Celebrating Black History Month 2020
Throughout October, we have been sharing some truly phenomenal Black, Disabled people on our social media platforms.
Throughout the month of October, we have been sharing some truly phenomenal Black, Disabled people on our social media platforms. It has been wonderful celebrating and highlighting the amazing work and lives that they have led throughout Black History Month. We have brought them all together on one page for you to truly illustrate the wonderful diversity and range that is present within the community:
Lizzie Emeh is an award-winner and one of Heart and Soul’s key artists. She made British history when she launched her debut album Loud and Proud. She became the 1st solo artist with a learning disability to release an album of original songs in the UK.
If you have not had a chance to engage with Lizzie’s music before, you can learn more about Lizzie and her work with Heart n Soul by checking out her website: http://lizzieemeh.com
Paul Ntulila is a Deaf campaigner with a wealth of knowledge and experience in leading deaf awareness training events and delivering motivational sessions to business professionals.
A known name in the Deaf and Disabled community, he has appeared on film sharing his experience of being in both the Deaf and Black communities. Paul has a great passion for working to ensure that the lives of Disabled Black people are highlighted and celebrated.
You can watch this video Paul made about how good leadership can make Black Disabled Lives Matter, too: https://youtu.be/Aor2g_RS0gA
Caroline Nelson is the founder and director of Choice in Hackney, a Disabled People’s Organisation that aims to help Disabled people achieve independence, control and choice over how they live their lives.
She is a long time champion of Disabled service users being in positions of power, allowing for greater independence and control. Caroline’s name is almost synonymous with Choice and she greatly believes that Disabled people are experts by experience.
You can find out more about the work Caroline does with Choice here: https://www.choiceinhackney.org/
Raymond ‘Ray’ Johnson
Raymond ‘Ray’ Johnson may be best known to many people from the TV show, The Undateables. However, for those within and familiar with the Disability Rights Movement, Ray has been, and continues to be, a champion of the rights of people with learning difficulties.
He has been educating people on what it feels like to be a person with learning difficulties, and how to make things easy to understand and make sure that people have power, choice and control over decisions in their lives.
When not busy supporting his favourite team Leeds United, Ray works with People First Self Advocacy, a Disabled People’s Organisation that is run by and for people with learning difficulties.
You can find out more about them here: https://peoplefirstltd.com/
Julie Jaye Charles
Julie Jaye Charles is the executive director of StartChange, a government adviser and has many other feathers in her cap. Julie has spent much of her life trying to cater for Black and other minority ethnic Disabled people’s needs. Julie is aware of the fact that when trying to meet the requirements of Disabled people, there needs to be culturally nuanced approach.
Awareness of the backgrounds of people goes a long way in combatting the different and multi-layered ways that Disabled people of colour are affected. She has been calling for more than three decades for proper funding for Black disabled people’s organisations. Julie has been part of this ongoing marathon to ensure that all Disabled people’s needs are met.
To find out more about Julie and the work she does with Start Change, you can visit: https://www.startchange.co.uk/
Ossie Stuart is a Disabled person from a Black and minority ethnic background, and an equality and diversity consultant with fifteen years of experience as a trainer and specialist adviser.
Ossie spent twelve years as an academic at the Universities of Oxford, York and Surrey and has written seminal works on the experience of BME Disabled people and social care. As a trainer, he has run disability and E&D training courses for Public Sector organisations such as the NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care, numerous Local Authorities, universities and voluntary sector organisations.
Since 2013, he has also run the Calibre Leaders Programmes for Disabled staff at a number of Universities and NHS Trusts.
To find out more about Ossie and the work he does with Calibre Leaders, you can visit: https://ossiesway.com
Deborah Williams is the Executive Director at Creative Diversity Network, a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing diversity and inspiring inclusion in the UK broadcasting industry.
Deborah has over 3 decades of experience working across many different media platforms, as well as policy development across the wider creative and cultural industries. As a UN and UNICEF adviser, she highlights the need and advocates for the rights of disabled people to have access to cultural activities.
Deborah is known in her own right as an artist provocateur having won awards and nominations nationally and internationally. Her work is acknowledged as a catalyst for challenge and change in perceptions of disability and difference.
You can find out more about Deborah and the work she does at the Creative Diversity Network here: https://creativediversitynetwork.com/
Marsha de Cordova
Marsha de Cordova is a Labour MP for Battersea and has been since 2017.
Prior to taking up her role in Parliament and working as Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Marsha has long been an advocate, both personally and professionally, for Disabled people’s rights. Working with several organisations created for, and led by, Disabled people, Marsha has been no stranger to the fight for justice.
She strongly believes that Disabled people should be present and heard in decision making roles. Marsha wants the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities incorporated into law, so that Disabled people’s rights and dignity are respected. She works tirelessly to ensure that politics and Parliament are accessible to us all.
We must all remember and remind ourselves that we must celebrate and champion the needs, lives, diversity, and beauty within our wonderful community. Not just in October, but always throughout the year. If there are some other Black, Disabled people that you know of and would like to celebrate them, please do so by reaching out to us on our social media platforms. It is always the right time to acknowledge the positive impact that people have made on the Deaf and Disabled community.