First war memorial to Afro-Caribbean soldiers unveiled in London

Britain’s first memorial to the African and Caribbean soldiers of the First and Second World Wars has been unveiled in London.

An estimated two million Afro-Caribbean soldiers fought in both world wars.

The sculpture, in Windrush Square, Brixton, is formed of two 6ft (1.8m) long obelisks, with a combined weight of just under five tonnes.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the “recognition today is long overdue”.

He added: “I hope this memorial will remind us of the ongoing contribution of our African and Caribbean communities to our country and to the defence of our country.”  More

Women’s Sport Week: Meet the ‘kick-ass’ Muslim sporting pioneers

Reshmin Chowdhury is a sports broadcaster, a Muslim and a mother of two. For Women’s Sport Week she looked at projects that engage Asian women, and showcases those who are breaking down barriers and paving the way for the next generation to enjoy playing sport.

We Muslim women come in all guises. We come from different cultures, communities and backgrounds.

We have different tastes and preferences on how we live our lives and navigate our careers. Some of us wear hijabs, some don’t. Some have families who are supportive, some who aren’t and others that take a little more convincing.  More

Festivals dominated by male acts, study shows, as Glastonbury begins

Music festivals fail to reflect the diversity of the UK music scene, with headline slots being dominated by a small band of male rock acts over the decades, a study suggests.

Some eight out of 10 top slots were occupied by all-male acts, analysis of more than 600 headline appearances across 14 major festivals found.

And a quarter of all headline slots were taken up by the same 20 acts.

The study comes as 175,000 people head to the Glastonbury Festival.  More

Sporting plan to boost boys in ballet

Moves from Angry Birds and Minecraft as well as footballers’ goal celebrations are being used to encourage more boys to take up ballet.

Just 1.8% of ballet exam candidates are boys, says the Royal Academy of Dance.

Now the RAD has enlisted help from Marylebone Cricket Club to challenge gender stereotypes in dance and sport.

Royal Ballet principal dancer and cricket enthusiast Alexander Campbell said he was delighted to be an ambassador for the project.  More

Lauren Child: New Children’s Laureate worried about equality in books

Boys don’t like reading books that have girls as the main characters – and that “makes it harder for girls to be equal”, says the new Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.

Child, who wrote the Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean series, was speaking after her appointment was announced in Hull.

She is the 10th person to be the official champion of children’s books.

Child will hold the title for two years and takes over from Chris Riddell.  More

Don’t wrap girls in cotton wool, says private school leader

Parents and teachers should not “wrap girls in cotton wool”, an independent schools’ leader has said.

Girls were not victims and were stronger and more feisty than they were often given credit for, said Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST).

Ms Giovannoni said girls should be encouraged to take the sorts of risks boys were more likely to take.

They should also be taught to say no and not always be willing to please.  More

Trailblazing Women On and Off Screen

A One Day Symposium Blending Theory and Practice

Department of Creative Professions and Digital Arts (CPDA), University of Greenwich

Thursday 29th June 2017

The Creative Professions and Digital Arts Department at the University of Greenwich, in collaboration with the Women’s Film and Television History Network UK/Ireland, are proud to host a one-day symposium blending theory and practice to explore the themes of trailblazing women on and off screen, past and present. We aim to bring together academics and practitioners, those in-between or on the periphery, to discuss and be proactive about the lack of women in the film and television industry. We want to inform, inspire and encourage women of all ages and from all backgrounds.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – June 2017

National Cancer Survivor’s Day is on 4 June and with this in mind we have chosen Jeff Stelling as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Jeff was brought up in Hartlepool and after leaving school his first job was as a journalist at the Hartlepool Mail.  Jeff has worked on many TV shows over the years as a sports reporter or presenter starting on Radio Tees in the 1970’s. In 1994, he became the presenter of Sports Saturday (which became Gillette Soccer Saturday), a programme of football discussion and live reports on the afternoon’s games.

In March 2016, Jeff decided to march from his beloved Hartlepool United to Wembley Stadium in an attempt to raise awareness of, and money for, prostate cancer, a disease killing one man every hour in the UK.  On the way, Jeff and his close friend, Russ Green (former CEO of Hartlepool United), walked 10 marathons in 10 days, visiting 32 football clubs and clocking up 262 miles.

This year on Friday 2 June Jeff will set off from St James Park, the home of Exeter City, in an attempt to walk 15 marathons in 15 days the equivalent of 400 miles and visit over 40 football clubs, reaching Newcastle United’s St James’ Park on Friday 16 June.

Last year the march raised £420,000, and helped get the problem of prostate cancer on the agenda of millions of people across the UK.

Jeff was named Sports Broadcaster of the Year for four successive years by the Sports Journalists’ Association  and on 12 March 2010, he was granted the title of honorary freeman of his home town of Hartlepool.

To find out more about Jeff’s March for Men see here