Arts & Culture
International Women’s Day: In Conversation with Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
- 6:00 pm
08 March 2020
The Balmoral Centre | £5
Eye 2 Eye Promotions and South Essex Africa Caribbean Association (SEACA) presents a day of celebration, with performances, networking and a keynote speech from Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu.
Lauded as one of the most respected nurses in the country, Professor Elizabeth Anionwu successful career was forged after a tough upbringing. Her early life was marked by racism and the stigma of illegitimacy. She reveals how she overcame personal trials and trauma to triumph in the fields of nursing, education, activism and ultimately life.
Elizabeth was inspired to become a nurse at the young age of four because, whilst she was in care, a ‘wonderful nursing nun’ treated her childhood eczema in an expert and sensitive manner. Born in Birmingham in 1947, she identifies herself as of Irish/Nigerian heritage and started work for the NHS as a school nurse assistant in Wolverhampton at the age of 16.
Elizabeth put a substantial amount of her life into her work as a nurse, health visitor and tutor working with black and minority ethnic communities in London. ‘People from diverse cultures are not always valued and still sometimes just seen as problems,’ she says. In 1979, she helped to establish in Brent the first nurse-led UK Sickle & Thalassaemia Screening and Counselling Centre.
In 1988 she was awarded a PhD from the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL). From 1990-1997 she worked at the Institute of Child Health, UCL as a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Community Genetic Counselling. She has written extensively and is a co-author with Professor Karl Atkin of the book ‘The Politics of Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia’ published in 2001 by the Open University Press.
The respected nurse was awarded a Damehood in the Queens 2017 New years Honours list for services to nursing and has been recognised and given the Pride of Briton Awards. An event sponsored by the Daily Mirror and ITV as a person who has acted bravely or extraordinarily in challenging situations. Also, the Vice Chair of the Mary Seacole Statue Appeal, which realised it’s dream of erecting the statue at St Thomas’s Hospital.
Money raised at the event will be donated to the Sickle Cell Society.
There will be a book signing of her autobiography, self-published memoir Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union, which will be on sale on the day.
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