Inspiring Stories of Excellence: A Showcase of Black Heritage Professionals in the College of Health, Science & Society at UWE Bristol

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In October 2022, Dr Emmanuel Adukwu Deputy Head of Applied Sciences, led an initiative “Celebrating Excellence” with colleagues and researchers from the College of Health, Science and Society to showcase the work of Black academics and researchers in the new College of Health, Science and Society at University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

The project was delivered as part of Black History Month 2022 and included the creation of a booklet featuring the many contributions of colleagues of Black heritage to their respective fields in Science, Health, Education and to society and culminated with a showcase event at Britol City Hall on 31st October 2022. The event was opened by the Deputy Mayor Cllr Asher Craig and a keynote from Internationally renowned and multi award winning documentary filmmaker and Professor of International Documentary Film Florence Ayisi. 

Other notable contributions included talks from Professor Paul Olomolaiye,  Pro Vice Chancellor Equalities and Civil Engagemnent, Professor Marc Griffiths Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Health, Science and Society, Dr Mwidimi Ndosie, Associate Professor Rheumatology Nursing and a collection of poems by Tanisha Barrett, Mental Health Nursing Lecturer. The event was attended by UWE Bristol staff, students and members of the community. 

Professor Paul Olomolaiye,  Pro Vice Chancellor Equalities and Civil Engagemnent talking at the Showcase event

Many of the featured individuals have succeeded in higher education despite facing significant challenges and barriers.

The project team included:

Dr Emmanuel Adukwu commented on the project:

“People of Black heritage have for centuries contributed immensely to knowledge and societal development, many of these contributions have been hidden, lost or ignored. As a result, this has impacted the experiences of Black heritage communities in professionals’ spaces and in society. This has led to a lack of representation in the academy and other professional environments, a lack of progression into senior roles and a significant awarding gap among others.

To change this, we need more action and less words. This collection brings to life the stories of excellence and the many ways Black heritage professionals in the College of Health, Science and Society at UWE Bristol are shaping the future of their diverse fields and making their mark in society, shaping futures and what will be our collective history.”

Attendees at the Showcase event

View the showcase

The showcase features over 35 stories from staff in the College of Health, Science & Society at UWE Bristol including Academic and Doctoral Researcher Profiles.

Some highlights from the Showcase include:

Dr Carl Berry: Lecturer in Criminology

Carl was born in Bristol and left school at 15 without any qualifications. He was awarded his Doctorate degree in 2021. His expertise lies in the electronic monitoring of criminal offenders and he has a strong research interest in probation, surveillance and the use of technology in crime and justice.

He has worked as a Probation Mentor assisting offenders on early release from prison or serving community penalties to reintegrate back into society and published his research in the prestigious European Journal of Criminology. He is a trustee for Wrestle for Humanity: a sports- based community project that aims to tackle gang violence, knife/drug crime and mental health issues.

Patience Mutiti: Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Patience worked as a senior occupational therapist across different settings in the NHS, before specialising in wheelchair service delivery and postural management. In 2013, Patience crossed over to international development, working with the Motivation Charitable Trust to develop professional wheelchair services and rehabilitation services in Africa and South Asia.

She has worked on disability, inclusion and rehabilitation projects in multiple countries, where she provided specialist training and mentoring to OTs, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists and community volunteers. Patience is passionate about giving back to the community she came from. She is a founding member of mOTivate OTs, a global association of Zimbabwean OTs working in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe to provide mentorship and career guidance to undergraduate OT students.

Lewis Wedlock: Associate Lecturer

Lewis graduated in 2019 with first class honours in Psychology with Sociology. In October 2020, he co-designed and delivered the “Flourish” module to Foundation Year students and year 1 sociology, making him one of the youngest active lecturers in the UK (22 years old).

Flourish combines positive psychology literature, coaching methods and personal development theory to provide space for students to explore themselves with as much curiosity as the subjects they are studying. In 2022, Lewis began delivering Flourish for the psychology department, embedding these sessions into the Critical Thinking module. In his mental health work, Lewis practices “intersectional youth work”, combining therapeutic delivery with cultural, historical and identity exploration. His masculinity series for teenage males has resulted in him being seen as an “expert” in youth masculinities. Lewis is the Creative Director of Black Bristol, an interactive timeline exploring some of Bristol’s most important, but often unacknowledged history.

Tanisha Barrett: Mental Health Nurse Lecturer

Tanisha has worked in mental health for over 10 years in a variety of settings. She is also a qualified CBT therapist and supervisor. She was the co-wellbeing lead on anti- racism board for the medical school.

Tanisha completed research on young peoples body image with the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE Bristol. Tanisha is a published poet and was featured in Rife Magazines “30 under 20 most influential in the South West” in 2021. She has had her worked featured in various anthologies, magazines and zines and was shortlisted for the Aryamati Prize.  

View the showcase

Thank you to all who have been involved with this showcase.

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