Trailblazer playwright on the need to keep black British history alive

In 2003 Winsome Pinnock was described as the “Godmother of Black British playwrights” – and the label has stuck. She has a new play at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester which digs into attitudes in Britain to the historical slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean.

Pinnock has encountered several people lately who were convinced British playwrights had already written about British involvement in the African slave trade – finally outlawed in 1833.

“In fact until recently almost no one here had written about it,” she says. “I suspect people remember certain films or they think of the African American plays which have been produced over the years. But that’s not our story.”

By “our story” Pinnock means all Britons, regardless of skin colour. More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month – March 2020

World Hearing Day is held on 3 March each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. With this in mind we have chosen Samantha Baines as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month. Samantha is an award-winning comedian, actor, hearing aid wearer and Action on Hearing Loss Ambassador.

She compared the charity’s first ever Laughing to Deaf comedy fundraiser in 2018, has acted as a spokesperson in the national media, featured in multiple social media campaigns, and this year will be returning to compare Laughing to Deaf at London’s Comedy Store, headlined by John Bishop.

Samantha’s acting credits include The Crown, Silent Witness, Call the Midwife and several BBC Comedies and she currently stars in Magic Mike Live in London’s West End. Samantha is also a broadcaster and works regularly with BBC Radio stations as well as writing children’s books!   She doesn’t let her hearing loss or tinnitus get in her way and is passionate about raising awareness of the signs of hearing loss and tinnitus as well as the mental health conditions that may stem from them.  

Find out more about World Hearing Day here–world–hearing–day  

Find out more about Samantha here  

‘Birdgirl’ Mya-Rose Craig receives Bristol University honorary doctorate

A teenage birdwatcher has urged students to “tackle the environmental crisis” as she received an honorary doctorate at the age of 17.

Mya-Rose Craig, also known as Birdgirl, set up Black2Nature to help engage more children from minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME) in conservation.

She received the doctor of science degree from the University of Bristol.

The environmentalist posts on Twitter as BirdGirlUK and is thought to be the UK’s youngest recipient of the award. More

Join our LGBT+ Staff Network


Dear Colleagues

Would you like to have a say in how the University promotes and celebrates equality, diversity and inclusion for LGBT+ staff and students?

If yes, then how about joining our LGBT+ Staff Network. We welcome all new members who identify as LGBT+ and Allies. 

Our aim is to:

  • Support all LGBT+ staff to enable them to achieve their potential in their careers.
  • Help make the university environment more diverse and inclusive for all staff and students.
  • Raise awareness with colleagues about various needs of LGBT+ staff and students and how to support them.

The LGBT+ Staff Network will play a pivotal role in the University’s submission for the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

The network has direct communication channel to Senior Management through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


If you are interested in being a part of this inspiring group, please contact Naseer Ahmad in the EDI Team on: .

Best Regards

Gail Brindley

Director of Human Resources

British Army officer becomes first woman to pass brutal Para course

A British Army officer has become the first woman to pass a gruelling Parachute Regiment entry test.

Capt Rosie Wild, 28, was described as a “trailblazer” after passing the P Company course – which many men fail.

Several women have attempted P Company, also known as the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection (AAPPS), since they were first able to apply in the 1990s.

Physical challenges across the five days include a timed 20-mile endurance march and an aerial assault course. More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – February 2020

February is LGBT history month and with this in mind we have chosen Sue Perkins as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Sue is a comedian, broadcaster, actress, and writer. Originally coming to prominence through her comedy partnership with Mel Giedroyc, who she met whilst studying at Cambridge University.  They gained early success being shortlisted for the Best Newcomers Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Together they have appeared in many tv shows or written for other performers.

Sue has been involved in a wide variety of TV shows including, amongst many others, Celebrity Big Brother, QI, Newsnight, Celebrity MasterChef, Question Time and Have I got News for You.

In 2008 she appeared on the show Maestro, in which celebrities were taught to conduct an orchestra, which she won.  She has given lectures for the Royal Television Society and taken part in several wide-ranging documentaries including those on the Dinnington Colliery Band, Mrs Dickens Family Christmas and World’s Most Dangerous Road.

One of Sue’s most famous TV roles was the joint hosting of The Great British Bake Off which she presented from 2010 -2017 when the show moved to Channel 4.  In September 2019 she presented ‘Japan with Sue Perkins’ and in 2016 began hosting the panel show ‘Insert Here’.

In August 2012, Sue appeared on Tatler’s list of high-profile lesbians in London and in 2014 she was ranked sixth in The Independent on Sunday’s Rainbow List.

To find out more about Sue see here

To find out more about LGBT History Month see here

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month

4 January is World Braille day and with that in mind we have chosen Mike Brace as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Born in Hackney, East London, in 1950, Mike has always loved sport. However, at the age of ten, his life dramatically changed. Blinded in one eye, after an accident with fireworks, Mike then lost sight in his second eye two years later from a detached retina. At 12, he reluctantly went to a specialist boarding school, but there he re-discovered his love of sport.

In 1973 he founded the Metro Sports Club for the Blind. Later, he helped set up The British Paralympic Association, British Blind Sport and the British Ski Club for the Disabled.

Mike went on to become a successful cross-country skier. He managed, and competed in, the Paralympic ski team. A talented and versatile athlete, aged 33, he completed the Devizes to Westminster 125-mile canoe marathon. It took him and his guide 27 hours of non-stop canoeing, without sleep, in the worst weather conditions in the history of the race.

As a board member of both the successful Olympic and Paralympic 2012 Bid Team, Mike was appointed to the London Organising Committee for London 2012 and later became CEO for the newly formed VISION 2020 UK, an organisation which unites various charities, including RNIB, and health services involved in sight loss.

Mike recently won this year’s lifetime achievement award at the RNIB See Differently Awards for his outstanding contribution to business, sport and charity, changing perceptions of disability and inspiring thousands. In 2003 Mike was awarded an OBE and, in 2009, a CBE for Services to Disabled Sport. He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of London in July 2016.

To find out more about World Braille Day see here

To find out more about Mike see here

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