Arts & Culture

Black Britain and Beyond: Inaugural Symposiums explores ‘Being & Belonging’

10:00 am - 3:00 pm | 24 October 2020
Online | Free

Black Britain and Beyond, organised with lead partner UCL Culture, is the first of its kind – an online symposium bringing together cultural leaders, academics, activists, and innovators to explore the meaning of Black Britishness.

With the spark of a global consciousness and layers of society newly awaking to systemic and institutional racism, this event invites Black Britons, and their allies, from all walks of life to join the under explored and complex history of what it means to be Black and British. The symposium will celebrate the unique and influential cultures of Black British communities and explore what the future holds for Black British voices and identities.

‘Being and Belonging’, is the golden thread which weaves together the world-renowned plenary speakers, performances, and the moderated panel sessions.

Speakers and performers including singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, Dawn Butler MP, BBC Songs of Praise Presenter Diane Louise-Jordan, and British Actor Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE will come together to explore ‘Being and Belonging’

Reverend Professor Keith Magee, Co-Chair and Director of Black Britain and Beyond, said:

“We wanted Black Britain and Beyond to be a space where we can have a Black conversation. This is an opportunity for independent Black voices to talk about the hopes of Black Britons’ future. We want Black British communities in the UK from London and Liverpool, from Wales and the West Midlands with heritage from Ghana to Guyana and from Nigeria to Jamaica and everywhere in between to come together to develop an ideas collective to support all of the identities that emerge from this. Music fans, academics, grandmothers, teachers, business owners, teenagers, everyone is invited. No one is excluded.

“Black Britain and Beyond will be pivotal in documenting the necessary questions and strategies towards helping Black communities across Britain through widening the support of Black owned businesses and initiatives and enabling people to strengthen their Black personal and professional networks.”

Director, UCL Culture, said:

“We believe that change starts with a conversation and through the amplification of the voices less heard. This is a critical conversation about the future that we want to create, a future where Black lives are valued as much as any other, a future that British Black communities’ are able to invest in, influence and shape as equal stakeholders.”

For continuing information about speakers, performers, sponsors and registration click here

What is this symposium all about?

Black Britain and Beyond’s symposium, “Being and Belonging”, aims to provide a wider understanding and relevance to the meaning “Black Britishness”, to take stock of its achievements and examine its challenges. The symposium will inspire participants, provoke thought and catalyse progress, creating a forum that initiates and facilitates relevant conversations across Black communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

This virtual event desires to galvanise Black Britons, in an ever-changing globalised world, by developing a sustainable platform to help the Black British Community to:

  • Strengthen the Black personal and professional network
  • Widen support of Black owned businesses and initiatives
  • Increase awareness about digital futures
  • Open discourse about inclusivity
  • Reflect on Black achievements
  • Identify challenge to implore effective strategies
  • Devise plans to facilitate the future success, development and progress
  • Create forums that initiates and facilitates relevant conversations across Black communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally

Full speaker and performer line up:

  • Emeli Sandé MBE, Singer-Songwriter
  • Dawn Butler, Labour MP
  • Diane-Louise Jordan, Television and Radio Presenter (BBC Songs of Praise)
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, British Actor
  • Robyn Travis, British Author
  • Brenda Emmanus, Broadcaster and Journalist
  • Malone Mukwende, Medical Student, St George’s University
  • Colleen Amos CBE, Co-Founder, The Amos Bursary
  • Dorothy Chirwa, President, Newcastle University Students’ Union
  • Keith Magee, Co-Chair and Director, Black Britain and Beyond and Senior Fellow, UCL Culture
  • Ayo Olubode, Vice President, University of Warwick
  • Annatoria (Blessing Chitapa), Singer-Songwriter
  • Eryca Freemantle, Global Makeup Artist and Public Speaker
  • Sheryl Nwosu, Barrister, 25 Bedford Row Chambers
  • Bryan Bonaparte, Co-Chair, Black Britain and Beyond and Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster
  • Neo Tapela, MD, Senior Research Fellow, Big Data Institute
  • Shaka Hislop, Retired Trinidadian English Footballer and ESPN Television Presenter

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