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