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Black History Month

Events Programme 2021

Here you can find events, activities, talks and more for Black History Month at Queen Mary. If you scroll to the bottom of the page you can also find other activities and ways to get involved. We will be adding to and updating this page throughout the month so stay tuned!

Links to the Speaker Series can be found individually below or through the Speaker Series channel on MS Teams here

Black History Month Speaker Series - Leslie Gaston-Bird, Promoting Diversity in the Audio Industry

When: 20 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00

Organiser: Understanding and Celebrating Race Equality Working Group

Leslie Gaston-Bird (AMPS, MPSE) is a Dante Level-3 Certified audio engineer specializing in 5.1 re-recording mixing (dubbing) and sound editing. She is a former Governor-at-Large for the Audio Engineering Society, and author of the book Women in Audio. She is a member of the Recording Academy (The Grammys®), a member and councilperson of the Association of Motion Picture Sound (AMPS), and member of Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE). She has worked for National Public Radio (Washington, D.C.), Colorado Public Radio, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Post Modern Company, and was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Denver.

Black History Month Speaker Series - Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis, Institutional racism: myth or reality?

When: 13 October 2021,  13:00 - 14:00

Organiser: Understanding and Celebrating Race Equality Working Groups

Dr Fiona Bartels-Ellis OBE is Head of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at the British Council where she sets and drives the strategic direction of the organisation’s work across its offices in 110 countries in support of its cultural relations activities. In June 2005 was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her equality and diversity work. In July 2008 she won the Ghana Professional Achievers (GPA) Award for humanitarian services to the UK and Ghana and in 2009 the Peter Robertson Award for Equality and Diversity Champions by ORC Worldwide.

Black History Month Speaker Series - Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Are ethnic minority communities disproportionately affected by air pollution?

When: 5 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00

Organiser: Understanding and Celebrating Race Equality Working Group 

Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah is a World Health Organization advocate for health and air quality and co-founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, based in London. A former teacher, Rosamund became a clean air advocate after her 9-year-old daughter, Ella, died in 2013 from a rare and severe form of asthma. Rosamund spent several years campaigning for a second coroner's inquest into Ella's death to determine whether it was linked to air pollution. In a landmark decision in December 2020, the coroner ruled that it was. Ella is now the first person in the UK, and possibly the world, to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate. Rosamund intends to continue advocating to secure the right for children around world to breathe clean air. She was recently named on BBC Woman’s Hour’s Power List for 2020.

Career Development & Planning Workshop (Run by Eden Relationships) 

When: 9 October 2021, 10:00 – 12:30 

Info: Register for the event here (fully booked)

Organiser: Maryane Mwaniki, Head of Employer Engagement - LSE Careers and Co-Chair of LSE EmbRace. 

 Maryane Mwaniki


Feeling stuck? Want to progress but don’t know how? Looking for new direction? Unsure about where to start? Curious about how to get started in a new organisation, sector or role? 

This reflective, practical, and interactive workshop is for you.  

DrosAfrica Virtual Workshop, Ghana 

When: 11-13 October2021 

Info: Register for the event here

Organiser: School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences 

Introduction to Drosophila genetics and development ; Drosophila as a model system for the study of Nutrition;Circadian rhythms ; human diseases , such as Cancer andNeurodegeneration, and Drug Discovery; Career advice. 

Black History Month Lunch and Learn  Maryane Mwaniki, BAME career development and planning workshop , ‘How to be intentional about your professional development’   

When: 19 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 

Info: Register for the event here 

Organiser: Understanding and Celebrating Race Equality Working Groups and the Race Equality Staff Network 

 Maryane Mwaniki 

A reflective, practical, and interactive shop to help BAME staff understand how to create a professional development plan. Exploring strengths, weaknesses, and growth areas. Identifying potential barriers to one’s career development and progression. Exploring how to confidently leverage networks and resources. Delivered by Maryane Mwaniki (Assoc CIPD) is a personal and professional development Coach and accredited Strengthscope® Practitioner. As Co-Founder and Therapeutic Coach for Eden Relationships Ltd).

Structural and Institutional Racism in the UK - Contemporary Perspectives

When: 20 October, 18:00  

Info: Register for the event here

Organiser: Mile End Institute 

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in Britain published its controversial and widely criticised report on structural inequalities earlier this year. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank in conjunction with Race on the Agenda (ROTA) and the Race Equality Foundation (REF) also recently published a collection of papers in the journal Progressive Review that offer an alternative analysis of structural and institutional racism in the UK.

This MEI student event will explore different perspectives and contributions to the debate about structural and institutional racism in the UK. It will use the IPPR/ROTA/REF collection as a starting point to consider the limitations of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities and the analysis it promoted.

Join us for what promises to be both a timely and fascinating discussion.


Dr Sadiya Akram – Lecturer in Political Theory, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dr Vanessa Apea - Consultant Physician in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. Recipient of an NHS 70 Windrush Award for her contribution to improving health equity.

Dr Shardia Briscoe-Palmer – Lecturer in Media, Race and Social Justice, De Montford University.

Daniel Frost – Visiting Research Fellow, Mile End Institute and PhD Candidate at the University of Reading, researching activism in Croydon in the twentieth century.

Alba Kapoor – Senior Policy Officer, The Runnymede Trust.


Dr Nivi Manchanda - Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London. 

Black History Month Workshop  Small Actions, Massive Impact:  Understanding and Addressing Micro-Aggressions   

When: 25 October 2021, 10:00 – 11.:30 

Info: Register for the event here

Organiser: Jill Scott, CEO/Managing Director, Inclusion Solutions Ltd and Flexible Work Solutions Ltd

Portrait of Jill Scott 

The aim of this session is to empower staff to understand and challenge micro-aggressions.  As this is an interactive workshop, numbers are limited so please book early.  





Black History Month Speaker Series - Patrick Vernon, The Sewell Race Report and Structural Racism 

When: 27 October 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 

Info: Register for the event here 

Organiser: Understanding and Celebrating Race Working Group 

 Patrick Vernon

Patrick was recently appointed independent non-executive director of Birmingham and Solihull ICS where he leads on inequalities, chair of citizenship partnership for HSIB and non-executive director for Hertfordshire NHS Trust He is also associate director for connected communities for the Centre for Ageing Better. He is also a Clore and Winston Churchill fellow, fellow of Goodenough College, fellow at Imperial War Museum, fellow of Royal Historical Society, and former associate fellow for the department of history of medicine at Warwick University 

Patrick was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work on tackling health inequalities and ethnic minority communities. Since 2010 he has been leading the campaign for national Windrush Day and in 2018 kick-started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush Generation as part of the Windrush Scandal.  

Screening of The Upright Man (2006) 

When: 27 October 2021, 15.30 – 17:30 

Info: Register for this event here  

Where: The Hitchcock cinema 

Organiser: School of Politics and International Relations 

 Thomas Sankara

A documentary film about Thomas Sankara, the former president of Burkina Faso (1983-7), who was sometimes dubbed the 'African Che Guevara'. The film describes his efforts at revolutionary social transformation in one of the world's poorest. 


SMD EDI Seminar with Dr Nicola Rollock

When: 29 October 2021, 15:30

Info: Register for this event here

Organiser: School of Medicine and Dentistry

A woman standing

Dr Nicola Rollock an academic, consultant and public speaker who specialises in racial justice in education and the workplace. Dr Rollock is Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs Select Committee's 'Macpherson 21 Years On' inquiry and a member of the Equality & Diversity Advisory Groups for both the Wellcome Trust and for the British Science Association.

Dr Rollock is published in a number of international books and journals and is the lead author of 'The Colour of Class: the educational strategies of the Black middle classes', which won second prize in the 2016 Society for Educational Studies’ Annual Book Awards. Her first sole authored book The Racial Code will be published by Allen Lane in 2021.

In 2019, Dr Rollock was selected by Times Higher journalists as one of 11 scholars globally to have influenced the debate in higher education.

She is curator of 'Phenomenal Women: portraits of UK Black female professors' which was on show on the Southbank Centre's Queen's Walk.

The event will include a Q&A section.


Other activities and ways to get involved: 

  • Launch of the Race Equality Staff Network in E-Bulletin. The Network provides a safe space for  Black, Asian and People of Colour staff members to discuss issues, access peer support, receive guidance and signposting to appropriate services both within and outside the organisation, as well as  being a space to come together to celebrate diversity.  Deferred to December 2021.
  • Launch of the Equality, Diversity and Equality Team’s Race Equality Toolkit in E-Bulletin. The Toolkit is designed to advance race equality across QM. 
  • Launch of the Understanding and Celebrating Race Equality Working Group’s Language and Terminology Guide.
  • Tell us what Black History Month means and represents to you at  and we’ll be sharing them in throughout October. 
  • Tell us your favourite books by Black authors at and we'll be sharing them throughout October. 
  • Tell us your favourite African and Caribbean recipes at and places to eat here and we'll be sharing them in October. 
  • Black History Month Art Exhibition: Celebrating Black role models: a series of painted posters by Matt Brazier, Monotone illustrations about Windrush and the Black experience by Morgan "mrgzart" Malcolm, the work of Joseph Ijoyemi is a full time Afro-Swedish contemporary artist who developed an interest in art at the age of 14, and more. 
  • Library Services are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting some works from Black Caribbean writers and intellectuals as well as Black diaspora art practices from the 1980s to present. You can view the display on our BD website:  
  • The Students' Union is also celebrating Black History Month, find out more here.  
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