parents get back into work.

Patrick Reid

Managing Director

Patrick Reid is an Award Winning Social  entrepreneur and Christian, Patrick Reid, runs PJ Community Services alongside his wife Claudine Reid.PJ’s Community Service is a social enterprise that provides care services for vulnerable adults, education services for young people and business training for entrepreneurs.

He also led in the creation of the Paxton Academy, a primary Free school which opened in September 2014 in Thornton Heath. 

Indhu Rubasingham MBE

Theatre Director

Indhu Rubasingham, MBE is an English theatre director and the current artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, London.

Born in Sheffield to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka, Rubasingham was educated at Nottingham Girls' High School after which she studied drama at Hull University.

Soon after graduating Hull University, she won an Arts Council Bursary to work as an assistant director at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, where she assisted director Mike Leigh and worked on a range of theatre from pantomime and musicals to new writing plays. She then went on to work as an associate director at the Gate Theatre, the Young Vic, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Freelance directing work includes productions at the National Theatre (in 2015 Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Motherf**cker with the Hat as part of Rufus Norris' inaugural season, West End, the Royal Court (including BelongDisconnectFree OutgoingLift OffClublandThe Crutch and Sugar Mummies), Almeida Theatre (most notably Ruined), Chichester Festival Theatre (including Secret Rapture, Romeo & Juliet, and The Misanthrope), Hampstead Theatre, Birmingham Rep Theatre (including an adaptation of the Ramayana for Birmingham Rep which went on to perform at the National Theatre), Liverpool Everyman, Theatre Royal, Stratford East and St Ann's Warehouse, New York. She has also worked in Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Uganda and India.

She has also directed radio plays for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3 and the BBC World Service.

Indhu Rubasingham succeeded Nicolas Kent as Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre in 2012. Rubasingham's inaugural production was Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti, which won an Evening Standard Award and a Critics' Circle Award the play is based on the story of Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello on a London stage in 1833.

Rubasingham directed Moira Buffini's Handbagged at the Tricycle Theatre in autumn 2013, where it won an Olivier Award for 'Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre' and transferred to the West End in 2014 with a subsequent National Tour in 2015.Handbagged was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

Other Tricycle productions directed by Rubasingham include Paper DollsThe House That Will Not StandMultitudesA Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes and The Invisible Hand.

Other awards include the Asian Women of Achievement Award and the Liberty Human Rights Award.

In 2017 Rubasingham directed Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino for the National Theatre, which opened in February, starring Kate Fleetwood.Also in 2017, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hull.

Faron Alex Paul

Anti- Knife Campaigner

Faron Alex Paul runs an informal knife amnesty, offering people vouchers if they hand their weapons into him to give to the police.

He is contacted by people via Instagram and meets them, often alone, to do the handover, before going to police.

The 31-year-old never hands over the details of the person who has given him the weapon, but gives his own details to police. He calls himself a "daddy by day and a vigilante by night".

He told Sky News what motivates him.

"Everybody wants to know why I do this - I do it because I have kids and I want them to live long and happy lives.

It's dangerous work so I try to protect myself with a stab proof vest and I normally have a friend and my dog with me, too. But you never know.

But every time I take a knife off the street I am probably saving a life and stopping someone from going to jail. To me that is worth the risk. I'm trying to help build a better future for the next generation and a situation where local communities don't need to live in fear.



Stella Bell-Gam

Spoken-word Artist, Radio Presenter

Stella Bell-Gam is a Spoken Word Artist a radio presenter and a writer based in London. Her goal is to connect with people and shift mindsets by shattering constructs built up within a normalised culture. Primarily through Spoken Word. She is fully embraced to her African roots and heritage and these are the impulse to awaken minds to break free from ideals that she considers that limit the expansion of society. Her artwork is focused on making those marginalised people central to their written story.  

Her projects include the use of multi media, a mixture of poetry, photography, film dance and music.     Her first Directed Poetry Film “Beauty Wears Many Masks” uses the spoken word of Stella to talk about how beauty has been constructed by the white men of Hollywood and sold to African women as an impossible idea. The work is to be seen as an empowerment tool as women wake up to recognise their strength which has been dormant for a long time. 

Elaine Joseph

Youth Worker

Elaine Joseph started working with children and young people in 1977 in Sierra Leon. She returned to England in 1979 and since then she has worked with young people on the Stockwell estate in South London. She is part of a team of youth workers who ran activities and counsel young people on the estate.

Patricia Gallen

Assistant Commissioner

Patricia is one of  Britain’s most senior police chiefs and is the highest-serving ethnic-minority female officer and  first joined the Met at constable level in 1987 and spent time at the National Crime Squad in London.

She has 30 years experience and joined Merseyside Police in 2006, serving under Bernard Hogan-Howe, who was the then chief constable before becoming the commissioner at the Met.

Gallan leads Scotland Yard’s specialist crime and operations, spearheading the fight against gun crime, homicides and high-harm and high-profile crimes. She sits on the Met’s management board of senior leaders and is a key adviser to the commissioner, Cressida Dick.

Sheldon Thomas

Gang and Serious Crime Youth Violence Consultant

Sheldon Thomas is the Founder and Chief Executive of Gangsline. An inspirational and pioneering individual, Sheldon has an unprecedented insight into gangs through his own experience as a leading gang member in the 1970s. He now dedicates his life to engaging directly with gang leaders and members and using a ‘no holds barred’, yet spiritual, approach to changing young people’s lives.

Sheldon is hailed as a leading expert in gang culture and is both an advisor to the Home Office and New Scotland Yard on gang culture and violence, and to Trident which is a specialist unit dealing with black-on-black gun related crime. Sheldon regularly sits in on the Home Office round table discussions and has contributed to the Home Office ‘Ending Gang Violence’ Strategy (2011). He also currently provides strategic and tactical advice to the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Newham on gang-related activity, and informs on cross-border issues for the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

Anntoinette Bramble

Deputy Mayor

Anntoinette Bramble is a  Deputy Mayor and also the Cabinet Member for Children Services, Young People and Education at Hackney Council. She has been a councillor in Hackney since 2010.  She led leading on a programme for  Improving outcomes for young black men part of the Windrush roundtable 70th celebrations and legacy discussions. As well as being a volunteer at the homeless shelter scheme at St John’s, Anntoinette chairs the Achievement and Attainment committee.

She is also Labour London Regional Representative for the Local Government Association, trainer for and member of the Labour Women Network and Governor at two local secondary schools. 


Sharon Thompson


Sharon Thompson is a Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council. She has a wide experience working with local communities, it began with a voluntary position with a local residents association. She became the first tenant to gain work experiences with Optima Community Association, followed by full time employment at its housing office. Her passion for community engagement and social justice has led her to many opportunities.     She talks on radio, at events and seminars often, mainly discussing community engagement and public life, speaking honestly to a range of audiences.    Previously employed by Birmingham City Council, she was the youngest member on her team to manage community buildings. She secured from this position various pots of funding, mentored local groups, led and engaged in collaborative work on community cohesion, consultation and research projects. After this she has gone onto becoming a magistrate and community leader with an active role in politics, becoming a Councillor for North Edgbaston Ward. 

Yewande Akinola

Chartered Engineer

Yewande (pronounced Yeah-wan-day) is a chartered engineer, an innovator, a dreamer and speaker with tons of passion for the role of innovation, creativity and engineering in our world today. She holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Innovation and Design for Sustainability from Cranfield University. Yewande’s engineering experience and responsibilities include the design and management of sustainable water supply systems in the built environment. She has worked on projects in the U.K., Africa, the Middle East and in East Asia.  

Over the years, Yewande has demonstrated her passion for innovation within the engineering industry by taking on the challenge of steering award winning ideas from concept right through registration to manufacture. Her interests in developing countries and emerging markets have inspired her work with charities and non-government organisations towards the development of clean water and sanitation solutions for the world’s underdeveloped regions. She combines her Engineering career with media work and has presented engineering programmes for TV- Discovery Channel, Channel 4 and National Geographic in addition to contributing roles in Radio. 

Yewande has been awarded the U.K. Society of Public Health Engineers’ Young Engineer of the Year. She won the 2012/2013 the U.K. Young Woman Engineer of the Year (Institute of Engineering & Technology) and has been honoured with the Exceptional Achiever Award by the Association for Black Engineers (AFBE-UK) and the Association of Consultancy and Engineering, U.K. (ACE). She was named one of the UK’s top 35 women under the age of 35 by Management Today in 2013. In 2014, She was won the PRECIOUS AWARDS Outstanding Woman in STEM award.

With thanks to for the above biography.

Ranjit Banwait


Ranjit Banwait is the Labour leader of Derby city council. He was elected as the first minority ethnic leader of the council in May 2014.

Banwait was elected as the councillor for Boulton Ward in 2006, and is Derby born and bred.

He describes himself as the proud son of Indian immigrants who settled in Derby in the 1960s, tracing his roots back to sugar-cane farmers in the Punjab. He was the first person in his family to go to university.


Onyekachi Wambu


Onyekachi Wambu was born in Nigeria in 1960 and arrived in the UK after the Biafran war. Educated in London and at the universities of Essex and Cambridge, he has worked as a journalist since 1983. He has worked extensively as a journalist and television documentary maker for the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS. A respected broadcaster and commentator on African affairs, his commentary has appeared on the BBC, CCTV, Voice of America, Press TV, TVC, and the Guardian.    Onyekachi is also the Executive Director at the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), a charity that seeks to enhance the contributions that Africans in the diaspora make to Africa’s development.  The charity is a pioneer and innovator in the field of policy and practice of ‘diaspora and development’. AFFORD’s advocacy work has contributed to UK an international recognition of the role of the diaspora in international development, and in the subsequent initiation of new policies, programmes, funds and schemes.     His book publications include “Empire Windrush: Fifty years of writing about Black Britain” and “Under the Tree of Talking - Leadership for Change in Africa”.

Dr Yana Johnson MBE


Dr Yana Johnson, based in London is an entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Yana Cosmetics, a cosmetic brand which specialises in multi ethnic makeup for different skin tones, for it she has been honored with an MBE for services to Cosmetics.   She also has a company, Yana London, which is a Social Enterprise that encompasses her passion for empowerment, the creative sector, public speaking, mentoring and pioneering, working with individuals and businesses  to brand themselves, identify their strengths and to achieve their goals.    She has achieved many business awards for her work and also for other vocational goals, sucha as Music Technology or songwriting. Besides her business career she also engages in Christian Mission work in her spare time and delivers the same passion to people who are less fortunate. 

Faisal Abdu'Allah

Artist and Barber

Faisal Abdu'Allah is a British artist and barber. His work includes photography, screenprint and installations.

Abdu'Allah was born Paul Duffus in 1969 and grew up in a Pentecostal family. He was educated at Willesden High School, Harrow School of Art, Central St Martinsand the Royal College of Art. In 1991, Abdu'Allah reverted to Islam and changed his name. The event was described in the BBC television documentary seriesThe Day That Changed My Life and formed the subject of the artist's 1992 work Thalatha Haqq (Three Truths). He taught at the University of East London(UEL), formerly North East London Polytechnic. He was a visiting Professor at Stanford University and is a member of the Association of Black Photographers. In the spring of 2013 Abdu'Allah was an invited scholar and artist at the University of Wisconsin, on the recommendation of Professor Henry J. Drewal, who coined the term 'sensiotics'. In fall of 2014 Abdu'Allah returned to Wisconsin, this time as a faculty member in UW-Madison's School of Education where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department.

Gwenton Sloley

Founder and Director of Crying Son's

Gwenton has worked in the Housing sector as a specialist in relation to the housing of ex offenders, victims of serious violence ,vulnerable young people and their families for over 10 years. During this time he became involved in the professional development of fellow professionals in related sectors through his training and books.For example,Gwenton has provided training and capacity building support to over 900 members of the Police across the Country to boost their capacity to work with vulnerable young people.   He has made a point of remaining rooted in the communities he serves which he believes this continued engagement has greatly contributed to the effectiveness of his work. 

Gwenton is recognised as having saved more lives in the community through his interaction and engagement than any other individual working in the violence sector over the last 10 years. The Home Office have recognised his amazing achievements in monetary terms by stating that he has saved the tax payer approximately £42,500,000 during that period. This figure is reached because the estimated cost  of a single murder investigation is approximately £1.700,000 . His intervention and support by preventing the loss of  life over the time he has been working has  not only prevented a loss of a life but has  saved many families and communities the devastation that impacts following such a loss.  


Perseverance Magaya


Perseverance Magaya is an entrepreneur, based in Southampton and founder of Ladies Let’s Talk, a talk show with the mission to bring restoration to all women. Ladies Let’s Talk is a movement created to empower, educate, motivate, inspire and transform women.     She is an aspiring motivational speaker, talk show host. She is passionate about women empowerment and she is very active on her social media platforms, and through her movement with Ladies Let’s Talk she tries to address the situations women may be overcoming in silence, creating a support network.

David Shosanya


David Shosanya is a reverend who has been Regional Minister and Director of the London Baptist Association since 2003. From his position, his main duties include encouraging and supporting churches in their community engagement, community development, civic life and mission activities.    He is the founder and director of The Ministers Appreciation Ball, which offers a series of premium bespoke events to create opportunities for churches, para church agencies, charities and individuals to express their appreciation of staff. He also founded in 2009 “The State of Black Britain Symposium”, an annual conference that creates the space for dialogue between all sections of African and Caribbean communities across the UK.     David Shosanya is a public speaker and works on strategic relationships mainly facing religion and race issues, also writing articles for magazines such as "keep the faith”. 

Keeley Stamp

Primary School Teacher

Keeley Stamp studied Applied Social Science at the University of Humberside and then completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of The West of England. Keeley has good expertise in curriculum development, lesson planning, classroom management and educational leadership. She passes on this knowledge being part of the advisory team at Axis Educational Trust, a registered charity which aims to provide high quality, coordinated affordable supplementary education to school pupils in the uk. At this organisation she works as a teacher mentor and a supervisor at its Tuition Centres .

Morenike Ajayi

Senior Finance Executive

Morenike Ajayi is a Senior Finance Executive with proven experience in Strategic financial management and planning. Currently she is Assistant Director of Finance and Procurement at a London Housing Association, here she makes transformational changes and contributions to the organisation. Apart from her day job, Morenike is passionate about developing and seeing others excel in their chosen career. Mentoring several candidates, she recognised that many were being held back from higher aspirations, largely due to a negative mind-set and ineffective work ethics. Identifying the gap in the marketplace has compelled her to create “Career Nuggets”, a social enterprise aiming to bridge this gap, which she uses to show others how they can successfully navigate through and up the career ladder.     For giving back so much on top of her day job and specially for her impact within the BAME community she has received an award as a positive role model for “Race, Religion and Faith” from the National Diversity Awards. 

Junior Smart

Team Leader

Junior Smart is a team leader and founder of the Southwark Offenders Support (SOS), a project which aims to turn young criminals and gang members away from crime.    Over the past number of years with support from St Giles he has led the SOS Project to expansion and developed dynamic approaches to working with not only young people but communities as a whole. This has led to a dramatic decrease in re-offending rates, from nearly 1000 clients they have served just 20% have been recalled compared against the national average of 75%.     His passion working in the field of education, training and youth work comes from his own personal experience with the justice system, which has made him determined to help and inspire young people caught up in negative cycles to find positive and constructive ways to rebuild their lives. He works to transform misconceptions of young people criminalised and marginalised in society by developing new approaches, teaching and supporting methods that create a positive social impact.  

Cynthia V Davis


Cynthia V Davis is the co-founder and CEO at “BAME Recruitment Ltd”.The aim of “BAME Recruitment Ltd” is to help organisations to better reflect our diverse society.    After studying to be a fashion designer, she went into the recruitment industry, having observed the shortcomings regarding diversity and inclusion of this industry, 18 years later she founded her own recruitment company. She has a thrive to help organisations become properly diverse and inclusive.     Her work has been widely awarded, having won the 2017 Entrepreneur award given by “We are the city”, Influencer of the year 2018 from “International Divas of Colour Awards” and the Professional Business Women of the Year 2016 fro “ZIWA AWARDS”

Craig Pinkney

Criminologist, Urban Youth Specialist, Lecturer

Craig Pinkney is a Criminologist, Urban Youth Specialist, Lecturer and a Director of “Real Action UK” a charitable outreach organisation based in Birmingham which specialises in working with disaffected youth. Academically Craig holds a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Development, PG Cert in Teaching and Learning, a Master’s Degree in Criminology and he is undertaking his PhD in Social Science.     Craig has over 14 years experience as an outreach worker, transformational speaker, gang exit strategist, mediator, mentor and filmmaker. He is well known for working with the cities most challenging young people, potentially high-risk offenders, victims of gang violence and youth who are deemed as hard to reach.    Through mentoring, discussion, advocacy, sport, media, film and faith based interventions, he believes giving a platform to young people car raise attainment and help to promote positive social change.     He also lectures full time at University College Birmingham, specialising in youth violence, urban street gangs, extremism, trauma and black men’s desistance, and is part of the EU Gangs Project.

Dr. Patrice Baptiste

Medical Doctor

Patrice Baptiste is a London based medical doctor. She is currently trying to become a General Practitioner (GP).     Dr. Baptiste is also a freelance writer, she has written for the British Medical Association (BMA), the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the Support of doctors Network, among others. She also contributes regularly to GP online discussing topics pertaining to GP training.     She has also written non-medical articles on her own website and for the Black History Month website (BHM), the Waltham Forest News and the Voice newspaper.     While she studied to become a doctor she realised how difficult it was for her to make an informed decision, this was one of the motivations that led her to launch DreamSmartTutors, an organisation that helps prospective medical students understand more about medicine as a career whilst it also aims to increase diversity within the medical profession. For creating this organisation Patrice was a finalist at the Black British Business and Parecious Awards 2016 and she won a LIFT Effects Rising Star award.

Miranda Brawn

Investment Banker and Barrister

Miranda Brawn has a strong career as an investment banker and barrister, she is recognised as a leading global executive. She is responsible for the legal risk in derivatives and financial regulation at an investment bank. She is also an advisor and patron for companies charities, governments and startups. Having spoken across the globe, her professional experience and personality have made her a public speaker of the highest calibre.     She is also founder and CEO of The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation a social enterprise, for it she has won a UK Prime Minister award for making diversity history. She has been named as one of the best diversity thought leaders for race diversity.   She has been quoted in global press as part of the Top100 Women in European Finance (Financial News), most powerful women in London (CityAM), Top 10 Females changing Britain (Metro) or influential Black business people powerlist (BeMogul) among others.    Her educational background includes law, business, finance, marketing while studying Political Philosophy at Cambridge University and News Journalism at the London School of Journalism. She has also been awarded with an honorary doctorate from University of Brighton for her services to business, finance, law and diversity.

Tuaneri Akoto

Chief Executive

Tuaneri Akoto, based in London, is the founder and CEO of elevated aspirations, a company that provides formal and informal educational activities and programs for children, young people, families, adults and communities.     Additionally, he is the founder and chairman of Elevated Aspirations Charity, which is committed to capacity building communities and individuals through personal and community develpment.    He has held Chair and Vice Chair positions at the Youth Exchange Council Committee of the British Council and has sat on various committees and boards.    He has also written a chapter on social inclusion and education in the international selling book “The Right’s of the Child” and has worked as a professional journalist for “The Journal”

Bernard P Achampong

Programme Director

Bernard P Achampong is a programme director at Premier Christian Communications, he also works with BBC news on digital editorial and engagement culture. He produces audio and video content for UK media leaders including audible, BBC, ITN Productions, Breakthrough Media and The TV Collective. He also runs Ideas Genius Ltd, aimed to build brands and problem solve through Facilitation with creative projects, where he works as coach and blog editor,    He has been widely awarded for his work on Content Production, Development and Promotion.

Natasha Broomfield-Reid

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion consultant

Natasha Broomfield-Reid, based in Coventry, is an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion consultant. She has over 20 years of experience working within the diversity and inclusion field, and until recently, was the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for a national charity, “Victim Support”. She has been responsible for the design and delivery of a range of diversity & inclusion consultancy and training projects for clients across the private, public and voluntary sector.    Natasha led the Victim Support organisation to achieve the ‘Leaders in Diversity’ and ‘Investors in Diversity’ accreditation from the National Centre for Diversity and the charity was the first national charity to achieve ‘Leaders in Diversity’ status. She achieved further recognition through being shortlisted in both the 2015 ‘Excellence in Diversity Awards’ and ‘National Diversity Awards’ in the ‘Diverse Company’ category and in 2016 has been shortlisted for the ‘Most Inspiring Individual of the Year’ at the National Centre for Diversity Awards.    Over the years she has gained a wealth of experience in working within the Black and Minority Ethnic communities, disabled communities including around mental health and with young people. She also set up and managed a ‘highly commended’ regional mentoring programme. Due to her skills and abilities she has been able to successfully and positively deliver diversity and inclusion programmes to the highest standard to a wide range of audiences.

Ibukun Olashore

Chief Executive

Born in Nigeria, Ibukun Olashore, now based in London, is the CEO at OBAC, organisation of Blind Africans and Caribbeans.     The organisation where she is CEO since its creation, was founded in 1988 by a group of visually impared African and Caribbean people and became a registered charity in 1994. The charity was set up to offer services to primarily people with sight loss from black and  ethnic minority backgrounds, and over the years they have included people with other sensory and physical impairments.    Her main duties include organisation development, strategy and fundraising. Her special compromise with disability, equality, diversity and human rights, have driven her to address the importance of these issues through public speaking numerous times throughout her career.

Neil Mayers

Education Consultant

Neil Mayers is the founder of “Raising Black Achievement”. Relating to education, Neil has been a Head of Inclusion at Crofton School, after that a Mathematics Consultant at Harris Federation, with the target of raising the grades of underachieving black students above “C”. He is the creator of an effective tool to learn Black History “Pearls or History Calendar”, and also a founding partner of the Carthaginian Conference: a series of ‘wealth education’ lectures.    He has written “Gifted at Primary, Failing by Secondary”, which is a parenting manual packed with simple and practical tips to help black children avoid the “secondary slump”. This is also the focus of  “Raising Black Achievement” which is aimed to give parents, teachers and carers as many means of support as possible to raise their children.

Cheryl Phoenix

Managing Director and CEO

Cheryl Phoenix is the managing director and CEO of UK Black Links, The Black Child Agenda and managig director of The African and Caribbean Relocation and investment Summit. She is an entrepreneur who specialises in business develpment, marketing and event management.   UK Black Links is a business directory targeted at the professional African and Caribbean Business and consumer community, providing a business directory to the UK Black Community. The African & Caribbean Relocation and investment Summit has the aimed to offer those in the UK diaspora access to business and lifestyle opportunities in Africa and the Caribbean, in order to create business links.    The Black Child Agenda was set up to support young people and families who might face risk of exclusion from mainstream schools, it assists parents with legal help in Education, Immigration or Employment Laws. 

Janet Hills


Janet Hills is the elected President of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) and is also the current Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA). She is a serving Police Officer with 25 year’s service. She has held a number of posts on the Met BPA Executive, including First Contact Support Co-ordinator and General Secretary, before becoming the first female Chair of the MetBPA in 2013 and then the first female police officer elected as NBPA President.

Janet joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1991.  She began her service at Brixton Police Station where she started on response team before venturing into the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).  Janet has worked in a number of departments including the burglary and robbery squads and the Community Safety Unit.  She went onto specialise in the Human Trafficking Unit before returning to Brixton on promotion as a Detective Sergeant.

Eche Egbuonu


Eche Egbuonu is a Teacher based in London who has appeared to be an adaptable professional with experience across the private and third sector organisations. He has also succeeded in areas that include sales, teaching, ICT and project management.     He is a project manager at REPSOC, a health and wellness social enterprise committed to repairing the mind, body and soul of the diaspora. This enterprise addresses these issues through events, education, workshops and media.     His experience in the areas of education, youth work and community organising includes delivering sessions in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, youth clubs, and to adults in profesional settings.

Musa Okwonga


Musa Okwonga is a poet, author, sportswriter, broadcaster, musician, public relations consultant and commentator on current affairs, including culture, politics, sport, race, gender and sexuality.  A scholarship student at Eton College, Musa studied law at Oxford University and then trained as a solicitor in the City before leaving the legal profession to pursue a career as a poet.    The winner of the 1996 WHSmith Young Writers Competition, Musa has been commissioned to write poems for the BBC World Service and the Football Association, and has performed his work, among others, at Latitude, Bestival and Glastonbury Festivals, at the Southbank Centre and BBC Broadcasting House, the Tällberg Forum and the Palace of Versailles, the latter for an audience of EU environment ministers.  He has taught in several schools and has set his poetry to music, having collaborated with bass music producers LV, singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews and jazz musicians Arun Ghosh, Corey Mwamba and Soweto Kinch.

Debbie Weekes-Bernard

Deputy Mayor of London(Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement )

Debbie Weekes-Bernard became Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement in November 2018. 

Debbie works to improve Londoners’ life chances and to boost social integration and community voice across the Mayor’s programmes. She leads the promotion of equalities and active citizenship across London, and makes sure City Hall actively seeks to tackle poverty for Londoners across all groups. 

Debbie joined the mayoral team from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation where she led the organisation’s work on poverty and ethnicity with additional areas of expertise on labour markets, education, lone parents, young people and society. Prior to this Debbie worked at the Runnymede Trust as Head of Research, running their work on inclusive curriculum development, education attainment gaps and school exclusion as well as work on community cohesion, race and criminal justice and youth transitions. She also worked as a lecturer on social psychology and criminology, teaching students in both the further education and higher education sector. 

Alongside professional work, Debbie has a longstanding professional and personal interest in social justice, social mobility and community engagement. Debbie is a trustee of the Equality and Diversity Forum and has sat on a number of other influential panels and working parties including the Poverty Commissions for both the National Union of Students and the London borough of Lewisham and is a member of the British Journal of Sociology of Education Editorial Board. She has also served locally as a chair of governors for two federated primary schools in East London.  

Dr Geetha Srinivasan

Research Fellow

Dr Geetha Srinivasan, is a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. The aim of her research is to produce an advanced method of drug delivery directly to the site of infection, eliminating the conventional route of drug administration orally in which the drug often loses efficacy before it reaches the site of infection due to metabolism in the gastro-intestinal track. An electronic probe loaded with the necessary drug in the right quantity could be introduced through a catheter into the body. When an external electric potential/current is applied to this probe, the drug in the probe will be delivered into the body fluid. She will use conducting polymers as the probe in the catheter and ionic liquids as a solvent medium to load the water-insoluble drugs into the polymers. Conducting polymers are known as intelligent materials with the unique behaviour of trapping an ion into their structure and release the ion by an electric potential. This property will be used to load and release the drug, making treatment instantaneous and effective. Dr Srinivasan intends to use the Fellowship for childcare, a visit to an international collaborator and for the consumables required for her proposed drug delivery research.

Mary Verghese-Dipple

Head of Legal

Mary Verghese-Dipple is head of legal UK, Aberdeen Asset Management.

Mary joined Aberdeen Asset Management in 2011 with responsibility for global derivatives legal matters. She is a qualified barrister and has an MA in Business Law from London Metropolitan University. She has a broad range of derivatives and capital markets legal experience gained from various financial institutions, including JP Morgan, NatWest Capital Markets, Tokai Capital Markets (UFJ), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Calyon Financial (Newedge Group).

Sonia Summan

International new business development

Sonia Summan is in charge of international new business development professional,Arcadia Group.

Sonia has worked in the fashion industry for the past 15 years and is currently head of new business development at Arcadia, the retailing group behind brands such as Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. Last year Sonia became a professional and youth mentor, supporting and assisting people aged 11-19 from vulnerable backgrounds. She is also the marketing director for the City Sikhs network, an interfaith organisation dedicated to creating a positive change in society.

Shailesh R Solanki

Executive Editor

Shailesh is executive editor for AMG, he has over 25 years' experience in journalism and oversees a raft of titles, including Asian Trader, Pharmacy Business, Asian Hospitality and AAHOA Lodging Business, as well as GG2,, Eastern Eye and

As economics graduate, he has chronicled the Asian community in the UK and the USA where the group publish from their base in Atlanta, Georgia


With thanks to for the above biography

Elizabeth Njenga

Social Worker

Elizabeth lives in High Wycombe. She is a social worker representative from the The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) England committee. BASW is the largest professional association for social work in the UK, with offices in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It promotes the best possible social work services for all people who may need them, while also securing the well being of social workers.    Elizabeth Njenga is one of the judges for Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017 for the categories "Best Social Work Employer" and "Championing Social Work Values".

Omar Mashjari

Lawyer and Writer

Omar is the Executive Director of Adalah Yemen, the country’s first international law NGO. Omar holds a first-class Law degree, a distinction grade LL.M and is an admitted solicitor and accreditor mediator. He has experience of providing legal counsel and civil society capacity building in conflict zone.

Nageela Yusuf

Charity Treasurer & Fundraiser

Nageela Yusuf lives in London. She is the treasurer of the British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS). This association is a registered charity that supports advanced research in the humanities and social sciences of South Asia.

In 2015, she ran the Eden Half Marathon to raise funds for Save the Children. Her concern was supporting nnocent children caught in the "midst of mindless acts of violence" as she saw it.

"Conflict is always harshest on children. Their vulnerabilitymakes them targets for exploitation and brainwashing – the impact of which couldlast a life time. They risk death, illness, abuse and exploitation on a dailybasis."

Jagtar Singh Dhindsa


Jagtar  came to the UK in 1973 aged 10. The next few years shaped Jagtar’s thinking as he experienced racism and migrant related discrimination from a young age. He always stood up to bullies and those displaying attitudes and beliefs that are not compliant with an equal and fair society. He was educated at a comprehensive school and went on to successfully complete an engineering apprenticeship with Rolls Royce. It is at Rolls Royce that Jagtar got his first flavour of being elected as a shop steward with his union. Jagtar then joined the prison service as an instructional officer involved in the rehabilitation of prisoners through teaching life learning skills. He has been an elected Councillor for the past 23 years and during this time held important roles such as the Leader of his group, a four-member cabinet portfolio holder. Jagtar recently became the Chairman (Civic Mayor) of  Watford Borough Council. He stood as a candidate as elected mayor in Watford during 2014.  He is an active and dedicated trade unionist and currently holds the role of Branch Assistant Secretary.

Paramjit Gill


Paramjit is Professor of General Practice & GP at Warwick Medical School. After qualifying from Southampton University Medical School, Paramjit worked in a number of hospital and community posts before entering academic General Practice.    Before moving to Warwick Medical School, Paramjit was a Reader in Primary Care Research in the Institute of Applied Research at University of Birmingham and retains an honorary position.  Paramjit worked at Rotton Park Medical Centre, Birmingham for 18 years and the practice was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission . He is now a part-time GP at Priory Gate Practice, Coventry.

Diptiben Bharat Mistry

Charity Worker

Diptiben was born in Surat, India and came to the UK in 1989. She is currently living in Leicester.    Diptiben has over 25 years of experience in working for the community. She has held several keys positions in the ‘Not for Profit Organisations’ like VISTA Society for the Blind, SEWA Education aid project, Leicester Hindu Festival Council, Gujarat Hindu Association and Shree Sanatan Mandir.    She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Graduation in Library and Information Science and is also a qualified Guide Communicator (specialised qualification to work with deaf and blind people in the UK). At Bhaarat Welfare Trust, Diptiben oversee the entire executive functions such as strategy resource mobilization, communication and fundraising event management.    Diptiben brings enormous experience and expertise to Bhaarat Welfare Trust.  She is relentlessly driven to alleviating poverty through BWT’s projects on Zero Hunger, Education Aid, Homeless and Helpless in India.    Passionate about making the significant difference to social issues like poverty, animal welfare, women empowerment, medical aid for disadvantaged, support for disabled & frail and Education for children. Asking the public for their support via promoting the charity and its goal. Her efforts helped thousands in the UK and abroad. She is kind, caring, hardworking person who has dedicated her life to serve the community without any expectation including financial.

Ila Chandavarkar

Consultant and Trainer

Ila Chandavarkar has worked for a number of different voluntary organisations including the Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre, where she was Head of Policy, and the Tenants’ Support Service. She is the former Chief Officer of MENTER, the regional Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) network for the voluntary community sector in East of England. For eight years Ila worked as a manager for Cambridge City Council’s Community Development Team managing voluntary sector support and equalities work, including several European funded employment projects. She was a board member for the Cambridge Cooperative Development Agency for over 10 years, providing advice and support services for cooperatives and social enterprise. She is one of the founding members of Voice4Change England, which is a national BME infrastructure partenership that brings together narional, regional and local groups.

Baldip Singh Aulak


Baldip is a very passionate and fearless advocate known for fighting the corner of the underdog inside and outside of court. He undertakes pro bono work on a case-by-case basis. Baldip runs various legal clinics within the community in Birmingham and the East and West of London. Baldip Heads the Legal Department for the ‘Sikh Help Line’ assisting the community with legal issues from discrimination at work to sexual grooming. He is regularly invited to give talks relating to the law and issues affecting minorities at Gurdwaras, Temples and Universities across the UK.    Baldip has recently returned to the UK after a legal tour of India where he was invited to lecture at two prestigious universities in India on the ‘English Legal System’ and ‘ Administrative law’. He also visited a number of Bar Associations around India giving talks on ‘The importance of an Independent Judiciary’ and ‘Collecting Best Evidence’.

Dr Sridevi Kalidindi CBE

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Sridevi Kalidindi CBE is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Rehabilitation and Recovery, as well as the South East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) Mental Health Lead and a Visiting Senior Clinical Lecturer at the IoPPN (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience).  As the former Chair of the Faculty of Rehabilitation and Social Psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), she has collaborated to set the national direction of rehabilitation psychiatry. She is a co-author of national Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health Commissioning Guidance for Rehabilitation Services and co-developed the national RCPsych Rehab service standards.

The prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards,  Psychiatrist of the Year for 2017 prize was awarded to Dr Sridevi Kalidindi and in the 2019 Queens New Years Honours List she was awarded an CBE for services to Rehabilitation Psychiatry. 

Tsega Gebreyes

Managing Partner and CEO

Tsega Gebreyes was formerly Chief of Strategy and Business Development Officer at Celtel International, where she played an instrumental role in attracting capital for investments in Africa and was a driving force behind the growth of the business through multi-country expansion across Africa. Prior to Celtel, Tsega Gebreyes was a founding partner of NAOF, a US $120 million private equity Fund currently managed by Zephyr Asset Management. Tsega Gebreyes was responsible for the fundraising and closing of the Fund. Subsequently, she led investment activities and served as director on a number of operating company boards. Tsega has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jennifer Williams-Baffoe


Jennifer Williams-Baffoe is the CEO of Willbaforce Ltd, a specialist business advice consultancy for the creative industries, providing support, guidance and business planning. Educated at the prestigious London College of fashion.

Jennifer has a  20-year plus career in creative business development including working with the United Nations on a creative business project.

As a member of the Royal Society of The Arts Diaspora Changemakers, she is dedicated to educating individuals on the benefits of developing creative routes to market for Afropolitans.

Passionate about creative business, empowering women and girls she has also developed courses online to reach out to this demographic via her online portal “Willbaforce Academy”.

Abdul Qadir


Abdul Qadir, is Liverpool city council only Muslim representative

Cllr Abdul has played a key role in many areas in Liverpool civic life, particularly in regards to young people. The Mayor Les Anderson has accordingly made him City lead on youth and citizenship.

Paula Dunn MBE

Athletics Coach

Paula Dunn MBE (also known as Paula Thomas,  is an English former sprinter who competed in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay. She represented Great Britain in all three events at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. At 100 metres, she won a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 1986 and a bronze medal in 1994. Her personal bests of 11.15 secs in the 100 metres and 22.69 secs in the 200 metres, were the fastest times run by a British female sprinter during the 1990s.

Dunn began working for UK Athletics in 2001 and was appointed Paralympic performance manager in 2009. After London 2012, she was promoted to the position of Paralympic head coach, replacing Peter Eriksson. She is the first female head coach appointed by UK Athletics.


Mark Prince OBE


Mark Prince OBE  son Kiyan was killed after trying to break up a fight  in 2006. Talented footballer Kiyan, who played for Queens Park Rangers under-16s, was attacked after trying to stop a fight outside the gates of the London Academy in Edgware, north London.

Mark set out to turn tradegy into hope and the former champion boxer  worked to create an anti-knife and anti-gang culture in London's schools through the Kiyan Prince Foundation and giving talks to pupils.

Mr Prince said: "This is what I can give back on behalf of my son that is in a cemetery.

"I've been committed to impacting young people's lives and showing them a better way.

"Young people that are homeless like I was at 15 [who are] into that criminal mindset like I was in my teens, and who want to turn their life around, and I done that to become number one in Britain as a boxer.As a Cruiserweight before the tradegy he had won 23 of his 24 fights - 75% by way of Knockout.

Marks work was recognised in the 2019 Queens New Year’s Honours List for his work tackling gang crime in London.

Dr JS Bamrah CBE


Dr J S Bamrah CBE is the Medical Director of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. He has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist for the Trust since 2001, having previously worked 12 years at Trafford. Dr Bamrah was appointed Interim Medical Director in July 2013 and then to the subtantive post in February 2014.    He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester. He has trained and worked at several hospitals in Greater Manchester since 1981, and held senior positions in the BMA and the Royal College of Psychiatrists for over two decades.

The Manhood Academy for Boys

Rites of Passage: Transforming Boys to Men

Co-created in 2016. Each director previously holding a distinguished track record in youth & community work, from BAFA award winning educators, workers in educational institutes to working on the streets of London with youth from diverse communities.

The Manhood Academy for Boys is a Cultural Rites of Passage programme designed, with the intention of exposing the youth to character building experiences, tests of mental and physical fortitude and specifically created critical thinking workshops.

This is geared towards the shifting young people's paradigm.

Bringing about an empowerment, that enables them to take responsibility for the decisions that set the course for their future.

For boys from 8 - 12 years of age &  young men 13 – 19.

100% focused on aiding our boys, make the challenging transition from boyhood to Manhood.


*For more details:*


*fb:* manhood academy

*ig:* @manhoodacademy

Carol Akiwumi

Fundraising Specialist, Trainer & Inspirational Speaker

Carol has a passion for Truth and Justice. Having started out her career as an investment banker, she brought her skills and experience to bear as a Senior Manager and Consultant to several national and international charities. Her expertise includes setting strategy, developing high level partnerships with key Individuals, Community groups and Corporates.    Carol currently serves as the Chair of Black Fundraisers UK, a special interest group of the Institute of Fundraising (IOF), UK. She is a Fellow of the IOF and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, USA. She has an MA in Economics and Finance from the University of Leeds and is the founder of Money4Youth, an award winning innovative training programme for children and young people that equips them with life skills to handle money, manage finances and budget effectively.

Robbie Williams

Vice Chair

Robbie has been a board member of Steve Biko Housing Association since October 2012 and is currently Vice Chair. His working background is maintenance and has over 30 years’ experience of repairs and maintenance for both the local authority and social housing in the Meyerside area.    Robbie's current position is Assistant Neighbourhood Services Manager for the Riverside Group. Robbie is also chair of the Riverside BME Staff Group and has been an active member for 14 years. He is also a workplace rep for Unite the union within the Riverside Group and also an Equality Rep and a member of the Unite Regional BAEM committee. 

Ranjit Sond


Ranjit is an experienced solicitor specialising in personal injury law. He qualified in 1999 and has since developed an expertise in dealing with a wide range of employers’ and public liability claims including manual handling, falls from height, injuries caused by dangerous machinery and slips, trips and falls. He also has a special interest in sports injury claims and claims involving animals.    He has been a mentor to LLB students at the University of Derby since 2011 where he also regularly attends to give careers talks to students.    When not at work, Ranjit’s interests include good food, music and football. He holds the FA Level 1 Coaching qualification and has previously been involved with coaching and managing under 14’s and under 8’s football teams. Having been born and raised in East London, he supports his local team, West Ham United.

Tunji Akintokun MBE

Business Leader

Tunji is an experienced and multi-award winning business leader in internet and communications related technologies. He combines a strategic thinking approach with seasoned sales experience that allows him to evolve visions and strategies into initiatives that can be executed upon and measured for success.     Mr Tunji Akintokun has dedicated his life to mentoring children from disadvantaged backgrounds and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. He grew up an orphan in east London but it was not until IBM visited his school for a career fair that he decided to pursue a career in technology. He now mentors children from disadvantaged backgrounds and created a project called ‘Your Future, Your Ambition’. YFYA introduces students in Key stages 2 to 5 and above to exciting career paths in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM subjects).

Manisha Tailor MBE

Head Teacher

Manisha Tailor MBE is the founder of Swaggarlicious who uses the power of football and education to engage with diverse community groups and organisations, including women and girls and adults with mental illness to lead a healthy lifestyle and develop life-long learning skills.

By profession Manisha is a qualified head-teacher, primary school trained with a Masters Degree, and more than 15 years of experience working in schools across the UK and Internationally.  She is also only one of 19 Asian women (based on FA historical data over 20 years) to hold the prestigious UEFA B Licence in Football Coaching.

Manisha Tailor was awarded Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 Queens New Years  Honours List for services to Football and Diversity in Sport.

With thanks also to for the above information. 

Jasvir Singh OBE


Jasvir Singh is the founding Chair of City Sikhs. City Sikhs is one of the leading Sikh organisations in Britain with over 6,000 members. It is currently involved in several important projects, including the Grand Trunk Project which is led by the Faiths Forum for London and is looking to foster better relationships between communities of South Asian heritage in towns and cities throughout the country.

Jasvir Singh received an OBE from Prince William, Duke of Cambridge,for services to faith communities and social cohesion in the UK. The investiture ceremony took place in the impressive surroundings of the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 19th April 2017

Michael Groce

Poet and Community Worker

Michael Groce is a poet, community worker and former criminal. His mother, Cherry Groce, was shot by police during a dawn raid on her home, starting the 1985 Brixton riot in London, England. He is now a published poet, having won the Cheltenham Poetry Prize, and actively engages with young people to inform them of his own experiences.

Michael Groce was brought up in Tinworth House, on a rough housing estate in Vauxhall, London. Much of his life from age six was spent in residential care. He was involved with street gangs, and had been exposed to guns during his childhood. He spent time in and out of prison; throughout his life, he accrued 50 convictions and 15 different spells in prison.

Role in the Brixton riots

A few days before the riots, Michael Groce was involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend during which he fired a gun. Shortly afterwards, he heard a knocking on the door, and went down to answer it, believing it to be a neighbour complaining about the gunshot. Instead, he found a police officer, enquiring if he was Michael Groce. Groce attempted to close the door, but the police officer would not let him, and only left after Groce put the gun into the officer's mouth.

Following this incident, Groce fled his mother's house, and took up residence with his sister. After three days of hiding, when he turned on the television, he was presented with a picture of his mother accompanying a news story about her shooting and subsequent paralysis from the waist down. She had been shot in a police raid in search of him.

Her shooting triggered the riots. Groce handed himself in to the police shortly afterwards.

Community work

Following the riots, Michael Groce attempted to help the community recover - he ran a youth football team, trying to provide a fun alternative to crime.

He now runs poetry, personal development and motivational workshops in schools, and gives talks to dissuade others from making mistakes similar to those he made.

Political activity

In May 2018, Groce ran as the Green Party candidate in the Lambeth Council Elections where he stood in the Coldharbour ward. He polled 761 votes finishing the runner up in fourth place out of twelve candidates.

Later that year, Groce was again selected as the Green candidate for the Brixton Coldharbour ward by-election where he again finished in second place with 30.5% of the vote (912 votes), an increase of 15%.


Groce is also a poet. He wrote poetry in prison, often at the request of other inmates to send in letters to partners or family. He won the Cheltenham Festivals, and owns his own performance club

Octavia Goredema MBE

Founder and Editor

Octavia Goredema MBE is  founder and editor of Twenty Ten Talent , a media platform that helps talented black women accelerate their careers.  Octavia also founded Twenty Ten Club, a social enterprise supporting black female entrepreneurs.  Octavia is a board trustee of Zimbabwe Educational Trust, a charity that helps keep disadvantaged children in Zimbabwe in school and out of poverty..

She is an award winning social entrepreneur. In 2012, The Queen awarded her the lifetime honor of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of her services to support black women in business. She is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and was recognized as a Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Future 100 awards. Octavia is passionate about enabling others to achieve their potential.

With thanks to for the above information

Arun Batra OBE

Director and CEO

Arun is both a Director at EY and CEO of the National Equality Standard (NES) which he launched to significant acclaim at the British Museum in 2013.

Prior to this, Several national and international corporations have sponsored the NES which was established by Batra to raise the standard for diversity and inclusion in UK business and is proving to be a huge success. This ground breaking initiative, developed for business, by business sets out clear equality, diversity and inclusion criteria against which companies will be assessed.

Batra said, “we are pleased that the NES is so popular with a range of leading UK businesses who are valuing the help we give them to drive sustainable change and demonstrate exceptional practice. We know the NES allows businesses to benefit from the huge business case associated with embracing the diversity agenda. This allows them to improve working conditions for their employees and reap the financial rewards”.

Prior to joining EY, Batra, who is married with two young children, was director of Equality & Diversity at the Mayor of London’s Economic Development Agency. He was also Lead on Diversity and Inclusion at the Criminal Justice Group for the Home Office. He is legally trained and a nationally renowned expert in his field.

Carol Sidney

Office Administrator & Project Manager

Carol is Runnymede's Office Administrator & Project Manager Common Cause Networks.She has had a long and varied career working in administration in a variety of different employment sectors including transport, housing and the creative industries. In her last role, 

Carol worked for a commercial bus operator, and before that, a theatre management charity. As a very active person, Carol has freelanced for the Arts Council, organised a community film production and screening at the Tricycle Cinema and volunteered on the management board of a housing co-op for more than 10 years. 

She has a Masters from University of Westminster.

Asif Rangoonwala


Asif Rangoonwala is an entrepreneur who founded and eventually sold Eurobuns that supplies baked goods to fast food chains, restaurants and supermarkets. Asif has gone on to start a company called South Street Asset Management providing essential accommodation for students and key workers. He is Chairman of Powerboat P1 and he is also the Chairman of the Rangoonwala Foundation that supports marginalized societies worldwide. He is also the Chairman of the British Pakistan Foundation and Chairman of the World Memon Foundation. He is a Trustee of the British Asian Trust, P1 Marine Foundation and MAITS. He is Governor and Trustee of Whitefield School, and a World Fellow of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Dr Azra Meadows OBE 

Director and Honorary Lecturer

Dr Azra Meadows OBE is an Honorary Lecturer in the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences at The University of Glasgow and is married to Professor Peter S. Meadows, along with whom she has carried out extensive work of an environmental, cultural and educational nature in both Scotland and Pakistan.

Professor Peter S. Meadows and Dr Azra Meadows are the editors of The Glasgow Naturalist, the annual publication of The Glasgow Natural History Society.

In addition to this, Azra Meadows is a Director of The Scottish Academy of Asian Arts, has previously held the post of chairperson of the Scottish Pakistani Society and, in 2006, was elected for a second term to the Council of the Zoological Society of London, of which she is also a Trustee.

Amongst the projects in which Professor Peter Meadows and Dr Azra Meadows have played a significant role is the Connecting Futures:Student Dialogues programme.

Conceived by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council, the aim of the initiative was to foster an understanding between the cultural backgrounds of students from the UK and those of Muslim countries, as part of which a delegation of sixteen students from the UK - four from The University of Glasgow, four from the University of Edinburgh, four from the University of Warwick and four from Cardiff University - visited Pakistan in 2005.

The Meadows, as well as facilitating the preparations for the delegation of Glasgow students - Anna Chiumento, Gary Sergeant, Zoe Nisbet and Tommy Ga-Ken Wan - have ensured that the value, purpose and success of the initiative is not forgotten. This has been done by arranging and assisting the students from Glasgow University to deliver, on several occasions, a lecture entitled Bridging the Divide: Myths and Realities, describing their experiences in Pakistan and their impact. At the invitation of Dr Maliha Lodhi, the High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom, the lecture was delivered in September 2005 to an audience at the High Commission of Pakistan in London.

Awards and nominations

In January 2014, Meadows was nominated for the Science and Engineering award at the British Muslim Awards

Dr. Fayyaz Afzal OBE


As a sight impaired Barrister Fayyaz Afzal OBE has overcome many challenges on his path through the field of law.

The 32 year-old father-of-four, who gained a law degree at Staffordshire University in 1998, has difficulties researching and reading due to blindness.

Despite these barriers, however, he was awarded an OBE for his services to the judiciary and voluntary services to disabled people just ten years after graduating.

“I predominantly specialise in family work and regulatory crime,” he said. “I’ve been doing it from the very beginning.

“The more I did in a certain area of law, the less I had to read and learn about it from books. Being sight impaired is one of those things you learn to deal with by learning your strengths.”

Fayyaz entered into law when he was 18 years old, straight after finishing his A-levels, and chose Staffordshire University to undertake his degree.

He said: “Because of my disability I always had to rely on others for help and I wanted to be able to assist others so I thought law was a good way of doing that.

“I did A-level Law to test my curiosity and then I went to Staffordshire University in 1995. I was living in Rochdale at the time and the Staffs Law School had a very good reputation. I have very fond memories of my university days.”

Fayyaz was called to the Bar in 1999, after which he returned to Staffordshire University to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Commercial Law in 2000. A year later he joined New Walk Chambers, in Leicester, where he lives with his wife, Farhat, and four children.

Fayyaz also sits on the Equality and Diversity Committees at the Bar. He is the Junior to the Midland Circuit and a Chambers Pupillage Coordinator and was named as the Community Lawyer of the Year in 2007.

The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Fayyaz in recognition of his achievements in fighting for the rights of disabled people and other disadvantaged groups in the legal profession, and for being an aspirational role model for Staffordshire University students.

He said: “It is such a unique honour, bearing in mind how few are granted, and I feel very privileged.”

With thanks to Staffordshire University for the above biography.

Footnote: Dr. Afzal was appointed as a DistrictJudge in 2017 

Dr. Zubaida Haque

Research Consultant

Zubaida Haque is Runnymede's Deputy Director.She has a strong research and policy background in educational attainments, ethnic minorities and employment, equality within prisons, integration and extremism. 

Zubaida has recently worked on projects with teaching unions and the EHRC on barriers for BME teachers in their career progression, and identifying what works with tackling prejudice and unlawful behavior.Zubaida has worked for several government departments, Think Tanks and Universities including the former Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Westminster University, Greenwich University, Demos and more recently NOMS. Zubaida has published widely and recent reports include ‘Improving outcomes for BME prisoners to improve equality, safety and decency in prison’ (NOMS), ‘Understanding and addressing self-inflicted deaths in prison amongst those aged 18-24’ (IAP Deaths in Custody) and ‘What works with integrating new migrants’(DCLG) and ‘The changing landscape of equalities, cohesion and public services (Commission on 2020 PST). Zubaida has also directly been involved in several panels and commissions including The Commission on Multi-Ethnic Britain (2000), Oldham Independent Review (2001), Community Cohesion Independent Review (2001) and the Commission on 2020 Public Services Trust.

Daniel Lister


Daniel lives in London. He has been working tirelessly for over 20 years to improve the conditions of Africans and the diaspora globally.     Daniel has an extensive background from travelling the country as Business and Personal Development Speaker and Coach, to Law, Finance, Media, Marketing and Sales. He is a Best-Selling International Author, co-authoring ‘Multiple Streams of Inspiration Vol. 2’ with Les Brown, voted in the top 3 speakers in the world; billed as ‘A collection from some of the sharpest minds of our time’. He is currently the Founder and Managing Director of My Black Market, a company dedicated to Supporting Black Owned Businesses and their Customers to Build a Black UK Economy through networking resources, people and information, while promoting businesses and their owners to create experts within the community and inspire future entrepreneurs.    He is also the Founder and Brand Manager at Buy Black Clothing, a Fashion and Lifestyle Brand dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship within the Black community while redefining the Black imaging as positive and aspirational. The brand has sold in the UK, Europe, America and Asia.

Darren Chetty


Darren lives in London, where is currently completing his PhD at UCL Institute of Education, where he teaches on the BA Education Studies course. He taught in primary schools for almost 20 years. He is the author of the award-winning paper 'The Elephant in the Room: Picturebooks, Philosophy for Children and Racism'.

Dayo Olukoshi OBE


Dr Dayo Olukoshi OBE is the current Executive Principal of Brampton Manor Academy in East Ham, London. He has been honoured an OBE for services to education. He has helped transform the secondary school. For example, in 2015 ,at least 5 of Brampton Manors' sixth form pupils got accepted into Oxford or Cambridge. The academy saw nearly 90 per cent of students achieve A* to B grades with nearly 60pc getting As or A*s.

Buddhdev Pandya MBE


Buddhdev is a journalist living in Milton Keynes. He publishes 'Gujarat Times UK' magazine for the professionals and people in public life within the Indian diaspora and key -movers and shakers in India.     He leads an international "The INNOVATION Forum" for the medical professionals involved in managing patient care and relevant technology to share examples of good practice and promote achievements globally. His next publication Innovation 360degree is expected to be released in due course.     Buddhdev Pandya MBE is Director of British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, a national body that he had helped to establish 20 years ago. He helped developed and published 'The Physician' its medical journal. He was Chief editor of Asain Lite, an award winning ethnic publication and regular contributor to political, social and other columns in many newspapers.

Abha Thorat-Shah

Programmes & Investments Director

Abha has been a member of the founding team at the Trust and continues to be part of the Senior Management Team focussing on driving the growth of the Trust’s charitable investments in South Asia and the UK.    At the Trust, she has developed a unique grant giving model that helps to connect donors directly with the work of grassroots NGOs in the region. Her extensive practical knowledge of networks in the private and public sectors, particularly in India and the UK, has forged key partnerships for the Trust.    In her previous role she was part of the founding team at the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and rose to become its Chief Operating Officer. Both roles at the Trust and UKIBC display her passion for creating and nurturing business, cultural and social relationships between UK and South Asia. Abha discovered this passion when she began her career in the world of reinsurance before making the transition from the financial sector into social cause-led ventures.    Abha has a keen interest for the theatre and the arts and has worked at Asia House, London and the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai. Abha grew up in India and holds a BA Hons from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She came to the UK in 1999 on a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship to read Social and Political Sciences at Hughes Hall, Cambridge.

Demi Ariyo

Entrepreneur, Investor, Advisor

Demi is an entrepreneur, investor & advisor with investment banking experience. He began investing at 19 with the support of his uncle. Predominantly investing in Oil & Gas miners of the AIM market. This later led to him investing in retail bonds on the LSE which played a significant role in him founding Lendoe. A social lender which focuses primarily on empowering underestimated entrepreneurs.

Demi came up with the idea for Lendoe during his time at Obsidian, a boutique investment banking firm which arranges infrastructure orientated funding for mid to large size corporates in Emerging Africa. Whilst at Obsidian he worked on debt and equity raises for some of West Africa’s most recognised brands. Supporting companies which span across the retail, commercial real estate and energy sector.

After Leaving Obsidian Demi spent a short stint working for the Nigerian Conglomerate, Sifax Group, for their oil & gas subsidiary in a bid to complete an market listing on the AIM for one of their portfolio companies in the UK; who had a 100% stake in an independent oil producer in Texas Misssouri. After representing Sifax Group on their UK companies board Demi decided to step down in 2017 to refocus his efforts on Lendoe.Not to long after he began working part time at the worlds first peer-to-peer lender, Zopa, whilst focusing on Lendoe in the evenings. After disbursing £700,000 in micro loans he decided to take the plunge and go full time. 

Demi now acts as the Managing Director of Lendoe. Demi is also one of the co-founders of Capital-Moments a commercial awareness website that aims to further the developments of students and young professionals. He is a passionate, resilient entrepreneur who believes financial technology and alternative finance is the key to unlocking the hidden potential in today's underestimated entrepreneur.

Cephas Williams


Cephas is the photographer and founder of the 56 Black Men movement, after taking a series of 56 portrait images he launched the campaign in December 2018 focusing on changing the narrative of black men in the media as an introduction to a much wider conversation.Utilising his degree in Architecture, Cephas also started working on Drummer Boy Studios in December 2017, his aim was to establish a creative hub in the community. Upon doing this Cephas was confused as to why things like this were not being spotlighted, after all the work and money he and his team put into creating this space within the community, he had also secured a partnership with BDP to become his official development partner for the business.

Despite this, he was still facing opposition from people in authority and not being spotlighted for the positive work being done. This pushed him to think about how many more black men are doing great things but are never heard or spotlighted. Cephas started to question further, why is it that things like this never makes headline news?  

Over the years Cephas has been instrumental in galvanising support for his business' from key partners and high-level contacts including FTSE 100 Companies, GLA, The Guardian, Somerset House, Clear Channel and others. 

​Cephas’ aim is to create something that positively impacts the black community and works to change stereotypes whilst enhancing the community for the progression of the next generation. He's been working to address stereotypes, to help people start their businesses, access different industries and have black men lead on the conversation surrounding their lived experiences. As part of his work with Drummer Boy he was inspired to create 56 Black Men a movement that does just that. 

Debrose SearchWell


Debrose is the founder of the bi annual and massively successful, Natural November event which promotes Hair, Health, Wealth and Beauty from a Natural Cultural Perspective. 

She is known across the UK as an advocate-activist for a natural holistic approach to health and wealth in the community and is often heard debating the related issues on local and national programs hosted by the BBC alongside other media platforms. 

She is an inspirational event organiser, fitness class instructor, nutritionist, Sisterlocks™ consultant and public speaker on various cultural and health issues.  Debrose has featured on screen in Toyin Agbetu’s Beauty Is (Screen Nation award winner) and Dalian Adofo’s As It Grows, both of which are documentaries highlighting some of the issues surrounding Black hair and beauty. She has been a radio talk show presenter on various community radio stations and whilst on Urban Jazz Radio  co-hosted a weekly show which discussed topics such as community issues, spirituality and wholistic health. DebRose is also a Libran Raw Vegan, and produces a line of raw organic foods. The LibRaw brand extends to products and services, including a series of monthly raw food workshops, every 3rd Sunday at the Ankh Wellbeing Centre, W10.  She is an exceptional role model who finds fulfilment in helping to raise awareness, restore health and inspire other people to fulfil their life purpose.

Jagdeep Rai

Head of Corporate Banking

Jagdeep Rai is Head of Corporate Banking in Barclays. 

A consistently strong performer with a clear sense of purpose and direction - two things matter to me most - helping clients achieve their goals and inspiring and developing my team. I am an experienced banker with longstanding success in sales leadership in both retail and corporate environments, as well as having delivered exceptional performance in managing a Corporate client portfolio and business development. 

She has won the ‘Woman of the Year 2017’ award at the 17th Asian Achievers Awards at Grosvenor House in London and she has listed number 18 in 2017 Ethnic Minority Leaders list, among other prizes.

Onkardeep Singh

Social Activist, Designer

Onkardeep is one of the youngest people in the world of South Asian heritage to be awarded an MBE.

His drive and commitment for improving social cohesion in Britain over the last 15 years has helped create strong relationships between people from all communities across the UK. As a result he has been the very first Sikh speaker invited to speak at the largest yearly faith based events in UK such as Limmud (Jewish), Living Islam and Greenbelt (Christian).

His passion for building a stronger Britain through grassroots community cohesion led to him becoming in 2010 a Founding Member of City Sikhs, which is the largest network of Sikh professionals in the UK. His groundbreaking interfaith work has been purely voluntary and he has resourcefully used his skills as a design and technology professional to benefit a variety of communities and voluntary organisations by developing websites and branding for them.

He is also part of the consultative committee for leading interfaith charity Three Faiths Forum; Director of Equal International, a charity improving pre-school education in India; and a supporter of HWPL, an international world peace charity.

When not active in charity work, Onkardeep has his own design and technology company and provides design services for a variety of clients.

Councillor Mohammed Aikhlaq MBE


Mohammed Aikhlaq MBE has been a Labour Councillor for the Bordesley Green Ward in Birmingham since 2010 and is  Chairman of  the Councils' Corporate Resources and Governance Overview & Scrutiny Committee. He is also Chair of Governors at  Leigh Primary School in Birmingham. Mohammed was awarded an MBE in the 2017 Queens New Year Honours List for services to Education  (Birmingham, West Midlands).

Councillor Aikhlaq has been the Chair for Leigh Primary School for  15 years. He oversees the strategic planning of the school, he’s involved with the leadership of the school and on a day-to-day basis .

25 years later, the school in Dadyal is still providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children in the local village, which Cllr Aikhlaq regularly visits.

His regular efforts with the school include supplying educational equipment for the students, as well as furniture and whiteboards.

Cllr Aikhlaq’s first venture into the field of education began whilst living in a remote village in Dadyal, Pakistan. He said: “It all started way back in 1991; I was living in a remote village and on my way home one day, I saw children being educated under a tree and sitting on the floor. I went straight home and told my father ‘I want to build classrooms for kids.’”

With thanks also to Asian World News for the above information

Councillor Asher Craig

Deputy Mayor

Councillor Asher Craig is the Deputy Mayor of Bristol, with the portfolio of Communities, Equalities and Public Health.


Cllr Craig has over 30 years experience as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now politi- cian. She has championed the needs of the voice-less, with a particular emphasis on the social-economic development of BME and under-represented communities.

She has led and chaired a number of major partnerships and organisations at local, regional and national level and has worked in the field of employment & training, education & skills, recruitment, advocacy, equality & diversity within local government and third sector.

Ms Craig was elected as the Labour councillor for the ward of St George West, Bristol in May 2016 and was appointed to the cabinet with the wide reaching portfolio of neighbourhoods in August 2016.


In March 2017 she was asked to step into the new role of deputy mayor – communities, bringing into and elevating the issue of public health within this new portfolio.

Cllr Craig is also a school governor, the proud mother of three daughters and follows the Rastafari faith.

With thanks to for the above biography and photograph.


Saddiqa Shan

Sports Physiotherapist

Saddiqa  is a sports physiotherapist. Saddiqa has loved the 'beautiful game' since she was at primary school. She was the first girl on the primary-school team, captained her secondary school team and went to academies at West Brom, Birmingham and Aston Villa. In 2008, she made history by joining Premier League team Solihull Ladies Football Club as the first ever Asian girl. Now, aged 21, the Coventry University student represents the Coventry University 1st Ladies FC and works at Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Birmingham FC. Saddiqa is a regular pundit for the BBC Asian Network and promotes Sporting Pathways, a scheme set up in the Birmingham area to increase female participation in sport.

Shehneela Ahmed

Criminal Advocate and Football Agent

Shehneela is a criminal advocate/ lawyer and football agent for PlatinumFA.

Shehneela has made soccer history by becoming Britain’s first female Muslim football agent, and has already signed some of Europe’s top football players. Shehneela, who also works as a duty solicitor criminal advocate in West London, received her license from the FA in September and aims to be a role model for youngsters and an ambassador for sports in the UK.

Naeem ul Hassan


Naeem ul Hassan was s only the second Asian councillor to be appointed to the historic role of Manchester's new Lord Mayor.

Councilor Hassan, who represents Cheetham , officially donned his red robes for the first time in 2013

Coun Hassan, who took over from Elaine Boyes, said “Everybody back in Pakistan is very proud. I came here 29 years ago and I have been on the council seven years, so this is a big honour for me. I never imagined I would be doing this.”

With thanks to the Manchester Evening News for the above information.

Brian Dickens OBE


Brian Dickens is a a former director of the North Lambeth and North Southwark Sport Action Zone, and currently Community Development Advisor and Trustee for the Black Prince Trust.

He once represented Great Britain internationally in 400-metre athletics and since 2002 Dickens had run London's only Sport Action Zone, working to improve health and fitness amongst young people in Southwark and Lambeth by getting them involved in sporting activities. He was a major advocate of improving the lives of low income communities through sport and has helped many individuals and orgnisations improve life chances through sport.

As a result of this dedicated work in 2008, Brian Dickens was awarded an MBE for outstanding contribution to community sports in London, as well as dedication to raising awareness nationally of how sport and physical activity can be effectively used as a catalyst for social inclusion and community cohesion.

In 2009, he was appointed Community Sport Adviser to the Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport , Kate Hoey MP.

In 2010, he was appointed by Nike, Care International and the UN Development Programme to be the convenor of the London wide Sport for Social Change Network a global initiative which uses sport to bring about a social change.

In 2014, he was nominated as a Baton Bearer for the Commonwealth Games

Paul Reid

Suffragan Bishop

Suffragan Bishop Paul Reid is the Senior Pastor and founder of Grace Tabernacle Christian Ministries, a fast growing Christian fellowship in the heart or the community in Thornton Heath, Croydon.

Pastor Reid's call to the ministry was prophetically announced at 17, and he was appointed to the ministry at age 18, making him the youngest minister in the organisation. He was greatly influenced by his father Reverend Joseph Reid and his mother, the late Evangelist Corletta Reid. It was his mother, Evangelist Reid, who "rebuked death", when he almost died at age eight from an attack of bronchitis. With his brothers and sisters crying, recognising that death had come for their brother, his mother wrestled all night in prayer and repelled "Death's attack, until the breakthrough came in the morning.

Amrit Kaur Lohia

Performer and Workshop Facilitator

Born in Tottenham, raised in Edmonton (London, UK) Amrit Kaur Lohia is a Sarangi player and vocalist in genres of Punjabi Folk, Jazz and Soul. She learns Sarangi from Shri Surjeet Singh, senior student of Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan. She also plays Mbira (Zimbabwe) and Dilruba. Based in London, she tours internationally as a performer, composer and workshop facilitator. She is a youth worker, mentoring youth offenders and children in foster care. She is also the founder of ‘’, a social enterprise dedicated to humanising history and social issues through the Arts, which was awarded the UnLtd ‘Do it Award’ in 2016. As well as this, she is an ambassador for several charities and is currently a Global Youth Ambassador for ‘A World at School’. Amrit has also trained as a theatre director at the Young Vic Theatre and recently graduated with a Distinction in MA History, specialising in South Asia, from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Ahmereen Reza

Country Director

Ahmereen Reza is the Country Director of Aman Foundation UK and is the founder of Developments in Literacy Trust UK, a registered charity in England and Wales dedicated to educating children in underdeveloped and rural areas of Pakistan and assisting women from within multi-ethnic communities in England and Wales.

Thirty years ago, as an architect, Reza decided to channel her passion for advocacy and community participation to improve the lives of the world’s underprivileged. Her belief, that sustainable solutions come through direct interaction has led her to live with squatter settlements, photograph the state of “black housing” in communist Yugoslavia and visit schools in Taliban areas. She established DIL Trust UK, where her commitment to literacy has rallied support for young girls in Pakistan. She has a passion and drive to help under -privileged communities to help themselves. Ahmereen strongly believes in being and making ‘Agents of Change’.

Samsunear Ali

Deputy Chief Executive

Samsunear Ali is deputy chief executive at Bawso, an all-Wales, Welsh government accredited support provider, delivering specialist services to people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds who are affected by domestic abuse and other forms of abuse. She is passionate about her work, which makes a difference to some of the most vulnerable women in society. She has overcome cultural barriers and personal challenges and continuously strives to achieve and motivate others to enhance their lives.

Rabina Khan

Councillor, Writer and Community Worker.

Rabina Khan is a Bangladeshi-born British writer, politician, councillor for Shadwell, community worker and author of “Ayesha’s Rainbow”, a children’s book that explores racism, prejudice and stereotyping young Muslims experience in Britain. She has Edited anthologies and produced and advised on a range of media projects, also has worked with organisations such as BBC, ITV, Heritage, Rich Mix, the Wellcome Trust, Channel 4, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Arts Council. Her focus is on challenging perceptions of women and advancing the cause of Muslim women in politics and public affairs. She is a strong advocate for migrants rights, welfare rights, disability rights and working to end structures of prejudice that affect the whole society. She became a councillor for Shadwell Ward in 2010 and she was Cabinet Member for Housing. She has been awarded with the Tower Hamlets Civic Award, the Hero of the Year European Diversity Award and was nominated for the European Muslim Woman of Influence Award in 2009.

Merium Bhuiyan


Merium Bhuiyan founded CakeFace Make up, a personalised lifestyle and beauty service operating across the UK and Middle East, for this service she is the director, makeup artist and consultant. She believes in empowerment and defining own standards of success. Merium strives to enhance both inner and outer beauty in a fast-moving and ever-changing world. She does this by using her brand as an uplifting tool to reach out to women around the world and to educate and inspire communities. Merium has also a big interest in promoting diversity and empowering others through her private teaching of English and Maths. She is a trustee of the Holloway Educational and Cultural Centre and a Board Member of the Axis Supplementary Schools Committee. On her free time she gives back to the community consulting for several charities.

Shamim Azad

Poet and Writer

Shamim Azad is a Bangladeshi-born British poet, storyteller and writer. She does performances that combine education and entertainment and workshops rooted in Asian folk, oral tradition and heritage. She has published several books, including novels, collections of short stories, essays and poems in English and Bengali. She has also written two plays for Half Moon Theatre and worked with composers Richard Blackford and Kerry Andrew. She has performed in many venues including de Museum of London, Cambridge Water Stone, Liberty Radio, Battersea Arts Centre, British Council of Bangladesh, Takshila in Pakistan and New York. She is a trustee of charity One World Action and Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. Shamim is school governor and chairperson of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro in London. She is also part of a Story telling group in Eastend, which invites local residents to share stories brought up by its diverse history of immigration.

Sharma Ahmad MBE

Ex Councillor

Shama Ahmad MBE – Honorary Freedom and Alderwoman .

Shama was a councillor from 1990 to 2014 and ceremonial mayor in 1996/97, the first Asian woman in Britain to attain such a position. 

In 2002 she received an MBE for services to the community.

Kirit Mistry

Local BME Facilitator

Kirit Mistry works with Derby Hospitals Organ Donation Committee to raise awareness of organ donation in Derby Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, He is a Risk Assessor and BME Community Champion for Diabetes UK and Community Champion for Kidney Research UK. Kirit has been awarded by Diabetes UK in their 2013 Inspire Awards the Raising Awareness Award for work in South Asian Communities as part of the Celebrating Excellence in Volunteering. He has worked as Executive Director of Derby Racial Equality Council providing services towards the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of equality of opportunity. He was founder of Derby Community Health Equality Panel to assess NHS Trusts in Derbyshire on their Equality Delivery System, Derby BME Network. and in his role chaired and was founder of Derby Community Health Equality Panel to assess NHS Trusts in Derbyshire on their Equality Delivery System, Derby BME Network and now has developed Derby Diverse Patients and Communities Health Network to empower diverse patients to get equitable services. He is very committed to addressing inequality issues on a local, regional, national European and international level. Kirit is a board member for Voice4Change England a national voice for BME voluntary and community organisations.

Samir Jeraj


Samir Jeraj is a Journalist with a focus on housing and social issues. He has been a Green Party Councillor in Norwich from 2008 to 2012. Currently he is a Policy and Practice Officer at the Race Equality Foundation, assisting the policy and practice team on a number of projects, including the Department of Health Strategic Partners program, and de National Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Transplant Alliance (NBTA).

Peter Babudu


Peter works as a consultant in the social enterprise sector and he's currently standing to become a local Councillor in Peckham, in south London. Peter's interest in politics stems from his experiences growing up in Peckham and a deep belief that UK politics must become more representative if the country's long term challenges are to be addressed.

Peter was born in Southwark and raised in Peckham. He qualified as a solicitor before dedicating his career to working with charities, social enterprises and local government to help improve support for vulnerable groups.  Peter is currently the Deputy Cabinet Member for Innovation.


Barbara Kasumu

Co Founder

Barbara Kasumu is co-founder of Elevation Networks, a youth employment charity that aims to bridge the gap between disadvantaged groups and industry. She has worked with government departments, NGOs and various youth projects across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean and writes on youth unempoyment and careers for Telegraph Wonder Women. 

Josh Wilson


Josh Wilson is an experienced producer who executive produced Mission Mudder and Chasing the Dream for Sky and is currently exec producing scripted drama series False Impression based on the Jeffrey Archer novel of the same name. He holds credits for major companies including Jeep, Lucozade, Wilmington PLC, The ARK Group, Advanced Vision Care, The Chrysalis Programme, International Compliance Association, International Compliance Training and more. Skills include, multi and single camera directing on location, script-writing, producing talent of all levels of experience, leading both small and large teams, scheduling post-production, hiring and managing productions. Have worked extensively abroad especially the U.S and Canada. In 2018, he made the Forbes List for under 30's.  

With thanks also to the Talent Manager for the above information

Kalpesh Solanki

Managing Editor

Kalpesh is group managing editor of the Asian Media & Marketing Group (AMG). Kalpesh graduated with a law degree (LLB Hons) from Queen Mary College, London, and qualified as a barrister from the Inner Temple. Kalpesh is responsible for the strategy and growth of AMG operations over three continents USA, UK and India.

AMG provides route to market services with specific focus on the Asian community.


With thanks to the

Amie Buhari

Project Leader

Amie Buhari, is the Founder and project leader of the The Hebe Foundation (formally known as South London Youth Project). She set up the organisation that is now well respected for its Junior Apprenticehip programme, in 2007 after feeling for years the need to provide young people with activities that work towards developing their gifts and improving their lives in some way. Amie has over 20 years Youth Work and Management experience in various organisations such as theatre’s, environmental companies, TRA Associations, churches, youth clubs etc. Amie’s skills include Teaching, Facilitation, Project Management, Counselling, Events coordinator and she is also an Actress, Singer, Percussionist and Writer.

With thanks to for the above biography.

Rajinder Kaur Mann

Chief executive

Rajinder Mann is the  Chief Executive of the Network for Black Professionals (NBP) – the UK wide social justice organisation.

A high profile figure in the social justice field, she was formerly the Executive Director of the Black Leadership Initiative (BLI), which focuses on practical measures to improve the career opportunities for BAME staff and managers in the Schools, FE and HE sectors and beyond. The BLI was awarded the British Diversity Award Gold Standard for Education in 2005, and more recently, was conferred the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award in 2012 in recognition of its flagship Mentoring Programme.

Rajinder has over 30 years experience in FE, adult, youth and community education. She was Director of Community Education at Bilston Community College, then Principal Officer for Lifelong Learning at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. She is highly experienced in policy development which she gained while working at Birmingham City Council and Wolverhampton City Council. Rajinder also worked as a Race Equality Officer at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), developing strategies and policies aimed at community cohesion. Significantly, Rajinder was a founding member of the NBP, Vice-Chair of the ground-breaking Commission for Black Staff in FE, and has been instrumental in the success of the NBP and BLI.

Rajinder was appointed an OBE in 2011 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to BAMEs in the community. In 2013 Rajinder was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Social Sciences from Wolverhampton University in recognition of her significant contribution to Equality and Diversity and Social Justice in the West Midlands.

Agatha Akyigyina OBE


Agatha Akyigyina has been a Merton Councillor in Figges Marsh was  honoured in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours. for "political and public service".

Cllr Akyigyina has been volunteering for more than 30 years. Her first volunteer role was supporting young parents with babies as part of Home Start and several of the mothers went on to become volunteers themselves.

The former Mayor of Merton has also been a school governor, a committee member of North East Mitcham Community Centre, a support worker with St Mark’s Family Centre and a street pastor. She has been a councillor for the last 10 years.

Maureen Okoye OBE

Head Teacher

Maureen Okoye is Head teacher of the Arbor Academy Trust. In 2011,  Davies Lane was asked by the Local Authority to support Selwyn Primary School as part of a local authority improvement strategy. In 2013, the schools formed a hard federation and this partnership strengthened both schools resulting in Davies Lane being judged as outstanding (2014) and Selwyn as good with outstanding features (2014). In 2015, Davies Lane, a member of the Tollgate Teaching Alliance, was awarded National support school status following a  strong track record of school improvement,  supporting and working with schools in the local authority and as far afield as Southampton.

In 2016, in recognition of the significant expertise of the schools and Mrs Okoye,as  a National Leader of Education, Davies Lane was awarded Teaching School status, making it one of two teaching schools in Waltham Forest.

In the 2017 Queen's June Birthday Honours List, Maureen Okoye was appointed as Order of the British Empire(OBE) 

Pradip Patel


Pradip Patel is the chairman of Frimley Health NHS foundation trust. He was previously the deputy chairman of Hillingdon hospital foundation trust and director of healthcare strategy at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Pradip Patel recently retired from Boots after 40 years and several leadership roles including Director of Healthcare Strategy, Director of HR Stores and Professional Development, and Chairman and Managing Director of Boots Opticians. One of the highlights of his career was turning the profits of Boots Opticians from £350k per annum to £16 million within three years.

Serena Johnson

Co-founder and Director of Conscious Youth

Serena is the co-founder and director of Conscious Youth, an award-winning social enterprise in West Yorkshire. 

She is also a part time lecturer at the University of Huddersfield teaching social policy and community development.

 In 2017 she was awarded for her 'most significant contribution to the community' by Kirklees council.

Satwinder Sandhu

Social Worker

Satwinder was born and raised in Warwickshire. Trained as a social worker, he currently oversees operations at The Homefinding & Fostering Agency. He has a passion for ethics driven politics that has high impact. As a black, gay man, activism around equality and diversity issues has always been a strong focus in his life.

Satwinder  specialised  in adoption and fostering for nearly 20 years.  From 2009-2014 he was Director of Adoption and Fostering at PACT leading the department through significant growth and transformation.  Satwinder is passionate about people, which fits well with his expertise in children’s social work.  Having worked with 100s of foster carers and adopters during his career he believes he has a good idea what makes a great foster carer/adopter as well as what organisations such as PACT need to do to support them.  

Satwinder’s interest in social issues, the environment, innovation and business all contribute to the work he does.  He is well versed with representing adoption and fostering on TV, radio and on social media.

Isschara Maxime

Senior Officer & Vice Chair of Croydon Council BAME Staff Network.

Isschara works for Croydon Council within PLACE department in addition to taking on a voluntary role as the Vice Chair for Croydon Council BAME staff Network. The Croydon Council BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) staff network champion BAME staff issues and support the council's equality and diversity agenda. They work with other departments to make Croydon a better place to work for all BAME staff by looking at career development, role models, awareness raising, discrimination, equality and fair treatment. 

It also aims to influence policies, practices and changes affecting BAME staff.Isschara Maximé is Vice Chair of the Staff Network.She is passionate about developing a society that positively empowers our youth, tackles the un/conscious bias within our institutions

Margaret Greer

Race Equality Advisor

Margaret is National Race Equality Officer for UNISON, has been an activist and community based activist for several years. Prior to joining UNISON as a member of staff, Margaret was a senior social worker, branch secretary, chair of the Greater London regional Black members committee and also the chair of the national Black members committee. 

One her many roles as a National Officer is to advise on race equality at all levels, including the National Executive Committee in UNISON.  Margaret was the first winner of UNISON's Nelson Mandela Award for outstanding work in the fight against racism and inequality.

Hassaanah Amejee

TV Presenter, Community Activist

Hassaanah is a TV presenter with a background in community activism and education. 

She is keen to raise awareness for the impact of mental health. 

She set up one of the UK's first faith-based Eating Disorder Support group run by those affected by the disorder.She is a  champion, guide and friend to anyone affected by eating disorders, giving individuals experiencing an eating disorder and their loved ones a place where they feel listened to, supported and empowered.

Hassaanah  has  campaigned for positive change for people who are suffering so that they can get the help they need and deserve as quickly as possible. Her organisation also  run and assist with research to learn more about what causes eating disorders and how best to treat them.

Fujo Malaika

Interfaith Minister / Peace Ambassador

Fujo Malaika is an Interfaith Minister / Peace ambassador. She has been active in the community for many years. She teaches in personal and spiritual development, and provides speeches at bespoke weddings, baby naming, 'rites of passage' funerals and other ceremonies.

After having to deal with her own Son being given a long prison sentence, Fujo committed herself to becoming an Ambassador to bring peace to the streets of Manchester. 

Since being ordained back in 2012, Fujo has a ‘rainbow of friends’ — Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Rastafarian and Christian. Always wanting to connect with people’s heart and soul, regardless of faith or culture. ‘Many ways but one truth’.

Fujo seeks to use her ministry, her lifes purpose, to  create/deliver Peace Mala, Forgiveness, and Personal & Spiritual Development workshops along with bespoke ceremonies. She  also provides public speeches, spiritual counselling and remain very active in Manchester’s Caribbean community.

Rachel Onikosi

Anti Slavery Activist,Speaker, Justice of the Peace

Rachel is a passionate Campaigner about  Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking including legislative requirements, best policy practice and new Government approaches. She was recently an invited guest of the Advisory Panel of the Human Trafficking Foundation (Human Trafficking Foundation, Secretariat to All Party Parliamentary Group. She is also a  Committee Member on Stop the Traffik, Faith to Freedom Steering Group. Part of her work involves lobbying electing members to ensure education and understanding of anti -Slavery and human trafficking issues including the impact on violence against women and girls, immigration, financial services, employment and housing. Also working with local authorities and devolved administrators on best policy and the sharing best practice.

Rachel is a former Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, London Borough of Lewisham where she served between  May 2014  and May 2018. Her proudest achievements included driving forward the Public Realm portfolio – environmental services, Trading standards regulation and enforcement, parks & green spaces, sustainable energy, fuel poverty and issues pertaining to Air Quality. She was proud to play her part in representing a strong community/constituents across Lewisham  on issues concerning regeneration, housing,  education, business growth, community safety and adult/social care provision.

Rachel is also a Board Member  of Fair Train that deals with Apprenticeships and Work based learning. She has helping to set Fair Trains corporate objectives, values, mission & behavioural statements.

And if you had the need to visit  Bromley/ Bexley Magistrates Courts,  you may see Rachel at work as a Justice of the Peace(JP) (Magistrate) a role she has performed in her spare time since 2012 . A JP has presiding over criminal cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and Government agencies with prosecuting functions/powers.

Public service has always been Rachels' key motivation including serving as a  Consumer Champion for water customers across the South East water Region articulating the organisations Forward Programme over a number of communication platforms

With a communications and policy development background particularly as a  Senior Consumer  & Legislative Manager where she gave direct advice to Ministers, senior civil servants, Rachel is a Community Champion in the truest sense and is committed to remaining an advocate for public good for many years to come.



Jide Macaulay

Church of England Minister

Jide Macaulay is the founding Pastor and CEO of House Of Rainbow CIC. 

Jide is Anglican. British-Nigerian born in London, a Christian minister since 1998, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, author, poet, pastor and preacher, holds a degree in Law, master’s degree in Theology and Post-graduate certificate in Pastoral Theology. 

Jide focuses his ministry on inclusion and reconciliation of sexuality, spirituality and human rights. He writes for various Christian and secular Journals. He has authored three books, Poetry Inspired 2001, I Say A little Prayer For You and Pocket Devotion for LGBT Christians 2005, he has won several awards including the 2003 and 2007 Black LGBT Community Award for "Man of the Year" for his work helping people of faith. Shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2014, in the category for Positive Role Model, and winner 2014 NAZ MSM Award. He served from 2007 to 2013 as Executive Board member and Co Chair of Pan Africa International Lesbians and Gay Association. He is currently Co-Chair/Board of Trustee at Global Interfaith Network, Board of Trustee at Kaleidoscope Trust UK, Trained Volunteer Champion at Afruca Children's Charity, and also a Director at Justice for Gay Africans UK.



Riaz Hussain


Riaz Hussain QC is an experienced advocate with strong expertise in Chambers’ core construction specialties and also in general commercial disputes outside the construction Bar.

Riaz is recommended in construction, professional negligence and international arbitration in both the Legal 500 and in Chambers and Partners, with comments recognising the forensic and impressive quality of his advocacy, the clarity of his advice and his commercial and pragmatic approach.

Riaz appears as lead counsel in high value and complex litigation and arbitration. He frequently appears as an advocate in the High Court and in arbitration; appearing in ICC, LCIA, DIAC, ICSID and bespoke arbitrations and PFI adjudications. He is also on the LCIA list of arbitrators.

Riaz has acted in the full range of building disputes and building-related professional negligence disputes including residential, leisure, medical and educational developments; process plants, oil and gas refineries and pipelines and PFI projects. He regularly advises on the major standard forms.

Riaz also acts in a range of general commercial disputes including investment treaty claims, conflict of laws issues, insurance claims, bonds and guarantees, sale of goods, assignment issues, joint venture agreement and shareholder disputes, business consultancy agreements, enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention, and cases involving allegations of corruption.


With thanks to Atkin Chambers for the above information

Raj Kalia


Raj is the CEO of Building Digital U.K. (BDUK) leading delivery of digital infrastructure programmes for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. The portfolio currently covers 5 programmes with a total whole life cost of £10Bn.

The UK Fibre Programme is a £5Bn programme delivering gigabit capable connectivity to the hardest to reach 20% of the UK and aligns the Prime Ministers ambition for accelerated rollout of digital connectivity. This programme relies on interventions developed under three other programmes Superfast Broadband, Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) and Rural Gigabit Connectivity, and combined with the 700Mhz Clearance programme which is making available spectrum for resale for 5G, this makes up the other £5Bn.

Raj works closely across government, with regulators, industry bodies, local authorities and telecoms operators to deliver the digital infrastructure that underpins the UK’s telecommunications and digital sectors.

Prior to BDUK, Raj spent 14 years at TalkTalk Raj where he was a key part of the team that made Local Loop Unbundling the standard for ISP’s and ‘free broadband’ a reality, and went on to be Director of Innovation, Director of Major Projects, Group Procurement Director and finally Director of Technology Transformation.

Dr. Sammy Li

Equality & Diversity Advisor for Students

Sammy leads the Equality and Diversity for Students team within Student Services at  University of Birmingham. He has a strategic role on developing partnerships to advance inclusive policy and practice for student equality across the University. His work emphasises on supporting students from different backgrounds to realise their potential in learning and development during their university life. Sammy is a seasoned traveller with a doctorate in tourism management who enjoys exploring the diversity in different cultures and societies.

Rob Neil OBE

Diversity & Inclusion Leader

Rob Neil OBE has over 35 years’ experience in the public sector.  The founding member of the Ministry of Justice’s BAME staff network, called PROUD, he was the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum in 2001, and is a Diversity and Inclusion leader. 

He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to race equality in the workplace and the community.  Rob has also been a Trustee with RELATE for ten years, and was one of the founding members of The Reach Society, a Community Interest Company which encourages, supports and inspires young people on their journey from education into employment. 

Abid Chohan

Solicitor and Lord Mayor

Abid is a  human rights lawyer, alongside his commitments as local councillor for Longsight for the last 15 years and  Lord  Mayor of Manchester for 2019/20  

Born in a remote village in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Abid studied law as a means for helping others, attaining a Bachelor of Law qualification before moving to the UK and began his career as a paralegal within two weeks of his arrival.

Abid has worked as a solicitor since 2007 sitting as director in his own law firm since 2015, specialising in immigration and civil litigation law.

Abid has often spoken out against human rights violations around the globe and has provided pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford professional fees.

He is also the founder and Chair of the British Pakistani Cultural Association which aims to promote Pakistani heritage and culture in the UK. He supports a number of charities and as an active trade unionist has previously chaired the Manchester and Oldham East brand of Unite.

In 2004 Abid was first elected as a Manchester City Councillor for its Longsight ward.  He has served as Lead member for Race and Equality and has sat on a number of scrutiny committees including Children and Young People, Communities, Neighbourhoods and Environment, and the Planning and Highways Committee.  He has sat on the Licensing and Appeals Committee for several years and served as Deputy Chair for four years.

Judette Tapper CBE

Head Teacher

Ms Tapper was awarded a CBE in 2005 for services to local and national education. Under her leadership, Platanos College has made tremendous progress. Ms Tapper is also Chief Executive of the Platanos Trust, with responsibility for implementing the strategic vision, working with key national educational bodies and seeking out best practice. Her philosophy of education is based on high expectations, discipline and hard work, all central to meeting the challenges of urban education.  Ms Tapper has a national reputation for raising attainment and has supported schools deemed inadequate or in special measures. She currently supports newly appointed Headteachers and lectures widely on leadership, change management, curriculum innovation and effective behaviour management strategies.  Ms Tapper has addressed government ministers as well as many leaders of business and industry, advising on educational matters.

"This is an excellent school, where parents rightly feel that it gives their children every chance of succeeding in life. It is a purposeful place where everyone's right to work and learn is respected. (Ofsted, 2006)"

Since then the School has produced some of the best GCSE results in the Country proving that the words above most areas of the school and classrooms "Attitude Determines Altitude" is more than just the school motto. 

With thanks to Platanos College for the majority of the above bio.

Efe Ezekiel BEM

Community Activist, Youth Mentor, Trainer, Consultant......

Efe Ezekiel BEM  is a  Youth Mentor, Inspirational Speaker, Presenter, TV| Radio|Online producer, Youth TV Expert, Coach, Mother of Many, Teacher, Creative, Model, Actress, Consultant, Writer, Blogger, Vlogger, Trainer, Primary School Ambassador, Secondary School Board Member, Fitness Fanatic, Food Lover, Style Junkie, People Person, Music Enthusiast, Dancing Queen, Designer, Commander of Comedy, Healer and Lover of Life plus so much more . 

Her  Passion and Greatest Love is to Inspire  Children, Mentor, Write, Produce content, Create and have lots  and lots of fun. Her  YouTube channel 'Ushine Ishine' has inspirational videos . Her company 'Ushine Ishine' is on a beautiful mission to raise the joy and aspirations of millions of young people all over the world and make sure that every child and young person knows their worth and importance. 

Efe Ezekiel was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2018 Queens New Years Honours List for her youth mentoring service.  

Selena Carty

Cultural & Ancestral Consultant, Afro centric Genealogist & Founder of BlackPoppyRose

Selena Carty , launched  BlackPoppyRose  in September 2010 by . It was created to be a symbol that represents the contributions made by the African/Black/Caribbean/Pacific Islands communities to various wars since the 16th century. A symbol that signifies pride, honour and glory, with the hope that future generations will be inspired by these largely untold historical legacies.

The BlackPoppyRose has the aim of enlightening people of ALL nations, of the African /Black /West Indian /Pacific Islanders contribution to history. Further aims include making the BlackPoppyRose a symbol of Remembrance world-wide; educating  and empowering  through understanding historical timelines and empowering self identity within African/Black/West India/Pacific Islanders. 

 The symbol of the Black Poppy Rose, worn on remembrance day, not only commemorates soldiers but also the people of those communities who contributed to the war effort. 

Caleb Femi

Poet and director

Caleb is a Poet and director who featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. 

Using film, photography and music Caleb pushes the boundaries of poetry both on the page, in performance and on digital mediums. He has written and directed short films commissioned by the BBC and Channel 4 and poems by the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature, St Paul's Cathedral, the BBC, the Guardian and many more. 

Between 2016-2018, Caleb was the Young People’s Laureate for London working with young people on a city, national and global level. Caleb performs and speaks internationally gracing major stages, institutions and festivals. He works on global advertising campaigns.

Danez Smith

Spoken Word Artist

Danez Smith is a spoken word artist best recognized for inspiring the soulful beat within listeners with his poem, “Twerking as a Radical Act of Healing.” Within his poetry, Smith utilizes a mix of commanding rhythm and language to address the intersectionality of race, sexuality, and personal and social identity. 

He is the author of Boy and the chapbook hands on ya knees, and is a founding member of multicultural spoken word group, Dark Noise Collective

Shaheen Talia Sayed

Managing Director Accenture

 Shaheen has multiple roles at Accenture which involve diverse reporting and stakeholder groups. She sits on Accenture's UKI Executive Leadership Team, comprising of seventeen senior representatives who determine the strategic goals of the UKI business. Shaheen represents the interests of Accenture's Analyst Consulting Group at board level. 

Since 2014 Shaheen has been the lead of Accenture's Analyst Consulting Group, and accountable for the personal and professional development of over 1000 new graduates. Shaheen works extensively with Accenture's African-Caribbean Network where she leads the development of a signature two day classroom-based Leadership Development course for forty attendees. She has also established a mentoring circle for BAME colleagues at manager and senior manager level whom she personally mentors on issues of gender and race. Three of the women Shaheen has mentored are in the process of being promoted to Managing Director level. In addition to this, Shaheen is a personal mentor a number of non-BAME senior Managing Directors on understanding how to leverage the diverse talent in their business areas.

Netsai Mangwende

Head of Finance Business Partnering for UK and Europe

Netsai is an experienced Finance professional, with 11 years' experience in the London Insurance Market. She has strong commercial acumen and an in depth understanding of the critical success factors that formulate business strategies and drive performance. Her insight has informed the development of new tools and ideas transforming Finance from a support function to one that genuinely leads the Business.

She is an Instrumental member of the UK Executive Committee at AIG and a Valued Member of the Senior Management Team for AIG Europe Limited. She manages the insurance group's Europe portfolio and is responsible for the management results control framework, reporting, accounting, financial planning and analysis as well as strategic business partnering.Netsai Led the set-up of the first African and Caribbean employee resource group in EMEA, called the ACIG & Allies ERG at AIG who have achieved great progress in the areas of developing talent, attracting talent, cultural awareness and community.

Dipan Shah

Partner- Private Business tax practice

Dipan joined Price Waterhouse Cooper( PwC) in 2002 to train as a Chartered Accountant and by 2014 had progressed to partner. Dipan advises privately owned businesses, families and entrepreneurs with UK and international interests. He leads PwC's Private Business and Private Client tax practice in London. 

Dipan was recently recognised as a leading professional in the Tax Journal's independently evaluated 40 under 40 awards.As an Indian born and raised in Africa and now living in the UK, Dipan is a senior champion of the BAME agenda. He is the co-founder of PwC's Asian Business Forum, sponsor of the PwC Multicultural Business Network and a member of its Africa Business Group. Through his networks, client work and leadership roles, he strongly encourages the mobility of talent and doing business internationally, most notably with Africa and the Indian sub-continent.Dipan mentors BAME children in the UK and abroad, and devotes his spare time and energy to support charities helping children in Africa and India.

Tony Chanmugam

Chief Finance Officer

  As Chief Finance Officer, Tony has been instrumental in setting the direction for BT, particularly over the last six years as he has worked to transform our cost base. He is a member of the BT Board and reports directly to the Group CEO.  Despite the enormous scope of his day job, Tony consistently commits time and energy to improving BT's position. Recently, this has included; sponsoring BT's Ethnic Minority network, developing a specific mentoring programme for BAME employees, reviewing recruitment and mentoring within his business area and kicking off a detailed review of all of BT's development and leadership options with a view to accelerating BAME development across BT.  

Tony is a strong and visible leader on BAME diversity in BT. He uses the influence he has across the business to close engagement and progression gaps for our BAME employees , whether through structural programmes, or via the personal sponsorship and mentoring he offers to senior BAME individuals.

Harish Sodha

Executive Chairman

Harish is the Executive Chairman, majority shareholder and one of three founders of Diversity Travel. This means he is ultimately responsible for all of Diversity Travel's 125 employees and all final decisions lie with him. 

In 2013, under Harish's guidance, Diversity Travel was the only company in the industry, handpicked by the UK Government, to join Accelerate 250, a group of 250 high-growth companies bucking the trend of the recession to become significant contributors to UK job creation.Difference is celebrated at Diversity Travel because Harish believes all minorities should be championed and encouraged whether this relates to gender, ethnicity or religion. This is represented across the business – staff speak over 20 languages, come from 15 nationalities and there is a 45:55 male to female gender split. Different sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs are represented at all levels of the organisation and the Board is 40% BAME, 20% female and 40% LGBT. 

They also have a Diversity Policy, as well as an Equal Opportunities Policy, because they are committed to leveraging the diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of our people to provide excellent customer service to an equally diverse community of clients.Diversity Travel has won numerous awards including Best Travel Management Company 2014 at The Business Travel Awards and Kenya Airways Charity Agency of the Year Award 2015. 

Annie Zaidi MBE

Football Coach

Annie Zaidi MBE  is a female football coach of South Asian heritage. She has passed her FA Level 2 badge and is working towards her Uefa B coaching licence.

With the support of Queens Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand and technical director Chris Ramsey, she is involved at the Championship club's academy, and is also the head coach for Leicester City Under-11s girls' team.

In November 2015 , Zaidi received the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at the Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

She has also spoken at the  Fifa Women's Football and Leadership Conference.

An Arsenal fan, her dream is one day to become Gunners manager.

In the Queens New Years Honours list 2017, she was made a Member of the British Empire for her services to diversity in sport.   

Ronke Ige


Ronke Ige is a serial entrepreneur and founder of two London based companies, Emi & Ben and Bread + Butter Communications.

Founded in 2009, Emi & Ben is a natural skincare company, specialising in handmade body butters produced with 100% unrefined shea butter.

Bread + Butter Communications is a full service PR agency. Founded in 2005, the company specialises in fashion and consumer PR in addition to representing entertainment professionals, experts and business personalities.

In addition to running two successful businesses, Ronke serves as an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and Enterprise UK.


Taher Ali Qassim MBE

Public Health Manager

Taher Ali Qassim is a public health manager with a Yemeni origin. In yemen he used to be a goat shepherd, but after arriving in Liverpool in 1995 he has become a public health manager of the citiy, dedicate to improving health in Liverpool by improving housing and education. His been awarded with and MBE for his work on funding the Black and Racial Minorities Network, created to mediate between parents and schools as well as to set up housing and health improvement projects.

Vikas Shah MBE


Professor Vikas Shah is a Manchester-based high profile entrepreneur who is regularly seen on BBC TV and Sky News as a commentator on business issues.

He has spent many years of his life actively working in the entrepreneurship community, mentoring hundreds of young entrepreneurs and businesses, and playing a key role in the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the city.

Vikas started his first business aged 14, is an honorary professor at Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester and professor of entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan Lisbon MBA.

The inspirational business leader is an accomplished public speaker, with international experience of delivering keynotes and providing insights at events including The Economist Annual Conference (EIU), MIT Global Startup Workshop, and Global Entrepreneurship Week.

In the 2018 Queens New Years Honour List,Vikas received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to business and the economy.

Prem Singh


Prem Singh is  Chairman of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust . 

Prem’s appointment started in December 2013. He has led health services across Derbyshire for more than a decade. He is the former Chief Executive of Derby City Primary Care Trust  and he was previously Chief Executive of Chesterfield Primary Care Trust. 

His highly successful career in the NHS and social care sector spans 37 years, with extensive experience at board level for over 22 years. He has successfully led community, mental health and learning disability services. In 2009, he was appointed by the Chief Executive of NHS England to lead the Inclusion Agenda for the newly established National Leadership Council. He has played a significant leadership role in engaging service users, communities and the wider economy to help improve service quality, social inclusion and public confidence in health services.

Roxanne St Clair

Inspirational Speaker, Author, Trustee

Roxanne St Clair is an award winning inspirational speaker, author, trustee, passionate educator, and effective coach who supports business owners to master both the practical and spiritual side of success.

Roxanne spent 15 years working for global financial organisations in a variety of roles in the UK and Europe. After the birth of her second child she decided to create a more flexible working structure to accommodate her growing family, and for the past 17 years has been supporting business owners with their financial accounting and office systems.

Through her motivational talks and powerful workshops, Roxanne helps individuals achieve new heights of spiritual aliveness and success. Her compassionate, compelling style calls participants into the ‘moreness’ of life and inspires and supports them to live into the full expression of who they are meant to be.

Roxanne created The Value in You®, a set of 52 inspirational leadership cards, as a means to assist individuals in their quest to live a life that they love. Creating The Value In You® was triggered by a desire to help women, and as a result families, to embrace all aspects of them self.


A strong believer in giving back, Roxanne sits on the board of two charities; she is a trustee of the Mary Seacole Trust (MST), and was instrumental in the erection of the statue of Mary Seacole that now resides in the gardens of St Thomas’ Hospital. She joined what was the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal (MSMSA) as the Treasurer, and was subsequently asked to project manage the completion and installation of the statue on behalf of the charity. She is now the Chair of the charity’s Education Committee.


She also Chairs the Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (CGEF), a charity that sponsors girls’ secondary education in their own Commonwealth country. Each year the charity sponsors between 300 and 350 bright but financially challenged girls across 30 countries, giving them the hope of creating a better future for them self and their communities.

Naomi Marek OBE

Chief Executive

 Naomi Marek is  Chief Executive of Sky Badger, whose innovative work has provided online support to over 695,000 families who have children with disabilities or special educational needs. Her work was recognised with the award of the OBE by the Queen in her New Years Honours List for 2018.

When Naomi Marek’s son Max was diagnosed with autism and a life-threatening form of epilepsy at the age of six, she suddenly found herself having to navigate a maze of hospital appointments, school rejections, financial worries and many unknowns about what support was available where.

After joining a local club for parents of disabled children, Marek realised that finding the right help and information can change everything. Word of mouth between a few mums soon turned into a Facebook page for local information sharing, and the seed of an idea for Sky Badger was planted. The name itself? A superhero badger invented by Max.

Since its launch as a website in 2011, Sky Badger has helped over a million disabled children and their families, as well as teachers and social workers, find financial, social and legal help. Its information pages include everything from help at school, medical information and disabled adaptations, to fun things like sensory toys, holidays and sports clubs, siblings groups and ‘make a wish’ charities.


Cheryl Fergus-Ferrell

Accountant & Podcast Presenter

Cheryl is an Accountant working in the housebuilding industry, a Podcast Presenter (for Women of Power UK), and an antiques enthusiast in my spare time. She presented her  own radio show “Sat Chat” on Croydon Radio for two years and  found it really rewarding to be able to connect more with local people and charities and to use her platform to help them share their stories. 

Cheryl is quite active in the local Croydon community and can often be seen around town interviewing people at local festivals and events. She considers herself  to be somewhat of a social justice warrior who tries to help people get their message or story out in the public domain in the most constructive way.

In the summer of 2016 she was contacted by the National Citizen Service (NCS), the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, to take part in their version of Dragon’s Den which was held at the Stanley Halls building in South Norwood, on Saturday 16th July 2016. In her  role as a Dragon she listened to fundraising ideas being pitched by groups of young people from the local Croydon Schools, and it was her  job (along with the other dragons) to judge all the teams fairly based on their presentations and to award the prizes accordingly. Great personal learning experience aside, she was encouraged that the upcoming generation showing such a fondness for social cohesion within the society and world around them. In their own small way they were able to demonstrate how passionate they were about trying to help with current issues such as homelessness and domestic violence.

Over the last few years  Cheryl have personally been fortunate enough to witness first-hand the amazing work that groups such as The Croydon BME Forum and The Oasis Church Croydon  can achieve when they work together with the various skillsets within the community.

The mantra  or philosophy she lives by is one  of being kind to others . Always aim to help others if you are in a position to do so.


Don John

Film Maker & Campaigner

Don John is a film maker, author & DJ as well as a consultant in the field of community cohesion. He has been a pioneer in the development of “Race & Diversity” issues  across the southern region for over 30 years and was the founder and coordinator of Black History Month in Southampton over more than 20 years.    

Don John believes that Black History should not just be important to Black people but should be important to all peoples for a fuller understanding of the relationship between black & white people socially and politically. He passionately believes   Black History Matters and Black Lives Matter is only the beginning of a process.    

Mahmudul Hasan 

Imam and TV Presenter

Mahmudul Hasan is a Bangladeshi-born British television presenter and Imam. He is best known for presenting Jibon Jiggasha on NTV.

Hasan has a first-class M.A and B.A in Arabic. In 1999, Hasan graduated with a licentiate degree from Al-Azhar University. In 2000, he graduated in a Diploma in Islamic philosophy from Cairo University. In 2006, he completed an M.A in Islamic studies at Loughborough University.

Hasan has worked at assistant professor at Chittagong University and lecturer in Islamic studies at International Islamic University Chittagong. 

Hasan presents Islamic Q&A show Jibon Jiggasha on NTV.He is also Imam of Essex Masjid

Dr. Dwain A Neil

Managing Director

Dwain Neil is the  managing director of Leriko & Associates (founded 2002), which provides social research, project management, executive coaching, mentoring & motivation and recruitment management consultancy. 

Previously he was director, operations & performance management, for two years at Focus Consultancy Ltd (Oct 2000 to Sept 2002). He is Co-Author of 3 books 

He also enjoyed twenty-one years of commercial experience in Shell Chemicals International as a global accounts manager and latterly as global recruitment manager. He had also been a regular speaker at diversity conferences focused on public and private sector issues in the UK and Holland since 1994. 

In June 2010 he was appointed Non Executive Member of the Board, University of Hertfordshire, for a three year term. 

Early 2009 he was invited to become a Reader on the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education. 

Late 2007 he was appointed Non Executive Director to the Board of BTEG, which is a national training and enterprise charity; where he is also its treasurer.

Olive-Aleakwe James

Content Creator & Producer

Olive-Aleakwe was a freelancer who worked across different sectors including broadcast media (television, radio, news and commercials), charities, digital marketing (viral promos), financial, investment banking, recruitment, social care, training and voluntary.

She delivered briefs as a Producer, Development and Production Researcher, Talent Booker,   

Project Coordinator, Production Coordinator on various projects for the Arts Council, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, Channel 4, Current TV, Diverse TV (formerly part of Zodiak Entertainment), FilmFour, 

Fresh One TV (part of the Jamie Oliver group), LIGALI, LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games / Cultural Olympiad), RT UK and Tonic Productions.

Development & Production Credits include:

Hip Hop Changed the World (presented by Idris Elba),


Rap Beatbox Choir (featuring Akala, MsDynamite, Wretch 22),

Men’s Hour 

Meera Syal’s Asian Comedy Story,

Meera Syal’s Comedy Night, 

Lauren’s Spacepod 2012 (with Lauren Laverne),

Pune, India,

Tel Aviv Comes Out,

Drunk Again – Ann Widdecombe Investigates,

Stoned Again (with Jacqui Smith, former MP),

How To Make Friends,

This Filthy Earth,

Maisie’s Catch.

Beauty Is.....( With Ligali ).

Following this, she and husband Jerome, launched the online platform GUD VYBZ  (slang for good vibes) and started positive messages on t-shirts. GUD VYBZ was created to empower and remind people:

- of their greatness;

- that they are not alone;

- of their contributions in all fields, 

- of their identity and natural selves,

- their abilities,

- of their living history,

- that unity exists.

Olive-Aleakwe then expanded this to create the zero-budget “SOLUTIONS” segment, which consists of interviews with inspirational guests and experts.

SOLUTIONS was a response to the sense of powerless and crises, that some mainstream societies, schools and media create.

Direct action against weapons of mass distraction, that breed ignorance, fear and racist scapegoating.

A refusal to enable the extinction of African and African Caribbean and African Latin-American heritage and achievements (that are often in root of internalised racism and unnecessary divisions).

She felt what is lacking - in the prime-time media and national print - is editorial that is uplifting and reflective of constructive realities, instead of the constructed “reality” we are force-fed.

Since starting GUD VYBZ, feedback and engagement has been very positive, both from men and women globally.

You can  connect with GUD VYBZ SOLUTIONS on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Afrasiab Anwar MBE

Community Worker and Councillor

Afrasiab Anwar MBE was awarded an MBE in the Queens 2018  New Years List for services to building community cohesion in Burnley, Lancashire.

Afrasiab Anwar from Burnley has spent years working on bringing people from different backgrounds, ages and faiths together. Afrasiab has committed more than half his life to improving the lives of others in the town - especially youngsters.

He's used sport to engage them and get them away from anti-social behaviour tendencies.

Afrasiab also does work at his local Mosque, to help shape the lives of many people across the community.

He brings people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds together to make a real difference.

Peter Anike

Social Worker, Pastor, Community Activist

Peter Anike has a long record of service, activity and community leadership in Croydon, London. He is a Social Worker working in Adult Social Services for  a large local authority but also has a background in  Strategic Management, Developmental and Service Improvement Skills. Peter is well known for his inspirational and relational style and his ethos is built around being resilient in the face of challenges.  

Peter is passionate about working with those with learning disabilities and via his regular participation in workshops and conferences on community engagement, health and wellbeing, he seeks to share his experience and learn from others in order to build more inclusive and stronger communities.

Peter is also a Pastor at Praise House Ministry which began in May 1994. Since then it has grown into a thriving community church, reflecting the cultural diversity of local communities around and outside of Croydon. 

Davinder Kaur

Director and Chair

Davinder Kaur is one of the founding members of SWEDA -an organisation to encourage women into business and has been involved with the organisation since its inception in 1989. She served as a Director on SWEDA’s Board of Management for nearly 10 years before joining SWEDA’s Management Team as a Staff member.

Davinder has built her career from extensive experience in managing commercial companies (operating in Retail, Wholesale, Import and Export sectors) in UK and Western Europe. She is a fully qualified and experienced business adviser and for over 15 years she has been managing Voluntary/Community Sector Organisations in the West Midlands. Since 2004 she has pioneered the diversification of SWEDA’s service provision in response to the aspirations and needs of local communities.

She is the Chair of Sandwell Consortium of Third Sector organisations and serves on the Management Boards of several organisations.

In 2017, she received a British Empire Medal for services to Women's Enterprise and the community in Sandwell, 

Paul Monekosso Cleal

Partner, Price Waterhouse Cooper(PwC)

Paul has been with PwC for 20 years and partner for the last 15 and is among the top 10% most senior partners in the UK firm having held a number of leadership roles. 

Over the years Paul has mentored many BAME staff and partners and in 2013 Business in the Community's Race for Opportunity campaign chose him as their first Diversity Champion at their annual awards and asked him to join their advisory board. Paul was also chosen by the Powerlist Foundation as one of the top 100 black/afro-Caribbean role models in the last two years.Alongside his client facing responsibilities at PwC Paul has worked on diversity issues with particular emphasis on ethnicity.

 In 2003 he became the first chair of the firm's Ethnic Minorities Forum and raised the issue of ethnic inequality with the PwC Board. Since the number of BAME partners has grown from less than ten to nearly fifty.In 2006 Paul became the firm's first (and still only) BAME Board member (the firm is equivalent in scale to a FTSE-100 company). Among other things he sponsored detailed analysis of recruitment, retention and progression issues leading to actions including bias awareness training.

Abbas Edalat


Abbas Edalat is a professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College of London and a political activist. He is also the founder of CASMII, a campaign against sanctions and military intervention in Iran.

Edalat founded the educational peace organization CASMII, on December 1, 2005 in London, UK. It expanded to the US the following year. The organization's membership is described as a group of academics, students and professionals of "diverse range of political and ideological viewpoints", formed to oppose sanctions or military action against Iran. Edalat and CASMII have been involved in numerous anti-war events, news programs and speaking engagements.

Edalat has appeared on BBC News on numerous occasions

Mykaell Riley

Professional Writer/Producer/Arranger in Music & Music Academic

Mykaell S. Riley began his career as a performer with pioneering Reggae outfit Steel Pulse before moving on to found the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra. He has been a professional writer/producer/arranger for the last fifteen years, producing music for TV and film and over thirty albums. He has worked for artists such as Soul II Soul, Courtney Pine, Baba Maal, and a host of others. A Senior Lecturer in Music Production at the University of Westminster, Mykaell is also Senior Trustee for the Black Music Education Trust, a new initiative borne out of the need to document the history of black music.

Mykaell is a Principal Investigator at the University of Westminster  He also  works as a music industry consultant and a content developer for music related educational programmes. He is a subject specialist (music/production) for the Open University validation panel.

He is a member Arts & Business foundation, a board member of Camden Arts & Business Consortium, on the steering group for South Themes College, and a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Shahida Choudhry

Social Worker

Shahida Choudhry is a campaigner and social worker from Birmingham. She has set up Women’s Networking Hub in 2009, with the aspiration of working collectively with women activists and change makers, with the intention of eradicating gender inequality in all its forms. Having escaped a forced marriage that took place in Pakistan, she personally understands the problems surrounding violence against women. She has a varied work, which has included networking events using the arts as means of engaging with women, and raising awareness of sensitive and highly critical issues, such as forced marriage, FGM, and domestic violence.

Aina Khan OBE


Aina Khan OBE is Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. She provides International legal solutions across the UK and globally. Aina was honoured to receive an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2018.

Aina is  the founder of Register Our Marriage (ROM), was recognised with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) award for helping protect women and children from unregistered marriages.

The campaign is aimed at Muslim couples who do not register their Islamic Nikah ceremony, although it is directed at all faiths.Aina Khan. 

Sonita Alleyne, OBE, FRSA

Entrepreneur, Master Elect

Sonita Alleyne, is co-founder and former CEO of Somethin’ Else, a cross-platform media production company. Alleyne is a member of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Master elect of Jesus College, Cambridge.

Alleyne set up Somethin' Else, a music publicity business (named after the jazz album by Cannonball Adderley), with former colleagues Jez Nelson and Chris Philips. The company produced original content for the BBC and commercial radio. As CEO, Alleyne led many projects herself, including the development of Radio Music Shop, the world's first retail radio station.

In October 2009, Alleyne stepped down as Chief Executive and took on the role of Non-Executive Director. 

Starting in 2008, Alleyne has chaired both the national arts charity Sound and Music and the Radio Sector Skills Council. She is also a member of the Court of Governors at the University of the Arts London and a trustee of the Islington Arts and Media Trust. She sits on the UK Culture Committee for UNESCO and contributes to the Government Department of Work and Pensions as a member of the London Skills and Employment Board and the National Employment Panel. She has been a judge for the Precious Awards, which celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of black women, and the Sony Awards.

In February 2012, she was named the non executive director of Archant, a media group. In July 2012 the Government announced that Alleyne would join the BBC Trust, the governing body of the Corporation.

Alleyne has been a board member of the London Legacy Development Corporation since April 2012. In 2019 she was appointed Chair of the British Board of Film Classification.

In May 2019, she was elected Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, a role . She is the first woman to hold the role, 40 years after the college began admitting women as students.

Awards and recognition

In 2000, Alleyne received the Award of Excellence from the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners. In 2002, she won the Carlton Multicultural Achievement Award for TV and Radio. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and the Radio Academy. In 2004, she was awarded the OBE for services to broadcasting.

Sharan Ghuman MBE

Higher Officer

Sharan Ghuman MBE  works for the Home Office as a Border Force Higher Officer, based at Heathrow. Sharan Ghuman was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours List. She was awarded the MBE for services to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable People. Sharan was a runner-up in The Civil Service Awards for volunteering for a number of good causes. She is a Higher Officer of the Agency but from 2002-2010, Sharan was the Chief Immigration Officer for the UK Border Agency.

Sharan is also a School Governor and a Trustee to two Voluntary organisations.

Dawn Hill CBE

Chair of the Black Cultural Archives

Dawn Hill CBE is  Chair of the Black Cultural Archives . Dawn was awarded the Commander of the British Empire(CBE ) in the 2018 Queens New Year’s Honours list for services to Culture. The award was made in recognition of Dawn’s resolute commitment and dedication to Culture, along with other complimentary achievements.

Since 1988, Dawn has been a Trustee for Black Cultural Archives (BCA), becoming the Vice Chair in 2001 and Chair from 2012 to the present.

BCA highlights and celebrates the lives of people of African and Caribbean descent in the United Kingdom. On the 24th July 2014 the organisation launched the first national Black Heritage Centre in Windrush Square in Brixton. Under Dawn’s diligent chairmanship and after securing £6.9m of project funding, BCA launched the Black heritage centre, immediately adjacent to Windrush Square in the heart of Brixton.

The purpose-built facility provides access to a captivating and growing collection of archive material and artefacts and engages audiences and learners through exhibitions, culturally-centred public programmes and work with education and heritage providers.

The Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP awarded Dawn a Points of Light Award on the 18th October 2017, at a special Black History Month reception at 10 Downing Street. 

Dawn tirelessly chaired the construction project to ensure that the facility achieved the quality standards required to hold such valuable archive material in perpetuity; such standards in many cases are essential to receive objects on loan from other national and international institutions.

Now engaging 50,000 learners and visitors per annum, BCA champions Black history within the British cultural and heritage landscape. Since its’ opening, the organisation has seen a demonstrable increase of interest, participation and dialogue within the community and also a greater acknowledgement, recognition and involvement of Britain’s Black history within the heritage sector as a whole.


Sunder Katwala


Sunder Katwala is the director of British Future. He has previously worked as a journalist. He was general secretary of the Fabian Society thinktank from 2003 to 2011, and was previously a leader writer and internet editor at the Observer, a research director of the Foreign Policy Centre and commissioning editor for politics and economics at the publisher Macmillan.

In 2010 the Daily Telegraph included Katwala at number 32 in its list of the '100 most influential left-wingers' in British politics, while he was Fabian General Secretary. British Future is a non-partisan group which engages across the political spectrum, and has staff and Trustees with backgrounds across the major political parties.


Tab Ahmad

Managing Director

Ahmad is the founder and managing director of EmployAbility. Set up in 2006, EmployAbility works with disabled students and graduates to ease the transition from education to employment; and with top global employers, to help them become more disability inclusive. Ahmad’s work has changed the lives of thousands of disabled students. With 20-plus years’ of experience, her pioneering work has been vital in increasing disability awareness among employers.

Akeela Ahmed MBE

Conusltant, Founder of She Speaks We Hear

Akeela Ahmed MBE  is an equalities campaigner specialising in youth and gender issues. She has over ten years experience of supporting vulnerable individuals with complex social and mental health difficulties, providing high intensity support services to young and homeless people from diverse backgrounds, including refugees, asylum seekers, ex-offenders and BAME groups. She was awarded an MBE in  the Queens 2018 Honours List for her work with Muslim women as founder of the She Speaks, We Hear charity

She was Chief Executive of the Muslim Youth Helpline for three years, and has advised the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), the Faith Inquiry project run by the leading think-tank Demos, The Prince’s Trust Mosaic’s Ex-Offender Programme, the production team for the national primetime UK television drama Eastenders, as well as various government departments. Since 2012, she has been a Ministerially-appointed UK government advisor, sitting on the Cross Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred based at the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. Last year, she was appointed to the British government’s Office for the Children's Commissioner advisory panel on the Child Sex Abuse in the Family Environment Inquiry. Akeela is also the Muslim Family Specialist at the Christian Muslim Forum in London.

In 2014 Akeela founded 'She Speaks We Hear' an online platform bringing together women's voices, unaltered and unadulterated.

Akeela is a property development entrepreneur, and recently set up 'Seaside CIC' a social enterprise for homeless people with mental health difficulties. She holds an MSc in Mental Health Studies from the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London. A regular contributor to national and international media, Akeela has appeared on BBC News, BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio 4’s 'The Today' programme, BBC London, BBC Asian Network, Sky News, Channel 5 News, the Guardian, Telegraph, and the Independent, among others.

Joseph Maye

Founder and Chief Executive of the Jimmy Asher Foundation

Joseph Maye was born and raised in Balham, South London and later attended Luton University where he co-founded and was Chairman of the Afro-Caribbean Society. He graduated with a 2:1 BA Hons in Business Administration. Joseph is also a qualified Financial Advisor who has a property portfolio spanning the UK. His drive and determination is now focused on engaging and empowering young people across the globe through the Jimmy Asher Foundation (JAF), which launched in 2012 in honour of his late father Denzil 'Jimmy Asher' Maye. Joseph Co-founded this youth organisation with the aim of making positive changes in deprived communities across London through Sports, Media,  Creative Arts and Life Skills workshops.  In addition, JAF also supports schools in Uganda, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. 

Joseph was nominated for the Mayor's Youth Offer showcase project at the Good Practice seminar in 2010 for his part in creating innovative and dynamic new formats of both Basketball (B2B) and Football (T3).

In Dec 2010 Joseph was invited to the Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street for a "Use of government property" launch, a venture aiming to enable charities to use spaces owned by the government free of charge. Discussions were held with The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude MP. 

In 2016 Joseph appeared on London Live TV and Wandsworth Radio who respectively wanted to highlight his work with JAF. More recently in October 2018 he was interviewed on Galaxy Afiwe online radio station about Joe Ride, his new venture bringing a new mode of transport to The Gambia, creating employment opportunites for many young adults in local communities.


Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah

Co Founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride

Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah  also known as Lady Phyll, is a co-founder, trustee and executive (formerly managing) director of UK Black Pride, which "promotes unity and co-operation among all Black people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent, as well as their friends and families, who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender." Opoku-Gyimah sits on the Trades Union Congress (TUC) race relations committee and is currently trustee of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights charity, Stonewall.

With Rikki Beadle-Blair and John R Gordon, she is the editor of Sista!, an anthology of writings by LGBT women of African/Caribbean descent with a connection to the United Kingdom, released by Team Angelica Publishing in 2018, which includes work by 31 writers, including Yrsa Daley-Ward and Babirye Bukilwa.

Opoku-Gyimah publicly refused an MBE in the 2016 New Year Honours

Daljit Lally


Daljit Lally is the CEO of Northumberland county council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS foundation trust. She was awarded an OBE in 2015 in recognition of her improvements to health and social care services in Northumberland.

Lally set up the Virtual Carers Centre through Carers Northumberland, which won a Local Government Award for innovation. She is a trained nurse with an MBA from Durham University.

Sandra Wallace

Joint Managing Director

Sandra M Wallace is the Joint Managing Director, Europe and the Middle East and Managing Partner, UK for the legal practice Dlapiper. 

Sandra Wallace has a market leading reputation in the UK - acting for stand out national and international clients on the full remit of employment law services. She offers strategic and commercial advice on business reorganisations, executive disputes and employee relations particularly complex disciplinary and grievance matters. Sandra has built up a reputation acting on high level discrimination and equality and diversity matters and is able to support clients on their complete employment law requirements.

Sandra Wallace was recently voted in the Top 10 most influential Black people in Britain in a 2018 Top 100 Powerlist.  

With thanks  also to dlapiper for the above biography.

Laura Chow

Head of Charitable Programmes

Laura is head of charitable programmes, RBS.Laura led the RBS Women of Tomorrow Campaign which introduced employees for the first time to the challenging issues being faced by people living in poverty across the world, including child marriage, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She also arranged for RBS to sponsor and host eight charities at the annual Trust Women’s conference where topics included honour killings and female genital mutilation. She is a powerful force to deliver change.

Justin Cochrane

Football Coach

Justin Cochrane is  Head Coach of the England U15 Football Team.

Justin is a former professional footballer who last played for Boreham Wood and the Antigua and Barbuda national football team.He was previously at several clubs between 2000-2013 -Queens Park Rangers, Hayes, Crewe, Gillingham, Rotherham, Yeovil Town, Millwall,Rusdhen & Diamonds, Aldershot, Hayes & Yeading.

Justin  was formely youth team coach at Tottenham Hotspur football club.

Kékéli Kpognon

Diaspora Coordinator

Kékéli Kpognon is The Girls Generation’s Diaspora Coordinator. She works acting as a conector for members of the Diaspora working on FGM and human rights or international development. Her work involves linking diaspora organisations, media and networks with each other, and with partners in Africa and globally.

Siobhan Titre-Johnson

Clinical Trial Manager

Siobhan Titre-Johnson is a Clinical Trial Manager and also a PhD Candidate at the University of London. While completing her Bachelor’s degree she continued at the NHS within the Cancer Research department. After that she completed an MsC in Health and Disease. Currently she is responsible for the operational management, oversight and conduct of clinical research within clinical neurosciences (child health) at UCL. She also speaks to young people about careers in Science and aims to promote diversity in the field. For her work and commitment to her profession she has won the Rising Star award at the Black British Business Awards of 2017.

Owen Williams

Chief executive

Owen Williams is the chief executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS foundation trust. He is a trustee of the NHS Confederation, which advocates on behalf of the health and care system.

He was previously chief executive of two councils – Calderdale and Huddersfield, and Rossendale.

Professor Cecile Wright

Professor of Sociology, Activist and Campaigner

Cecile has dedicated her life to the Labour movement and serving the community a trade unionist, academic and campaigner. Her first experience of activism involved ,as the Secretary of a local voluntary organisation ,being instrumental in formulating a successful ‘Urban Aid ‘ bid to fund a project aimed at reducing poverty and social exclusion amongst marginalised communities. She has campaigned hard for the party many times for wards and constituency in Derby and Nottingham.

Cecile was professor of Professor of Sociology at Nottingham Trent University for 13 years and is currently at the University of Nottingham as an honorary academic and independent researcher. She was the first black female professor in the East Midlands. She specialises in the areas of education, youth, social mobility and social exclusion. She was recently engaged by the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner to investigate the relationship between the BME community and the police with a view to producing recommendations to improve relations. 

She uses her spare time to work for voluntary organisations, charities, a mental health charity and a women’s refuge in Derbyshire and is on the national executive of my union, the University and College Union to fight for better pay and pension rights. She is currently a member of the TUC Race Relations Committee.

Cecile’s political experience is rooted in local community activism and she has been an active party member for 20 years. Currently holds the position of TULO officer for her Derby North CLP. She a co- founder member of the Labour Black Network. 

Dr. Donald Palmer

Professor of Immunology

Donald Palmer is an Associate Professor of Immunology. He did his undergraduate studies (Medical Sciences) at Bradford University, his postgraduate studies (MSc in Immunology) at King's College London and obtained his PhD which involved investigating the genetic regulation of Beta-2-microglobulin in the Division of Transplantation Biology, MRC Clinical Science Centre, Northwick Park Hospital.

This was followed by a post doctoral position at Cancer Research UK, looking at lymphocyte development in transgenic and mutant mice in the laboratory of Dr Mick Owen. Donald undertook another post doctoral position at Imperial College in the laboratory of Professor Mary Ritter, again working in the area of lymphocyte development, but in the context of the microenvironment. Donald successfully obtained an MRC Career Development Award and became a Research Lecturer at Imperial College London. During this award he used antibody phage display technology to study cellular interactions in the thymus and investigated intrathymic neuroendocrine communications. He joined the RVC in 2002.

Donald is currently a member of the British Society for Immunology (BSI), was Secretary of the London Immunology Group (a Regional Group of the BSI; 2002-2007) and previously a board member of the BSI council. He is currently on the Editorial Advisory Board for Immunology News. He is also a member of the British Society for Research on Ageing.

Donald is currently a  Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College, London

Tola Dabiri

Founder and Chief Executive

Tola is Founder and CEO of Tola Dabiri Consulting. She has worked in the cultural sector since 1995. During her career, Tola has worked to combat social exclusion and increase participation in cultural activities and develop the skills and knowledge in staff.Tola managed library and archive services in public libraries, where she developed leadership, mentorship and project management skills. Tola joined MLA South East in 2007, later transferring to MLA Council, where she was responsible for workforce development and equality and diversity policy. As a consultant in the cultural sector, Tola specialises in project management, workforce and service development, equality and diversity meeting and discussion facilitation.

Errol Bignall

Project Director

Errol Bignall has over 20 years professional football coaching experience, youth inclusion and community work. He previously spent over 10 years working abroad and holds 17 years experience as a professional coach with Chelsea Football Club's Community programme, as well as with the National Award Winning Kickz project which successfully engaged 45,000 young people via 100 different projects across the country.  

Errol is currently the Project Director at the Guy Mascolo Football Charity (GMFC) & the Michail Antonio and Guy Mascolo Football college in Battersea, South London which helps young people by using football as the tool of enngagement with a range of complex needs, such as homelessness, mental illness, poverty, and offers education, support, pathways and opportunities for their young people.  Whilst at the Charity he has been awarded London FA Football Coach of the Year 2016, Wandsworth Coach/instructor of the Year 2017 and holds multiple awards in mentoring and sports leadership.

Funded by the British council He has contributed to developing the quality of support systems and increase participation in grassroots football programmes on the island of Rhodes ,Greece.

Throughout his career he has been a solid rock for young people and their parents or guardians,. Errol genuinely cares for young people, wants to see them succeed, and wants to bring about a more harmonious spirit of community in every sense.

Joshua Street

Athlete, Spoken Word Poet, Motivational Speaker and Youth Mentor

Joshua is an outstanding International Athlete who has represented Internationally for Team GB and Team England 6-times as well as being Regional and County champion numerous times . However he is equally passionate about his International Business Consultancy. Via this he has set up multiple businesses across the UK and Africa. 

With training from Virgin StartUp, The Pop-Up Business School, The Chartered Management Institute as well as a degree in "Business Management & Business Law" he has used these opportunities  to teach, inspire and motivate not only other athletes but students, young people, business people and much more. He has a powerful  Motivational Speaking style that leaves his audiences crying for more .

Candice Carty-Williams


Candice lives in South London in a flat comprising almost entirely of books.    Candice was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver who barely speaks and a Jamaican-Indian dyslexic receptionist who speaks more than anyone else in the world.  Candice studied Media at Sussex because her sixth form teachers said that she wasn’t clever enough to do English, but she showed them all by first working at the Guardian Guide and then moving into publishing at 23.    Candice has worked on marketing literary fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels ever since; her first highlight was interviewing David Cronenberg and telling him that if she were a white man she’d like to look like him. In response he called her a ‘delightful person’. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, a prize that aims to find, champion and celebrate black, asian and minority ethnic writers.

Bishop Joe Aldred

Ecumenist, Broadcaster, Speaker and Writer.

Joe Aldred is an Ecumenist, Broadcaster, Speaker and Writer. He is responsible for Pentecostal and Multicultural Relations at Churches Together in England and a Bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy.  He has an earned PhD in Theology from Sheffield University and is a regular contributor to The Preacher, and BBC Radio’s The Daily Service, Pause for Thought and Prayer for the Day. 

Joe is author/editor of several books and articles including: Preaching with Power, Praying with Power, Sisters with Power, Respect – understanding Caribbean British Christianity, The Black Church in the 21st Century, Thinking outside the box – on race, faith and life, From Top Mountain – an autobiography.

He is involved in a number of community organisations including being Co-President, Housing Justice Editor and Directory of Black Majority Churches UK (Online)


Stella Opoku-Owusu

Engagement and Capacity Manager

Stella Opoku-Owusu is Engagement and Capacity Manager at AFFORD. Since January 2013 she has managed the Africa-UK initiative, funded by DFID and Comic Relief under the Common Ground Initiative (CGI). The project engages and works with individuals and organisations from the African diaspora to influence international development policy affecting Africa. Stella has over 12 years’ experience of capacity building, fundraising and action-research within the sectors of diaspora development and the general UK civil society.

Gemma Romain


Gemma is a historian of the Caribbean and Black Britain, who researches, curates and writes on black British queer histories, and African-Caribbean diasporic histories with a focus on Grenada and Jamaica. She recently worked at The Equiano Centre, Department of Geography, UCL, UK on various projects alongside Caroline Bressey and am an Honorary Fellow of The Parkes Institute, University of Southampton, UK. Gemma  was the co-curator with Caroline Bressey, Emma Chambers and Inga Fraser of the Tate Britain display 'Spaces of Black Modernism: London 1919–39' (2014-2015). She also recently worked with Diana Paton, Edinburgh University as part of Paton's Freedom to Believe project.

Gemma is a member of the AHRC Network 'African-Caribbean Women in Post-diaspora Contexts' led by Suzanne Scafe, London South Bank University and Leith Dunn, University of the West Indies, Mona. Since 2016 She has been a committee member of the Society for Caribbean Studies (UK). From 2008 to 2009 she was a Project Board member of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) ‘Documenting the Archives’ project; from 2012 to 2017. Gemma sat on the Archive Acquisitions Sub-Committee of the BCA and is now a member of BCA's Heritage Sub-Committee. 

From 2015 to 2016  Gemma  was a member of the Steering Committee for the 2016 LGBT International Archive, Library, Museum and Special Collections (ALMS) Conference which took place at the London Metropolitan Archives, the Bishopsgate Institute and University of Westminster.  From 2016 to 2017  she was a member of the Advisory Group to the Runnymede Trust Migration to Britain History Project and from 2015 to 2017 Gemma was a Steering Committee Member of the Historic England LGBTQ Heritage Project.

She was awarded a Paul Mellon Centre Award to enable her to research on Queer Black British Art.

Her Biography is due for publication in 2019  and will be called "Race, Sexuality and identity in Britain and Jamaica