Sisterhood, Solidarity, Self-Empowerment

This was a collaborative event hosted by Aisha Richards/Shades of Noir and took place at University of the Arts London, High Holborn, London.  Its purpose was to provide a safe space for sharing the perspectives and experiences of women of colour in higher education.

It included presentations from six of the authors of the Inside the Ivory Book Project: myself and Professor Shirley Anne Tate as co-editors, and contributors Professor Heidi Safia Mirza, Dr Marica Wilson, Dr Elizabeth Opara and Shades of Noir Founder/Director Aisha Richards. It also included dissertation presentations from my former students Rebecca Aynge (BA Politics) and Pauline Shabani (BA Public Relations) who graduated from Bournemouth University in 2015/16.

The event saw the launch of the BASE network for students of colour, featuring founding members Elsa Macharia and Naomi Otis-Sampson; final year undergraduate students in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in 2016/17.


“The event was amazing and highlighted to me the importance of creating safe spaces in which discussions can take place regularly. The event left me with a good deal to think about and I cannot wait to see you all again soon.” Melodie Holliday 

“An awe-inspiring day from which I came away feeling immensely proud and honoured. It was great to put faces to names, share experiences and listen to the impressive research carried out by Deborah’s students.” Dr Elizabeth Opara

“I loved the atmosphere in the room, sharing freely and so much love in the air, there was a lot of hugging and cuddles from people, I felt connected to like-minded people.” Olajumoke Jummy Okoya

 “I only have praise for you and Aisha for putting together such a inspirational event” Chanelle Edwards

I found the event very moving – women from various age ranges and experiences in one place shoring up the younger women who are starting out on their academic and professional careers. I was so impressed with the young women’s presentations that I shared the content with a researcher in Singapore, who is interested in one of the dissertations presented. I was pleased to announce that it will be published soon, and therefore she will be able to cite it! Karen Carberry


L to R Prof Heidi Safia Mirza, Prof Shirley Anne Tate & Dr Marcia Wilson
Rebecca Aynge-final year BA politics students in 2015/16
Pauline Shabani, final year BA Advertising student in 2015-16
Elsa Macharia (L) with Naomi Otis-Sampson

Dr Deborah Gabriel

I'm a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University who has lectured in journalism, politics, new media and corporate marketing communications. I aim to contribute to social change through teaching, research and professional practice, and I'm especially interested in race equality.

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