‘Black British Activism: Where Are We At?’ By KIN

Thursday 5th July 201, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM @ Archspace, 340 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA

This launch event is a space for people of African and Caribbean descent to create a safe space for solidarity and community. We will interrogate what black British organising and activism looks like in the UK. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Marcia Rigg (Activist & Organiser)
  • Adam Elliot-Cooper (Activist & Researcher)
  • Amal Bider (Activist & Youth Organiser)
  • Melz, Grime Artist (Campaigner & Researcher)
  • Ayeisha-Thomas Smith (Organiser & Campaigner).

KIN is a new initiative aiming to bring black activists and organisers together from across the UK to collaborate, strategise and support each other. The first three day convening will take place in August 2018 where thirty activists and organisers will come together to explore the history of national and international social movements, to share organising practice and to contextualise what achieving collective liberation looks like within the UK.

There needs to be an intervention in how we are talking about racism in the UK. For people of colour, acts of prejudice happen more times than we care to count, but there is a need to zoom out and look at the broader picture.

  • How is the UK unique in its racism?
  • Why is there a lack of mainstream conversation around how structural racism manifests and impacts people in the UK?
  • As black people in the UK what is our history, present and future in achieving liberation?
  • As black activities what are the legacies we’ve inherited and where must we go from here?

These questions and more will be explored at the convening through screenings, workshops, talks via a peer-to-peer learning environment.

Follow the link to find out more information and to apply:



Speaker Profiles:

Adam Elliot-Cooper –
Adam is a research associate at King’s College London. He has worked with a number of campaign groups challenging policing, and currently sits on the board of The Monitoring Group. He also organises with a number of anti-racist educational campaigns, including Why Is My Curriculum White? and Rhodes Must Fall, running events and workshops in universities, colleges, schools and community organisations across England

Melz –
Melz is an Academic, Grime MC/ Rapper and Poet. They are passionate about decolonising knowledge and spaces and writes extensively about this in music, poetry and academic work. Melz has worked with platforms such as TEDx and The Huffington Post where they offer poetic and musical responses to some of the most critical issues facing our society and political system. They worked as a student officer at Leeds from 2015 – 2017 where they spearheaded challenges to the University regarding a colonial curriculum, anti-blackness and racism on campus. Melz is currently pursuing a PhD at The University of Leeds wherein they are exploring the epistemic ways Eurocentric colonialism continues to affect the Black British psyche and mental wellbeing.

Ayeisha Thomas-Smith –
Ayeisha is a Senior Organiser at the New Economy Organisers Network and a Co-Founder of KIN, and has led on designing and delivering Movement Builders, a national training course for activists and organisers over 2017. She has previously worked on political strategy and campaigns, on peace and dialogue in Israel/Palestine and coordinated campaigns and project around migration. Ayeisha is a black feminist and centres anti-oppression, decoloniality and intersectionality in her approach to training. She has an MA in Postcolonial Cultural Studies and Global Policy, lives for June Jordan and Octavia Butler, and teaches a Basic Beyonce dance class – all levels welcome!

Amal Bider –
Amal has a focus on anti-racist and anti-islamophobia organising. Recently she has been working in communities particularly in response to the Grenfell. She is particularly interested in youth empowerment and young people’s involvement in political activism. Amal has worked on documenting narratives from Eritrean refugees and their harsh journeys and has also ran workshops on tackling islamophobia.

Marcia Rigg –
Marcia Rigg is an activist and the sister of Sean Rigg, who died in Brixton police station in 2008. She has been a tireless organiser, advocate and campaigner on issues of mental health and deaths-in-custody for almost a decade. Her writings have appeared in The Huffington Post and elsewhere, and she has had enormous impact on the public discussion of the intersection of mental health, racism and policing in the UK. Read about UFFC here and Sean Rigg J&CC here.

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