Bennard started his legal practice in 1992 as barrister, and he changed to solicitors. Bennard is the Founder and the Senior Partner of BWF Solicitors, a community based High Street law firm founded. Bennard has trained many lawyers from the community. BWFs Young citizens education programme, working with community secondary schools to help educate, inspire, and motivate young members of the BAME community. His vision is to promote an inclusive society and encourage them to achieve their full potential. Through the Young Citizens Education Programme, BWF gives work experience to over 20 Secondary School pupils every year since 2006.
Bernadette joined the Civil Service in 1998, she has held a range of roles across many Government departments. Bernadette is a notable diversity campaigner and public speaker, working with leaders across government to drive a culture of inclusion in the Civil Service and increase the pace on driving representation of BAME employees particularly at more senior grades. For over four years, Bernadette has co-chaired the multi award-winning Race to the Top G6/7 network, a community of interest of BAME Grade 6/7 employees across all Government departments with the main aspiration of increasing BAME representation in the Senior Civil Service.
Dara is an innovative disruptor, driving change across the organisation at PwC. She is responsible for leading new digital ways of working in Consulting with clients. This requires her to build buy-in and inspire and influence at all levels. In addition, Dara is passionate about changing the organisation to be more inclusive and give everyone a voice. Having set up the Diversity Mentoring scheme for those from socially deprived backgrounds, launched and chaired the Multicultural Business Network and ran a campaign called Colourbrave to drive more conversations on race in the workplace, Dara is now leading the UK Black Tech partnership to drive more diversity in tech¬¬nology roles.
During her time at BT, Julia was a driving and passionate voice as Co-Chair of BT’s Ethnic Diversity Network, helping to lead the Network during this difficult year by empowering and amplifying the voices of BT’s racially diverse communities. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, she spearheaded an internal social media campaign to raise awareness, triggering candid conversations on race across BT. Julia also influenced and elicited a powerful statement of support from BT’s senior leadership, before co-interviewing the CEO in front of the Network, putting her Black and racially diverse colleagues at the top of BT’s agenda. Julia’s contribution helped lead to a historic moment for BT in the creation of its Ethnicity Rapid Action Plan, which aims to improve Black and ethnic minority employees’ experiences. Julia is also a fierce advocate for mental health and mentors a number of individuals, including high-potential graduates on the ALETO Foundation 2020 leadership programme.
Kavaljeet Singh has been working in BP for the past 23 years. As well as his day job as a Service Continuity lead, he is also the Co-Chair to BP’s Positively Ethnic Network (PEN), a business resource group whose goal is to help BP become the number 1 employer in the UK for race and equality. he leads at BP’s largest site, Sunbury, with 3,500 staff.
Laith is a Business Analyst at Atos, supporting clients across multiple sectors with critical IT infrastructure. Key clients have included HMRC, Post Office, Defra, and TUI with topics ranging from national infrastructure to satellite imagery in benefit of the environment. Also, Laith co-chairs the Atos Together Network aiming to “bring people together”. This year the network is answering “How culturally diverse people feel at Atos?” whilst proactively implementing initiatives to help foster cultural diversity. Following this, Laith has been invited into the network of top 100 leaders at Atos, focused on discussing wider corporate strategy.
A driven and dedicated force for inclusion, diversity and collaboration at Channel 4. Co-Chair of The Collective, C4’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Employee Resource Group, as well as 4Sales Diversity Taskforce and has had an active role in shaping the 2020 ‘Diversity in Advertising Award’. A Founding member of the Creative Industries Alliance sits on the Executive Board of PromaxBDA UK as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and a WACL Future Leaders winner.
Sadna’s experiences at Canada Life, which included anniversaries marked with alcohol or lunch during the holy month of Ramadan, illustrated the need for a greater workplace inclusivity. In 2019, Sadna took a leading role in The Ethnicity Network, establishing a blog series that marked cultural days celebrated by colleagues. Before this, no opportunities existed for employees to actively share personal aspects of themselves. She’s also led popular discussions on race at work. Sadna is a credible role model. She’s achieved a monumental shift in understanding, acceptance and knowledge-sharing, helping influence a more inclusive culture at Canada Life.
Shabiha works in Medical Education for Johnson & Johnson and has championed inclusivity throughout her 14 year career. Her dedication and passion for the meritocratic advancement of Black, Asian & Ethnic Minorities culminated in Shabiha’s appointment as the leader of the first J&J BAME Employee Resource Group in the UK. The group’s aim is to create a fully diverse workforce by activating a network of 5000+ J&J employees in the UK. Shabiha has delivered a number of significant initiatives including organising J&J UK’s first ‘Open Conversation on Race and Equality’ with almost 700 employees in attendance.
Joining Grant Thornton in 2018, Vincent pioneered the firm’s first Ethnicity Network and has become a leading voice in the firm’s inclusion and diversity agenda. Vincent has driven the strategy behind the collection and interpretation of data to inform the BAME strand of the firm’s inclusion and diversity strategy. Outside work, Vincent is a co-founder of The Open Private School, a mentoring programme which aims to improve representation of state school students at the top level of the professional world. Vincent is also a One Young World project leader, aiming to achieve the United Nation’s SDG’s by 2030.
Nive is the global CEO of Capgemini’s Cloud Infrastructure Services, a global business generating revenues of over 2bn Euro annually. She’s a member of Capgemini’s Group Executive Committee with responsibility for 25,000 colleagues globally and is a passionate supporter of championing women in the workplace. Outside Capgemini, Nive is a non-executive director on the board of MITIE Plc, where she’s also a member of both its finance and audit committees. She is also involved with charitable initiatives encouraging girls to take up STEM careers and is an active enthusiast of Apps for Good.
Zaheer has held numerous senior level positions in public and private sector. Currently, he is the Head of Strategic Delivery for Diversity and Inclusion at EY. He leads on Race, Innovation and Thought Leadership strategies at EY. He is also a serving Magistrate sitting in adult criminal court, board member of European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion. He is a member of the HR Guild, fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and member of the Race Advisory Board at the Chartered Management Institute.
Leroy grew up in Bedford with his mother and three elder siblings. He knows first-hand the importance that mentorship plays in yielding positive and life-changing outcomes for those from BAME and disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to his role at the bank, Leroy is passionate about racial diversity and social mobility and mentors numerous individuals from BAME and disadvantaged backgrounds. Leroy is an active member of BNP Paribas UK Race and Ethnicity Working Group, hosts events around racial awareness for the bank’s Multicultural Network, and acts as a mentor for the Open Private School and for UpReach.
Kuldeep is a diversity and inclusion champion, having supported the Taylor Bennett Foundation for over eight years and being appointed to its board as a Trustee. Through his work with the Taylor Bennett Foundation he is a mentor to trainees and has organized events to encourage tackling issues around the lack of diversity in the communications industry and beyond. He has featured on podcasts, webinars and quoted in articles regarding business diversity, showcasing his position as a thought leader. At Savills, he is a Committee Member and lead PR representative for Savills Ethnicity Group.
Karen Finlayson is a Partner at PwC in the UK based in Leeds. Karen has worked for PwC for 23 years and is in the Risk Assurance business unit and she is the UK Regions Lead for Government and Health industries. Outside of PwC Karen is a mother, and NED at Sheffield Hallam University and Doncaster Children’s Services Trust. Passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion Karen has been helping to drive these agendas across the firm and across the business community and she was awarded the Senior Leader in Professional Services at the British Black Business Awards in 2018.
Shah became a partner at Goldman Sachs four years after becoming a managing director (MD) in 2010, aged just 27. Shah joined Goldman Sachs aged 21, straight after graduating from Cambridge University, where he studied maths at Gonville & Caius College.
Alan is one of the founding members of the HSBC UK ethnicity Employee Resource Group, Embrace UK. He has been pivotal in shaping it to what it is today where it now has nearly 2000 members. On top of that, he is also the UK Technology Diversity and Inclusion BAME Lead, where he leads a team of individuals whose passion is to drive change within the bank. Alan’s team also work with external organisations whose goal is to provide BAME students with first-hand experience of the world of work and opportunities to see real-life industrial applications of technology.
Annette co-leads Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Global Black Affinity Network and drove their 2019 Talent Meeting, bringing colleagues together for a programme of fireside chats, a diversity hackathon, panel discussions and networking. She is the Partner Sponsor for Social Mobility, and she is on the firm’s graduate recruitment panel and the cross-function social mobility committee, helping those from underrepresented backgrounds thrive at the firm. Annette is the driving force behind the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, a recruitment, development and mentoring scheme run by volunteers from Freshfields and its clients.
Raised on a council estate and a young mum at 19, Debbie’s hunger to carve a career in technology centred on empathetic leadership, has broken barriers. She is a passionate advocate that diversity powers personal and business growth. She sits on WPP’s Roots steering committee, championing greater ethnic and cultural diversity across OpCo’s. She launched Geometry Roots with the same aim across its 44 markets and chairs the agency’s global IE&D council. Debbie has been named Industry Shaper by the global Women in Marketing Awards. And listed in Empower/Yahoo Finance Ethnic Role Models 2020.
Ahmed has been shaped by his upbringing – son of an extremely hard working father, compassionate mother and supportive wife. The three areas he is passionate about and try to excel and lead in to drive the BAME, D&I and social mobility agendas are: Executive Board roles at Stoke and Staffs LEP and Midlands Engine Invest Fund – driving social mobility improvements in Staffordshire; Commercial Finance Director and Leader (FTSE 100 companies BT, National Grid, Lloyds and HomeServe) I drive their commercials as well as challenging, contributing and improving their D&I agenda and Entrepreneur (restaurant owners) – providing advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Allen & Overy is an international law firm providing legal services for global business and industry. Diversity is one of our strategic priorities. All of our work is underpinned by a set of guiding principles based on impact, accountability and openness. We want to build a balanced workforce, where everyone feels supported and where the differences between our people create opportunities not barriers. Ensuring that people from different ethnic minority backgrounds are well represented is a priority for us, and is something we tackle at a local level across our network of offices.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our people make our firm, and we are committed to increasing BAME representation at all levels through our global employee network as well as helping to increase access to the profession through talent initiatives aimed at BAME individuals, including through the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. Our aim is to be a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Geometry is WPP’s end-to-end Creative Commerce agency. We help modern brands grow by delivering meaningful and innovative creative commerce solutions every life intersects with commerce. Our work falls within four core areas which overlap and integrate across many of our ideas and experiences—these are Retail, Experiential, Design and Innovation. Within each is a depth and breadth of specialist capabilities that enable our experts to create new and invaluable experiences across almost all channels and touchpoints— from physical stores to e-commerce, branded experiences to out of home, content to product packaging, social to voice/visual search, and more. Essentially, our ideas come to life anywhere a consumer may have a commerce interaction.
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity.
Lloyds Banking Group is committed to ensuring that our workforce reflects the diversity of our customer base and we were proud to be the first FTSE 100 company in February 2018 to set a public goal to increase B.A.M.E representation at senior levels as part of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. Our ethnicity strategy is led from the top and supported by comprehensive plans to ensure we make sustainable progress, including targeted career development interventions, a robust focus on increasing visibility of B.A.M.E role models and a range of activities to build cultural awareness understanding and advocacy across our workforce.
For nearly 200 years we have provided financial services to customers across the UK, and now the US. As the UK’s largest provider of individual life insurance products and the biggest manager of corporate pension schemes we are experts in safeguarding people’s financial futures. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers, build a better society for the long term and create value for our shareholders. This shapes how we work and helps us create our vision of ‘inclusive capitalism’.
Macfarlanes is a distinctive London-based law firm, delivering excellence in the international legal market. We strive to foster an inclusive, forward-thinking culture, the continued development of which is a key priority. For us, the focus is on recruitment, retention and promotion to ensure that our staff have the opportunity to develop and advance their careers. Through our REACH network, we have significantly increased cultural and religious awareness, and our People Commitments which align to three main strands – balance, clarity and development – are an important element in our objective to create a more diverse workforce.
National Grid is one of the world’s largest investor-owned energy companies, committed to delivering electricity and gas safely, reliably and efficiently to the customers and communities we serve.
We play a vital role in connecting millions of people to the energy they use, through our regulated utility businesses in the UK and US; with principal operations in electricity and gas transmission and distribution, as well as National Grid Ventures. Our ambition is to operate and develop our business in a way that results in a more inclusive culture. We are committed to building a workforce that represents the communities we serve and creating an environment where each individual feels respected, fairly treated, valued and able to reach their full potential.
NatWest Group is a banking and financial services company, serving over 19 million customers. The Group provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its well-known brands including The Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts. In February 2020, Alison Rose, CEO of the NatWest Group, set out a new purpose for the bank to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive.
Paramount [formerly ViacomCBS Networks international (VCNI)] comprises many of the world’s most iconic entertainment brands, including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network, Channel 5, Network 10, Telefe, Viacom 18 and Pluto TV.
VCNI’s focus on global diversity, equity and inclusion is a movement, not a moment, and it’s important for us to continue to tackle racial representation head-on. To reflect this commitment, we’ve rolled out several key measures whilst strengthening those that we already had in place.
These include the establishment of our VCNI Race & Equity Task Forces, which work across three broad areas – Programming & Audience, Creative & Talent and Employee Inclusion – to develop new initiatives that help drive meaningful change across the business.
We have also been working on an ongoing basis with Caerus Executive. This collaboration has been particularly valuable during 2019/2020 as supporting our black, Asian and minority ethnic employees and making ViacomCBS an inclusive destination for BAME talent, is a business imperative.
Earlier this year, we also implemented a ‘no diversity, no commission’ policy across our UK channels, and created new in-house opportunities for BAME talent through a sponsorship programme and a ‘Promotion Opportunity Project’ for those in the production sector.
By putting transparency and accountability at the heart of the international inclusion strategy, VCNI is spearheading a values-driven approach that will embed diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of the company’s operations. Fundamentally, we value our people and we work to weave diversity and inclusion into our DNA.
Belinda Brown is Investor Relations Director at Diageo and the co-founder of Diageo’s Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) employee group. REACH focuses on ensuring an inclusive culture at Diageo and providing a community structure to support the retention and development of black and minority ethnic employees in the business. With established chapters in the UK, Hungary and Brazil, Belinda is now supporting REACH to launch in India and Ireland. Belinda is also an advocate of agile working and was named in the 2019 Timewise Power 50 Awards which recognise outstanding business figures who work flexibly across the UK.
Celia joined Capital Group (CG) in January 2020 to develop its Europe and Asia Insights & Analytics capability. An experienced finance and data professional, she was, prior to CG, a Risk & Analytics Manager at Lloyd’s Banking Group and Signature Event Lead for its R.E.A.C.H (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) network. Celia revamped and leads CG’s Capital Associates of African Descent network’s European arm. Outside work, Celia volunteers with The Foundation for Reach Society and mentors graduates. An internationally-ranked junior tennis player, Celia obtained a 1st Class BSc Finance degree on a 100% sports scholarship at the University of Houston.
Curtis joined The Co-operative Bank on their Transformation & Change Management Leadership Graduate Scheme straight after university. He is now a Delivery Lead with experience in regulatory and large scale technology transformation having worked on a number of critical data centre migration programmes. Alongside this, Curtis was a founding member and the current Chair of the Bank’s BAME network, REACH. Working with a dedicated committee and several other Bank networks, Curtis continues to drive cultural change aligning to the Bank’s diversity and inclusion strategy. He also sits on the Bank’s Diversity Taskforce.
From starting his own company New Beings to his role at BNY Mellon, Karim has long had a passion for tackling social inequality bringing this energy to each role he takes on.To champion and foster an inclusive workplace at BNY Mellon, he designed and delivered a series of workshops on the theme of allyship and inclusivity and continues to drive the conversation around intersectional lived experience having facilitated conversations around how Women of Colour navigate professional spaces (featuring Afua Hirsch) and on the lived experience of Queer People of Colour (featuring Phyll Opoku Gyimah).Karim has an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS University of London.
I am fiercely proud of my mixed heritage of White British and Black Trinidadian. However, this pride did not blossom until early adulthood, when I had much more control over my surroundings. Growing up mixed race in a predominantly white, west London suburb in the 90’s, often meant having to suppress or minimize my blackness in a bid to avoid racial discrimination. These experiences do not leave any room for me as an adult today, to sit back and let any injustice pass by. I am compelled to be speak up and be heard and stand up to be seen in the face of inequality.
Nadine is a manager at Deloitte, co-chair of Deloitte’s Multicultural Network and is the respect & inclusion lead for Financial Advisory. Nadine also sits on the firm’s Ethnicity Council and has been pivotal in driving the conversation around Black Lives Matter. The Network hosted a firm wide ‘Let’s Talk’ session, following the killing of George Floyd, colleagues joined to listen, share and learn about Black experiences within the UK. Nadine is one of the four founding individuals who developed Deloitte’s Black Action Plan, which was published and rolled out by Deloitte’s CEO and the managing partner for people and purpose.
Shailesh is Business Lead for the AsPIRE(Asians and Pacific Islanders Reaching for Excellence) resource group at JPMorgan. He has led conversations and organized forums on topics such as mentoring, cultural sensitization, and mental wellbeing for BAME employees. He sits on the Diversity & Inclusion Council for his Line of Business. He organized open-door sessions to improve senior-management engagement with underrepresented groups and is ensuring diverse talent attends external-conferences for their professional development. He was the International Students’ Officer for Southampton University where he successfully campaigned for a tuition fee cap, along with organizing multiple events showcasing cultures from 20+ countries.
Sheila is on the Leadership Development Programme at State Street, a global, enterprise-wide rotational program designed for purposes of developing future leaders within the organisation. She has a background in HR and recruitment. She is the Chair of the Race and Ethnicity Network UK at State Street and has been on the committee since its inception in 2017. She is passionate about anti-racism both internally and externally. She works closely with East London Business Alliance (ELBA) for Parity, an award-winning project seeking to improve the employability and employment outcomes of young Black men living in London, and she serves as a mentor within the programme. She is British of Iranian descent.
Sofia recently qualified as a solicitor at Ashurst LLP. Through her involvement with the firm’s multiculturalism and BAME networks, Sofia has worked to increase awareness of the experiences of young professionals from BAME and Muslim communities in the workplace. Sofia has led events and initiatives, most recently running a collaborative project with Teach First allowing Ashurst employees to share career insight with students from low socio-economic backgrounds during the COVID-19 period. Sofia also independently founded eMpower connect, a network which supports young professionals from BAME and Muslim backgrounds achieve their potential through mentorship, industry insight and personal development workshops.
Tolu is a seasoned thought leader known for making a significant impact across various industries, with an insatiable passion for diversity and inclusion. With a rich depth of experience in construction and the charity sector, and roles working at companies like Accenture and London South Bank University, she is now transforming the ethnicity and religion agenda at Sainsbury’s. In her ever dwindling spare time, Tolu leads a non profit Christian ministry. She runs international development projects building wells, providing solar energy, sponsoring children, facilitating educational support and providing medical assistance to displaced communities across the world.
Started as a social group in 2011, the African Caribbean Pioneers Network (ACPN) became the first official Rolls-Royce ERG in 2014. This year, the network’s focus has been to transition into a Business Resource Group (BRG) by working closely with the central business functions in an attempt to collectively address institutional and interpersonal racism as well as ensure that systems offer equal access to both tools and opportunities. The network’s vision is for everyone to be at their best and embrace their own style while accommodating the styles of others, creating an environment where as an ERG, it no longer needs to exist.
Everyone’s welcome at Tesco, and equality, diversity and inclusion are an important part of our business. We not only celebrate diversity, but embrace the value it brings to enable us to serve our customers. We want to support and encourage colleagues in developing their careers, and ensure the wider community see Tesco as a great place to work. BAME at Tesco network unites and represents colleagues from all ethnicities, helps raise awareness of different cultures and beliefs. The network supports development and mentoring, as well as providing a space to share experiences and inspire colleagues to be themselves at work.
CHORD is Mitie’s Diversity and Inclusion group which ensures inclusive working environments for people of all ethnicities. Mitie’s inclusion policy recognises that our people make our organisation truly exceptional. the ‘One Mitie’ approach to business is underpinned by a belief that all individuals should be treated fairly and have access to equal opportunities. Mitie’s commitment to a fair and responsible workplace is unwavering and in line with out One Code, the same standards apply when we work with clients and supply chain partners.
Fusion is Paramount’s employee resource group which aims to promote inclusion by celebrating cultural diversity in the workplace. Present in London, Fusion programming has ranged from hosting speaker sessions with positive role models to celebrating cultural awareness days. Events celebrated in the UK include Chinese New Year, St. George’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Black History month.
The REACH (race, ethnicity and cultural heritage) network at Macfarlanes strives to encourage an environment where the culture and ethnicity of every person can be celebrated, enabling them to flourish and thrive. We believe that unique perspectives contribute to the tapestry that builds a successful law firm for today and for the future. The network aims to provide opportunities for peer support and the exchange of information and ideas. A key objective is to support BME individuals at the firm and beyond – not just directly, but indirectly also, through the education and empowerment of proactive allies.
Our Multi-Cultural network helps the business understand cultural experiences and provides an open platform for employees to bring their own unique perspective to the development of the business’s working culture. Its members raise awareness and support events and help us identify and remove any barriers that might be holding back their peers from flourishing. Out Multi-Cultural Affinity Network was recognised at the Civil Engineers Contractors association (CECA) Inspiring Change Awards – securing the ‘Inspiring Change in the Workplace’ award.
Established in 2014, the Multicultural Network’s engagement group has soared to over 5,000 members in the last year. The network celebrates & represents all cultures to encourage greater understanding of colleagues’ lived experiences. We’ve held over 200 global events, marking occasions like South Asian Heritage & Black History Month, The Holocaust, Eid, Diwali & Easter. We run extensive reciprocal mentoring and mentoring circles, development conferences and masterclasses. A new global committee of 40 colleagues further supports the elevation and development of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic talent, & is preparing to launch an ethnicity ally programme during Black History Month.
‘ONE’ Employee Resource Group (ERG) is National Grid’s multicultural network. ‘ONE’ supports BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees and shares the benefits of diversity in the workplace. ONE breaks down barriers and celebrates the successes of our BAME talent. ONE’s ambition is to support National Grid’s inclusion and diversity ambition to become a valued employer of choice, attracting, and retaining the best talent and representing the communities we serve.
Our ERG leadership team have raised their heads above the parapet to push forward a diversity and inclusion action. They have been successful in achieving buy-in from the C-suite, raising awareness of systemic racism through a number of company-wide activities from posting brave blogs on their personal experiences of discrimination at work, implementing unconscious bias training for managers, to setting up mentoring and sponsorship programmes. This ERG has been instrumental in bringing the issue of racial equality to the executive decision-making table and as a direct result Pearson is on its way to becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation.
Unity is Standard Life Aberdeen’s ethnicity and multiculturalism colleague-led network. As a founding signatory to the UK Government’s Race at Work Charter; Unity have worked in partnership with the company for a number of years to champion minority ethnic inclusion and create an environment where people from all ethnic backgrounds have the opportunity to thrive in their careers. This partnership has led to the publication of two co-created ethnicity action plans, an ethnicity lens being applied to HR policies and processes, and engaging hundreds of colleagues globally through events which have included cultural celebrations and #TalkAboutRace sessions.
Claire became managing partner of Freshfields London in 2019. She was made partner in the corporate practice group in 2001 and spent five years as co-head of the firm’s financial institutions industry group. She has built enduring relationships with some of the firm’s top clients across sectors. In all of her roles, Claire has pushed to ensure diversity and inclusion is central to Freshfields’ recruitment and strategy for the future. Claire is a member of the Rugby School Development Board and a Trustee of The Royal Foundation. She is married with two children.
Colette is responsible for driving the evolution and continuous improvement of LGIM’s culture, as well as LGIM’s diversity and inclusion objectives. Colette works closely with the executive team, LGIM’s diversity and inclusion team (LEGIT), and Legal & General’s Group Diversity and Inclusion team.
Faye’s dedication to Diversity & Inclusion resonates across Adobe, being recognised for a multitude of internal awards. Her efforts to champion inclusion spans across many roles – as a leader of the Women’s Network, an influential member of the site council and as an imperative support mechanism to the unique networks within Adobe; ranging across Ethnicity, Gender, Disability and more. Of these networks, she’s aided many of them to gain the status of award-winning externally. During COVID-19, Faye pioneered contingencies to ensure all the voices, of any cause continued to be amplified – despite the adversities of a remote workforce.
Jake led on CBRE’s D&I Strategic plan, restructured their ERGs to implement change through task forces, and implemented targets for gender, ethnicity and inclusive culture following a review of their data analysis and progress. He was a driving force in signing the Business in the Communities Race at Work Charter and subsequently being one of the first within the real estate sector to voluntarily publish their ethnicity pay gap. In response to the Black Lives Matters protests, Jake led on a program of events to encourage greater learning of racism and white privilege in partnership with CBRE’s REACH Network.
Raised in a mixed-race family, Kate was a precocious diversity advocate, appearing in The Times aged 9 with a petition for greater racial tolerance in inner cities. Throughout a 20 year career in industry Kate has pushed boundaries and experimented with new initiatives to drive greater ethnic representation in the workplace, ensure fair pay and promote the career acceleration of diverse talent. An early pioneer of reciprocal mentoring, inclusivity dialogues and unconscious bias training, Kate is currently SVP of Strategy, Portfolio and Operations at GlaxoSmithKline, leading a global organisation that increasingly looks like the communities within which it operates.
Originally an engineer, I have worked in improvement and change for almost 20 years. I have worked on a range of construction/infrastructure projects ranging from heritage projects to hospitality, rail and airports in the UK and Macau. I’m a facilitator/coach at heart, so I like to start by creating safe spaces for good conversations about change and build from there. My aim is always to remove barriers and make it easy for people, teams and projects to be brilliant at what they set out to do. I live on a canal boat, drink a lot of tea and make textile/photography-based art.
Matthew Newick is a partner at global law firm, Clifford Chance and the firm’s Global Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution (L&DR). He also sits on the firm’s Executive Leadership Group. Matthew is one of five visible Partner Champion’s aligned to the firm’s REACH network and an advocate of ethnic (and all other) diversity and inclusion in the firm. He recognises that inclusion and diversity are critical for achieving both social justice and better businesses. He has made diversity and inclusion an explicit strategic priority for the global L&DR practice and promoted specific action to support this objective. He is a grateful beneficiary of reverse mentoring, has expanded his learning, tried to understand and acknowledge his own privilege, and sought actively to engage with peers, ethnic minority, and majority staff about issues of race and privilege.
Paul is a Partner in Allen & Overy’s London banking practice with a particular specialism in real estate finance and leveraged finance. Paul is also the co-Chair of A&O’s Race & Ethnicity Committee and has been instrumental in the development and execution of the race & ethnicity strategy. Paul provides powerful sponsorship to ethnic minority colleagues in the business and works tirelessly, and with true commitment, to ensure the race agenda has a place at the table. His efforts continue to inspire and galvanise senior leadership into making meaningful change at A&O.
Paul Kett has been a Director General at the Department for Education (DfE) since February 2017. He is currently the Director General for the Higher Education, Further Education, International and Transformation Group. Paul is the Departmental Race Champion and part of the cross government Race Champions Network. In this role, he works closely with the DfE staff BAME network, and with the department’s Project Race team on creating a race-inclusive culture for all employees, regardless of their ethnicity and improving departmental processes to create a level playing field for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic staff.
Since joining Macquarie in 2017, Ryan has created equitable opportunities for staff to develop new and existing relationships, celebrate diversity, focus on health and wellbeing, and support the local community through the Macquarie Foundation’s partnership with Dallaglio RugbyWorks. Under the partnership, Ryan has played a leading role in organising annual O2 touch rugby tournaments, and annual Career Insight Visits that have benefited 20+ young adults looking to find a route into mainstream education and work. In addition to the health and social impacts of these efforts, he has helped to raise over £20,000 for Dallaglio RugbyWorks.
The British-Indian actor has openly discussed the racism he has faced in Hollywood, even being accused of “stealing roles from real Indians”. Earlier this year the trailer was released showing the actor as the leading man and traditional Victorian; David Copperfield, in new film The Personal History of David Copperfield. Patel, at the London Film Festival, called for more inclusivity in casting with the hope his recent role “opens the doors and sends a message to the industry to cast more minority actors in roles like this.”
Jade, one quarter of popular girl-band, Little Mix, is a vocal activist for many social justice causes. During lockdown she wrote a poem for Mental Health Awareness week about the impact lockdown has had on her mental wellbeing. Jade also joined fellow bandmate Leigh-Anne in the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, admiting that she too had experienced racist bullying in her past. When asked about her support of the movement, Jade said that she “should wear my heritage, my race and my roots with more pride” and that “white privilege still takes the limelight”.
In 2018 Jameela started an Instagram account to create a safe and radically inclusive space on social media offering a place for original content that explores social issues that stem from mental health to climate change to the representation of marginalised groups. This has now grown into the podcast, I Weigh, which encourages women to share how much they ‘weigh’ when measured in accomplishments, rather than a number on a scale.
The ex-Liverpool and England International made his footballing debut at a time when racism was still rife in English football and black players had only recently become a regular feature in the game. Barnes has spoken openly about the racism he endured during his footballing career and has worked with numerous charities.
John is extremely vocal in his activism against racism and gave a powerful speech at a BLM protest in London’s Hyde Park. Boyega stated that he didn’t even know if we would have a career after doing so but still felt it important to speak out. He has also openly discussed the marginalisation and difficulties he experienced whilst working on Star Wars due to his race.
Nayyar has shown his acting prowess by being able to simply switch from loveable nerd in The Big Bang Theory to sinister killer in Criminal. Best known for his role as an astrophysicist in The Big Bang, Forbes listed him as the world’s third-highest-paid actor in 2015 and 2018. He also released his memoir Yes, My Accent is Real in 2015.
As well as attending a recent BLM protest and sharing this on her social media platforms, Leigh-Anne has shared videos on her experience with racism and the obstacles she has faced, including being told on a video shoot for Little Mix that as the black girl she would have to work ten times harder. Leigh-Anne is encouraging others to discuss their experiences of racism in the hope of raising awareness and change.
Naomi joined a host of other celebrities in demanding an end to systematic racism in TV and film, signing an open letter calling for fundamental changes in the industry. The actress also called on a fellow co-star to ask for advice on how to develop a ‘thick skin’ and deal with the abuse and pressure that comes from both race and working in a franchise as big as Star Wars.
The Game of Thrones and Fast & Furious actress attended the first BLM protest in London in the wake of the George Floyd murder and a second one for Shukiri Abdi, a 12-year old Somalian refugee murdered in Greater Manchester. The actress has encouraged people to educate themselves about systematic racism.
The much-loved radio and television personality is a patron of Catch 22, a UK charity which helps people steer clear of crime or substance misuse. In addition, Reggie has been a longstanding supporter of Comic Relief and in 2013 travelled to Africa to spend time with children living in the slums of Kenya.
After more than a decade in the music industry, Beverley Knight was appointed an MBE in 2006 in recognition of her contribution to British music. Knight has now been in the industry for more than 25 years and takes her inspiration from Soul music superstars such as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin.
Celeste, described as a once-in-a-generation talent and the finest British soul singer to emerge in years, won both a Brit Award and BBC Music Award in 2019. She has performed at some of Europe’s biggest music festivals such as Glastonbury, Primavera Sound, Field Day and Rock en Seine. The singer began her career as a teenager providing vocals for dance musicians such as Avicii and Tieks.
Dave is a British rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He won the Album of the Year Brit Award earlier this year and stole the show with his powerful performance of single; Black, which focuses on the perception of Black people in Britain, adding a verse to the song about the Grenfell Tragedy.
Jorja Smith’s new music video and single By Any Means was inspired by BLM protests. After attending a BLM protest, Jorja left wanting to keep the BLM conversation going. Jorja’s debut single Blue Lights, released in 2016, was a call for change illuminating police racial bias and brutality.
Crookes is British Neo soul singer-songwriter of Bangladeshi-Irish heritage. In her music, Crookes, incorporates details about relationships, self-reliance, her culture, her roots and her identity. She is a keen social activist and was present and vocal at BLM protests.
Little Simz is a British rapper, singer and actress who has encouraged people to have conversations and educate themselves on race and highlighted the issue within the music industry that only seems to allow one Black woman at a time to do well.
The Spanish-born British singer and songwriter has received numerous awards and accolades. Her debut single Know Me Better was released in 2015. In January 2019, Mabel was nominated for the British Breakthrough Act award at the Brit Awards.
Naughty Boy is a British DJ, record producer, songwriter and musician who has won an array of awards and produced records for other hitmakers. He has openly spoken out about his mother battling dementia and how he moved in with her full-time during lockdown.
Rina Sawayama is a Japanese-British musician, model and actor who started her solo music career after graduating from Cambridge University in 2012. Rina rapidly attracted the attention of press around her early releases which saw her included in the Dazed100 list and grace the covers of Clash Magazine and Sunday Times Style. In April 2020 she released her debut album “SAWAYAMA” via independent label Dirty Hit which was applauded by critics across the globe and has led her to be featured on the covers of NME, King Kong, DIY and Crash Magazine as well as garnering support from Vogue, BBC, CNN and VICE. Alongside her music career she has also modelled for MAC, Versace, Skull Candy, Mercedes Benz Fashion and GCDS.
The British rapper, singer and songwriter has collaborated with numerous hitmakers and won an array of awards for his music. Stormzy is known for his controversial and outspoken political views and he has openly called out what he sees as failings of UK Government officials.
Anah Project is a linguistically diverse refuge and support service for women experiencing any form of abuse or violence. The service has evolved over the years but originally started running in 1985. Anah Project aims to educate women on their human rights, increase their confidence and self-esteem and regain their independence. In 2012, the austerity measures meant that like many other organisations, Anah Project lost its funding from the local authority. It now relies on funding from donations and grant making bodies.
The Runnymede Trust is a charity dedicated to ending racial and classist institutional prejudice. As the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank, the Trust conducts rigorous research and thorough analysis into social policy in order to make all citizens and communities feel empowered and enjoy equal opportunities. The Runnymede Trust publishes their research which forms a body of evidence that address key race equality challenges such as migration, integration, localised inequalities and Islamophobia. Their research covers a wide range of topics linked to BAME issues and makes these available to the public – not just policy makers – through their website.
Launched against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Black Minds Matter aims to help Black people and their families access mental health care that is professional, culturally appropriate and free. The Black Minds Matter U.K. fund is used to cover the cost of services— including up to 12 sessions of therapy. The charity aims to make mental health topics more relevant and accessible for all Black people in the U.K., removing the stigma and remodelling the services to be relevant for the Black community.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust ensures that Gurkha veterans, their widows and their wider communities are able to live with dignity. The Trusts achieves this primarily through the provision of financial, medical and community aid in Nepal through 22 Area Welfare Centres spread across traditional Gurkha recruiting areas. In the UK, in conjunction with other service charities and government bodies The Gurkha Welfare Trust offer advice and support to help the thousands of retired Gurkhas and their families who choose to settle here.
Refugee Council provide a national service in support of refugee children and young people who arrive in the UK alone. Refugee Council also works for fairer government policy through research, policy and advocacy, aiming to create large-scale change by galvanising public support for refugees through timely and effective media campaigns which help to increase knowledge and understanding about refugees and people seeking asylum.
ROTA is a social policy research organisation that focuses on issues impacting on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. ROTA’s policy priorities are mental health, education and criminal justice. As a Black, Asian and minority ethnic -led organisation, all ROTA’s work is based on the principle that those with direct experience of inequality should be central to solutions to address it. Their work is actively informed by the lived experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and their organisations.
Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity. It was established in January 1996, thanks in part to a donation by then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. Show Racism the Red Card utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society and has also expanded into other sports. The majority of the campaign’s work involves the delivery of educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. Across the UK, SRtRC provides educational sessions to more than 50,000 individuals per year.
Sistah Space works with African heritage women and girls who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse, or who have lost a loved one to domestic violence. Sistah Space’s specialised service seeks to assist those who are apprehensive about going to mainstream services without support, such as the police and other statutory services. The service also provides practical help with hygiene products such as sanitary pads, panties, bras, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and other essential items (much of which have been donated by the local community).
Tell MAMA UK is an independent, non-governmental organisation which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred. Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (MAMA) is a secure and reliable service that allows people from across England to report any form of Anti-Muslim abuse. The MAMA Project will provide a means for such incidents to be reported, recorded and analysed, working to ensure this data is accurate and reliable and the victims and witnesses affected receive support. This project also works with police forces across England, Wales and Scotland in order to ensure access to justice for victims through the prosecution of perpetrators.
Sickle cell disease is particularly common in people with an African or Caribbean family background. The Sickle Cell Society is the only national charity in the UK that supports and represents people affected by a sickle cell disorder to improve their overall quality of life. First set up as a registered charity in 1979, the Sickle Cell Society has been working alongside health care professionals, parents, and people living with sickle cell to raise awareness of the disorder. The Society’s aim is to support those living with sickle cell, empowering them to achieve their full potential.
Aneeta Prem is the founder of Freedom Charity, which help victims of forced marriage and dishonour based violence. Prem works to fight injustices such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation, slavery and other forms of torture and oppression worldwide. She has been instrumental in changing government policy and was instrumental in ensuring that Forced Marriage was made a criminal offence.
Kajal Odedra isExecutive Director for Change.org UK, which has over 17 million users in the UK. With over 12 years experience as an activist, Odedra identified a diversity problem in the UK campaigns sector which led her to found the People of Colour in Campaigns network, which aims to increase diversity in the UK’s campaign sector. In 2019 she released a book, Do Something: Activism for Everyone, which is an accessible guide to grassroots activism and campaigning.
Leslie Thomas QC is an award-winning lawyer who has lead some of Britain’s most high-profile inquiries and inquests during his 25-year career as a human rights barrister. Thomas is currently representing 23 clients from the Grenfell Fire disaster including survivors, bereaved family members and loved ones. Thomas read the opening statement at the Grenfell Tower inquiry, and brought up the issue of diversity and failing to consider the role that institutional racism may have played in contributing to the disaster.
As the child of Windrush generation immigrants, Michael Braithewaite lost his job of 15 years as a special needs teaching assistant after his employers ruled that he was an illegal immigrant, despite having lived in the UK for more than 50 years. This year Braithwaite and others handed in a petition to Downing Street signed by more than 130,000 people calling for action to address failings which led to the Windrush scandal. Braithewaite said he refuses to let the government brush the scandal ‘under the carpet’.
Patrick Vernon OBE is best known for his campaigning work for the Windrush Generation, helping to expose the Windrush Scandal and also launching the Windrush Justice Fund with JCWI. As a leading expert on African and Caribbean genealogy in the UK, he founded Every Generation Media and 100 Great Black Britons, which develops education programmes, publications and films on cultural heritage. Vernon was made Pioneer of the Nation for Cultural History by the Queen in 2003.
Paula Akpan is a founding director of Black Girl Festival, the UK’s first arts and culture festival celebrating Black women and girls. This year Akpan and her business partner launched the Black Girl Fest Academy, a seven month community-focused creative programme in association with Today at Apple and the Mayor of London. She is also the co-founder of the “I’m Tired” Project, an award-winning photography campaign and international workshop programme which led to her receiving the Points of Light Award in 2017 for making a change in her community.
Robina Qureshi is the executive director of Positive Action in Housing, a Scottish refugee and migrants homelessness and human rights charity that is involved in countering racism and discrimination, particularly in housing. She is a notable critic of the UK’s asylum policies and has campaigned to stop inhumane treatment and close detention centres for asylum seekers.
Shani Dhanda is the founder of the UK’s first ever Asian Woman Festival, aimed at smashing stereotypes and stigma to empower and celebrate Asian Women through culture, art and conversation. She is also a disability campaigner and founded the Asian Disability Network to provide support and education to the Asian community on disability matters.
Seyi Akiwowo is a British-Nigerian women’s rights activist and campaigner. At the age of 23, Seyi was elected as the youngest black female Councillor in East London and established Glitch in 2017 after she faced horrendous online abuse, when a video of her speech at the European Parliament went viral. Glitch is a not-for-profit organisation determined to end online abuse through education, campaigns and advocacy.
Yvette Williams MBE is a founding member of Operation black vote – a national campaign which aims to inspire BME communities to engage with public institutions in order to address race inequalities. She co-founded Justice4Grenfell after witnessing the Grenfell Tower disaster. Justice4Grenfell is a community-led organisation, focused on the long-term goal of obtaining justice for the bereaved families, survivors, evacuated residents and the wider local community.
The international beauty brand has pledged to donate $1 million across Black Lives Matter across projects and charities which fight against systematic racism, oppression, and injustice. The brand stated that they are taking the time internally to discuss initiatives that will support black-owned businesses and artists in the beauty industry. ABH also committed to use their platform and privilege to amplify the voices of marginalised groups, including funding an ongoing scholarship programme which helps high-achieving, low-income underrepresented students get into and graduate from top colleges.
Argos’s 2019 Christmas campaign saw the brand embracing diversity with an advert which featured a multi-ethnic daughter and South Asian dad duo drumming together. More recently, the retail giant released an advert which featured a Black lesbian couple and their family, which sparked a racist outrage on social media. Argos responded to the haters, stating: “We’re proud to represent a diverse and inclusive Britain in our advertising. Argos is for everyone.”
The ice cream giant has been a long-term campaigner for diversity and equality, regularly making public statements advocating for economic justice, environmental justice and LGBT+ rights. In 2019 Ben & Jerry’s founders created a new flavour of ice cream, Justice ReMix’d, to highlight racism and criminal justice reform. The company first affirmed its support of the Black Lives Matter in 2016, long before many had even heard of the movement.
When superstar Rihanna launched Fenty, she refused to concede that darker-skinned make-up shades ‘don’t sell’. Fenty Beauty’s launch rapidly increased inclusivity across the beauty industry, creating a catalyst for change, with brands rushing to diversify their shade range. On Blackout Tuesday, both Fenty fashion and beauty ceased operating on a global scale, in a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the wake of George Flloyd’s murder Glossier was one of the first brands to pledge support to the Black Lives Matter movement; putting their money where their mouth they donated $1,000,000 across a host of organisations, $500,000 to black-owned beauty businesses and $500,000 to organisations aiming to combat racial injustice including BLM, the NAACP Legal Defence and Education Fund, The Equal Injustice Initiative, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and We Are The Protestors. The brand stated “We stand in solidarity with the fight against systemic racism, white supremacy, and the historic oppression of the Black community.”
IKEA made headlines last Christmas with its fun seasonal campaign using around the music of underground East London Grime artist, D Double E. The ad was well received and was credited by the Guardian for bringing the genre into the mainstream. In May the homeware giant shared a statement re-affirming their brand’s position that equality is a human right and condemning racial injustice of any kind. In June IKEA, pledged to donate $3 million over the following 12 months to support organisations that are working in support of social justice, economic empowerment and education initiatives for Black communities.
Whilst more than one third of FTSE’s Top 100 firms have no board members of colour at all, it is a different story at John Lewis which is headed up by chairperson Dame Sharon White, making John Lewis one of the few large British companies with a black chief executive. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, John Lewis released a statement in solidarity with the movement, stating their commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity and decrying discrimination of any kind.
The sportswear giant has been investing in the fight against racism in football for over a decade. More recently, their support of Colin Kaepernick with the “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” campaign. For Black Live Matter, the brand pledged £32 million to support the Black community, and committed to investing in “organisations that put social justice, education, and addressing racial inequality in America at the centre of their work”. Shortly after the donation, Nike released a anti-racist campaign called Don’t Do It, which was so popular that even rival brand Adidas retweeted it.
The London skate brand pledged £1 million to Black Lives Matter-related causes, with initial funds going to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Black Lives Matter itself. “We stand firmly with all protesters seeking justice against police brutality and racism,” the brand wrote on its Instagram, adding “This ain’t some bandwagon shit tbh it just took a hot minute to figure out if I could drum up a mill by the end of the year and work out what we’re going to do long-term.”
Earlier this year, London-based British streetwear brand Trapstar announced a £5,000 donation to the Black Lives Matter Global Foundation as part of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The brand is headed up by three black men who have had their own first-hand experiences with racism, which lead them to release an ‘Enough Is Enough’ limited collection, with all proceeds going to go to Black Lives Matter, The Stephen Lawrence Trust, and a fund benefiting the family of Belly Mujinga. The brand hopes to raise awareness and create more conversation surrounding the global issue of racism.
An array of British-Asian celebrities came together to create a health advice video targeting the Asian community amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amongst the celebrities were Eastenders Nitin Ganatra, Naughty Boy, Meera Syal CBE and Sanjeev Bhaskar. The video was made in response to reports of the critical impact of Covid-19.
The Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralised political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. The movement began with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media in 2013 and returned to national headlines earlier this year in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
In this popular Channel 4 film, Black Britons discuss their personal struggles against racism. Geoff Small, director of The Talk, pulled together an array of black and mixed-race personalities to highlight how even when a successful figure in the public eye you can still be dogged with racial prejudice and how they had to be warned of the racism they would face when growing up.
The longest running soap worldwide, Coronation Street recently tackled racism in their storylines. In May of this year the soap was praised for airing a racism-centred episode, highlighting the issue of racial ignorance to viewers. The episode saw character Ed Bailey come to terms with the constant racism he was facing from his boss and deliver a powerful speech on the issue. After the episode finished the soap was praised massively across social media for its brilliant representation of the issue.
In lieu of physical celebrations taking place, Grenfell United, a group of survivors and bereaved families from the Grenfell tower fire, along with the organisers of Grenfell Silent Walk asked people to show solidarity for the Grenfell tragedy on the anniversary by ‘going green’ at home. While public buildings across London were illuminated in green light, people at home turned off their lights off and played a video which emitted a green light, lighting up the city in an emerald glow in remembrance.
The show’s first black couple. Although the couples romance was short lived in the villa, the union had the hashtag #BlackLove trending marking a historic moment in the reality show’s history. With the UK media being known for not being overly invested in black romance, fans of the show were quick to jump on social media and laud ITV for giving the couple the air time they deserved and became invested in the couples budding relationship.
The former Jamaican cricketer turned commentator, cried whilst giving an off the cuff, heartfelt speech live on air about racism and the impacts it had on him growing up. He has also been vocal about England’s cricket team’s decision to stop taking a knee before a game, stating that it is out of line with global attempts to raise awareness about institutionalised racism and inequality.
Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You was a huge success for British television drama in 2020. The semi-autobiographical series, which centres Black actors and Black experiences, confronts subjects of sexual assault and racism. Coel herself has been widely outspoken about the racial abuse she has experienced throughout her life, challenging her peers in the television industry to do better and face up to the damaging stereotypes it perpetuates.
The popular BBC News presenter was caught in a ‘racism row’ after calling out Donald Trump’s remarks about four Democratic congresswomen of colour as racist. Munchetty was censured by the BBC for her remarks following a single complaint, in a ruling which was later reversed. The row opened a can of worms and saw the presenter receive support from over 150 Black, Asian and minority ethnic broadcasters and journalists, and calls for the BBC to have diversity representatives on the semi-independent executive complaints unit.
The second national Windrush Day was launched this year with half a million pounds worth of funding from the Windrush Day Grant Scheme for community groups and local authorities across England to pay tribute to the outstanding legacy of British Caribbean community and their descendants.
Amal is a presenter, journalist, fashion designer and activist against homophobia in sport. She produced a BBC3 documentary Britain’s Gay Footballers. Amal is the founder of the Justin Fashanu Foundation and the Black Heart clothing label which promotes activism through fashion. The label is dedicated to her uncle, Justin Fashanu.
The winner of Love Island 2019 attended a BLM protest in London, buying, creating and issuing care packages to those in attendance. Amber filmed the whole day, starting with her purchasing items for the care packages and is donating all revenue from the video to BLM charities.
Khan is a British model, fashion designer and social media influencer. She is best known for founding the fashion company Pearl Daisy, designing black head scarfs and becoming the first hijab model in a L’Oreal hair-care campaign. In 2017, Khan was featured by Elle Magazine as one of four Muslim beauty influencers, in which she spoke out about fighting against stereotypes.
Beatrice Kristi Laus, known professionally as Beabadoobee or Be a Kristi, is a Filipino-born British singer-songwriter. Since 2018 she has released five extended plays and supported The 1975 during several legs of their music tour. She was nominated for the Rising Star Award at the 2020 Brit Awards with her debut studio album due for release in October of this year.
Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian, London based author, academic and broadcaster. She lunched her debut book, Don’t Touch My Hair, in 2019. The book is a groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into black women and their hair, which pertains to race, social codes and culture amongst other things. Dabiri is a frequent contributor to print and online media, including The Guardian, Vice and The Times.
Known better as The Plastic Boy, Gary Thompson is a lifestyle, fashion and beauty blogger. His instagram boasts over 308,000 followers. He experienced a lot of negativity and online bullying due to his ethnicity and lifestyle but says he has now “evolved” and is happy with the skin he is in.
One of the UK’s most successful bloggers and YouTubers, Grace promotes the discussion of mental health and has published a book; No filter, which discusses her battle with her mental health and the obstacles she faced growing up. Grace fought bulimia when younger and filmed a documentary on this with the BBC: Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets.
Kelechi is a British-Nigerian actress who is well known online. Kelechi is a published essayist, writing a piece titled It’s not okay to feel blue and other lies. The royalties from this piece have gone to Shout, a 24/7 suicide and crisis help and text line. She is also the founder of Kelechnekoff Fitness Studio.
Natasha is a model, blogger and photographer based in London. She writes about photography, beauty, travel and her experiences working in the fashion industry. Natasha launched her website bisousnatasha.com in 2013 and it has grown to be a popular site showcasing a mixture of her personal style and photography.
Robert Douglas is a blogger who posts about life as a Black dad. He is open about anxieties and racism experienced as a Black father and is conscious to show these as well as positive depictions of Black fatherhood.
David Lammy is a Labour Party politician who speaks publicly about the importance of fathers and the need to support them in seeking to be active in the lives of their children. He chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood. He was the first Black Briton to attend Harvard Law School and practised as an attorney in California and is currently a visiting lecturer at SOAS.
Dawn is a Labour Party politician and from 2017-2020 served as Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. The politician accused police of racial profiling after she was stopped whilst travelling in a car this summer, stating that police need to “stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime.”
Allin-Khan is a Labour Party politician and doctor who was Shadow Minister for Sport between 2016-2020. She completed a Master’s degree in public health and following this worked as a humanitarian aid doctor in Gaza, Israel, Africa and Asia. Prior to her election to the House of Commons, she worked as a junior doctor in the A&E department of Tooting’s St George’s Hospital. As well as her parliamentary and ministerial work she continues to work occasional shifts in the hospital during parliamentary recess.
Yousaf is a Scottish politician who has served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 2018. In 2016, he became the first ethnic minority person to win a constituency seat in the Scottish Parliament. He was the first non-white and first Muslim member of the Scottish Government when he was appointed as a minister in 2012. At 27 he was also the youngest minister ever appointed to the Scottish Government. He became Scotland’s first ethnic minority and first Muslim cabinet minister when appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Justice in 2018. Appointed at 33, he also became the youngest person to ever hold a cabinet position in the Scottish Government.
Marsha, a Labour Party Politician, is the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and has been since April 2020. Marsha studied Law and European Policy Studies at the London South Bank University and after graduating worked at a number of charities including Action for Blind People before founding the charity South East London Vision in 2014. As an MP, Marsha has been involved in campaigning to make the Parliamentary Estate more accessible for disabled people.
Munira is a Liberal Democrat politician who has served as the parties Spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care since 2020. Munira has a degree in Modern Languages and after graduating trained as a tax consultant before starting her career with the Liberal Democrats.
Nadia is a Labour Party politician who, at the age of 23, was elected as the MP for Nottingham East in the 2019 general election, becoming the youngest MP. Nadia got involved in politics due to the effects of the under-occupancy penalty and austerity on her local community and was the first minority ethnic MP to be elected in Nottingham. Shortly after her election Nadia announced that she would only be keeping the equivalent of “an average workers wage” and would donate the rest (over £44k) of her MP salary to local charities.
Rishi Sunak is a senior British politician who has served as Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020. After graduating with an MBA from Stanford University he worked in investment and hedge fund management. In 2014 Rishi was head of the Black and Minority Ethnic Research Unit of centre-right think tank Policy Exchange for which he co-wrote a report on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in the UK.
Baroness Verma is an Indian-British MP. She is Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas and Chair of UN Women UK. Baroness Verma attributes the culture in which she was born into impacting the way in which she viewed the world around her.
Sadiq has served as the Mayor of London since 2016. Prior to joining the Labour Party Sadiq worked as a solicitor specialising in human rights issues and chaired the Liberty advocacy group for three years. He has been included in the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world and has been praised for promoting mutual tolerance among London’s varied communities, making transport more accessible and reducing the number of polluting vehicles in Central London. Sadiq is London’s first Muslim and first ethnic minority mayor.
Joshua, the world boxing heavyweight champion, attended a BLM protest in his home town of Watford this year and made an impactive speech telling onlookers that “we can no longer sit back and remain silent on these senseless unlawful killings”. a The boxer is also investing a seven figure sum into his home town to create unity and opportunities adding change to the Afro-Caribbean community.
The Team GB sprinter accused police of racial profiling after being pulled over for a stop and search earlier this year. The athlete believes her and her partner were targeted due to being black and driving a Mercedes. Williams filmed the stop and search and shared it widely across social media. As a result of the high public interest the Met referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Asher-Smith is a British sprinter. She is the fastest British woman in recorded history and has been listed in the power-list as one of the Uk’s most influential people from African/Caribbean descent. She is the 2019 World Champion at 200 metres, the 2016 and 2018 European champion at 200 metres and the 2018 European champion at 100 metres. She became the first woman to legally run under 11 seconds for the 100 metres in 2015.
Guha, is an English cricket commentator, television and radio cricket broadcaster and former England cricketer who played in the 2005 and 2009 World Cup in which she was on the winning team. Guha also regularly writes a column for the BBC Sports website. She started playing cricket when she was about 8 years old with her older brother and at the age of 13 was selected for the Development England side. Guha has a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology.
The athlete has competed at the Olympics and World Championships where she won the gold medal and broke the British record. She ranks No.6 on the all-time Heptathlon list. She holds the British record of 5,000 points for the women’s pentathlon. The athlete studied Sport Science at Liverpool John Moores University.
One of the most successful drivers in F1 history, Hamilton holds six World Championship titles, the second most of all time. Hamilton has been open about the lack of diversity in F1 and recently attended a BLM protest. Working with his F1 team, Hamilton will now be wearing all-black overalls and driving an all-black Mercedes in races which will show the words “End Racism” and #WeRaceAsOne
The Manchester United and England footballer led a successful campaign urging the Government to commit to providing free school meals to children in England in the 2020 summer holidays, penning an open letter to Parliament which went viral. In the letter, Rashford spoke of his own experiences of relying on free school meals when growing up.
Salma Bi was the first British Asian and Muslim player to be selected for Worcestershire County and is currently coach for Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Bi is also a registered Haemodialysis Specialist Adult Nurse and Olympics volunteer.
At 21-years-old, Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the most decorated football stars in the world having won both the Champions League and Premier League trophies with Liverpool FC. The football hero was a major supporter of this summer’s Black Lives Matter Movement and recently launched ‘Football for Change’ – a charitable initiative aiming to help some of the most disadvantaged young people in the country.
Rehman is a Pakistani professional footballer who plays as a defender and is currently the player-manager of Hong Kong Premier League Club, Southern. He was the first British-Asian to play in the Premier League and the first Pakistani international footballer to play professional football in England, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Rehamn launched his own foundation, the Zesh Rehman Foundation, in May 2010 with the intention of helping young British Asian’s in football.