Being Black and Disabled: intercessions for Black History Month

We finally wrapped up on the last of our interview videos aabout the intercession of being Black and Disabled in our #BlackDisabledLivesMatter for Black History Project, funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

We had a webinar ro start the discussion with Julie Jaye Charles, Joanna Abeyie (Chair), Viv Cameron, Yannick Nyah and Maya Meikle

Here is the recording on youtube if you missed it:​

Five wonderful people have also shared their experiences of being Black and Disabled and the impact of that intersection on their lives.

Viv Cameron
Viv is a retired barrister and former training and development officer on the executive Committee of the National Black Crown Prosecution Association. Due to chronic pain issues she identifies as disabled. As a black feminist, she is currently is active in the voluntary sector as Chair of the South East London Wool and Textile Festival. (SELWAT) and CraftA, a community arts group working to make creativity a right for everyone. She abhors hypocrisy in public life and is interested in social and creative egalitarianism, political intersectionality, charity and social enterprise compliance. She is a keen brainstormer and sometime textile artist.
Yannick Nyah
Yannick is a Founding Board Member and Director at BME VOLUNTEERS CIC, a service and goal-oriented person, with 17 years background in physical, emotional and psychological well-being best and bad practices. Yannick’s core competencies include quantitative and qualitative analysis, active listening, some complex problem solving, community outreach and engagement work, excellent communication and time-management skills. The role requires handling multiple stakeholder, staff and client work with, accuracy and efficiency. Suffering with mental health challenges, somewhere on the spectrum and a recovering alcoholic. In 2017, he had a bicycle accident which left him needing a major knee operation and disabled. This is what has lead to his career choice today.
Iyiola Olafimihan
Iyiola Olafimihan LLB/BL MA was a capacity building specialist at Disability LIB (a UK £4m Big lottery funded project set up to support disabled people’s organisations in England to maximise their operations) and also a consultant. Iyiola was a founding member of ASCEND an activist group that was part of the coalition that proposed disability discrimination legislation in Nigeria. Iyiola has extensive experience in the legal and commercial sector of Nigeria. While in the UK has led training and advice around governance, fundraising etc to disabled people’s organisations. Iyiola is a committee member of Disability Action in Islington and continues to volunteer with Healthwatch Islington and at Islington Council. Iyiola enjoys music, going to shows and night-clubbing, he is married with 2 lovely teenagers. Iyiola is a Culture Access Steering Group member.
Norman Ellis
Norman Ellis is British born a second child to Barbadian parents. He was a world clàss sprinter age 14-23 and semi pro footballer age 17-20, personal trainer and gym instructor 19-30, with a 2:1 degree from Lougbourough University . He was a Met police Officer / trainee D.C. from2000-2014. The condition became too much to deal with, symptoms started at about 28, he had to take medical retirement at around the age of 39.
Joanna Abeyie
Dr. Joanna Abeyie MBE is a Culture Access Steering Group member who has blazed a trail as a multi-award-winning social impact entrepreneur, champion of diversity, inclusion, and equality as well as making a mark as an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. Joanna has spent the last 14 years, increasing the employment of diverse talent through inclusive hiring practices and creating inclusive working cultures. Launching her first charity Elevation Networks Charitable Trust at 18 alongside six colleagues in 2006, following this 2008 Joanna went on to start her own Social Enterprise Shine Media in 2008, saw she placed over 3000 people from diverse backgrounds into work within the creative industries. Joanna’s latest enterprise is founding Blue Moon, a flagship inclusive Executive Search Business and Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy Practice. Before BM, Joanna founded Hyden, part of FTSE 250 Global Recruiter SThree, an executive search and consultancy business. She has been instrumental in establishing the Creative Diversity All-Party Parliamentary Group with Ed Vaizey MP, of which she is a joint secretary. The University of Reading in 2019 awarded Joanna a Distinguished Graduate Award, and she then received an Honorary Doctorate in Business from the University of West England in the same year. Joanna’s responsibilities do not end there; she is a Non- Exec Director for Investors in People, a Trustee for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, and the first and only black person to be made a Trustee and Director of The Media Society. Joanna is also a Trustee and Director of Haberdasher Askes Trust Federation Board and School Governor of Hatcham College and Mulberry Academy Shoreditch. Joanna was also awarded her Freedom of the City in 2018 and became the first black and youngest woman to become a Liverywoman for the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. Joanna was also awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list for her services to diversity and inclusion in the creative and media industries

We are grateful to Aboubakar (Bouba) Konate for his drumming and joining us in celebrating at this event.

Huge thanks to Woolwich Centre Library and Bathways Theatre, Greenwich DPAC and BME Volunteers for their support.

And thank you to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for funding this!

funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich logo