What's going on?
In March, Dr Safina Islam joined us as the new Head of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust.
Safina succeeds our director and education coordinator Jackie Ould, who had been involved in the organisation since its inception and who retired last August. Jackie worked closely with Professor Lou Kushnick, then a University of Manchester lecturer in sociology and American studies, to establish the Centre in 1998.
Safina joins us from the public programmes team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, where she was a communities and inclusion specialist. Prior to that, she spent two years as chief officer at Ananna, the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation, where she has recently been elected chair.
Safina said: "It is a privilege to join such a unique organisation; one that is pioneering in its mission to provide an inclusive space for BAME communities to collect their own stories, and shape how their own narrative is recorded.
"This is an interesting time to be joining the heritage and library sector and I am keen to build on the legacy left by Jackie and Lou to ensure we continue to listen, challenge and grow.”
With a background in biomedicaI science, Safina obtained a PhD from The University of Manchester in 2000, and then moved into public health/health inequalities-focused research and policy development.
She was responsible for leading the first national review of race equality in health and social care as head of equality and human rights at the then Health Care Commission.
Safina is a trustee of BigLife Group and an independent member of the Our Manchester forum.
We look forward to working with her to maintain and grow the organisation!
Above the Noise
'What happens when the mainstream media doesn’t speak for a community? How do people react when they feel their home town is misrepresented?’
We love opportunities to share our archive, especially in public exhibitions that showcase the rich histories of communities of colour in the UK. Recently, a box of our items on the ‘Bradford 12’ made the exciting journey to West Yorkshire to be featured in an exhibition called ‘Above the Noise’ at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford.
‘Above the Noise’ is a collaborative exhibition that has brought together memories and accounts of people who live and work in Bradford and nearby areas to explore how communities can shape their experience of the place in which they live. It uses the theme of migration to share stories of people from around the world who have settled in Bradford, focusing on 15 particularly engaging stories. One of these is that of the ‘Bradford 12’ - a national defence campaign which began when twelve members of the United Black Youth League were charged with ‘conspiracy to cause explosives and endanger lives’. The individuals had made petrol bombs for self-defence, upon hearing that a fascist march was taking place in Bradford. They were eventually acquitted, but not without an incredible amount of support, activism and campaigning across the country.
Our material includes newspaper articles, campaign flyers and correspondence relating to the campaign, and is featured alongside lots of other interesting documents. If you happen to be in Bradford or fancy making the short trip over there, be sure to visit the exhibition, which runs until 19th
To mark the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the 1945 Pan-African Congress, in 1995 six audio interviews were carried out with local Mancunians who either lived during, or attended this historic event. Thanks to a recent project by the Centre, these interviews are now available as part of the digital sound archive Pan-African Congress 50 Years On
, which can be explored using Sound Cloud.
Speaking of the Pan-African Congress...
Marika Sherwood, author of Manchester and the 1945 Pan-African Congress
and many oth
er works is visiting us to launch her new book Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War.
The launch, on 30 April at 6:00 pm, will be in the performance space at Manchester Central Library. Tickets are free from Eventbrite
, and books will be available for purchase and signing on the night.
Not an Arsonist!
The ‘I’ newspaper recently featured a profile of our very own archivist, Jo Robson in their regular careers slot ‘The Shift’.
While we appreciated the information about her work and the work of the Centre which she shared with the newspaper's readership, we were also very amused (and relieved!) to read this:
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