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24 Jun 2019

The project at Loughborough that is inspiring #BlackExcellence

The #BlackExcellence project was set up to inspire the black community in the UK to reach beyond barriers and celebrate those who have achieved great things.

It was set up in 2016 by Loughborough University alumnus, Ayodeji Akiwowo, with the core aim of increasing visibility through technology. This was after Akiwowo recognised that when asking for the name of a successful black engineer, scientist or businessperson, people often struggled. This was not because they did not exist, but because they lacked visibility.

The project has now grown to incorporate three core aims:

  • BE Inspire: encouraging black people in the UK to aim high.
  • BE Enable: providing resources, opportunities and tools to enable and empower. This includes shadowing, mentoring and presenting to schools.
  • BE Promote: increasing the visibility of businesses and services run by black people in the UK.

The group has four Lead Volunteers – Ayodeji Akiwowo, Opeyemi Sanwoolu, Uju Duru and Juliet Ojiako. These are the four key people coordinating BE. Maths PhD student, Juliet Ojako, was recently interviewed by BBC East Midlands about the project, to spread the word further and promote the fantastic work they do.

Diabetes, mental health and Brexit are all subjects that have been tackled in events set up by the #BlackExcellence project, and they are committed to highlighting the positive impact people from the black community in the UK have had.

Juliet Ojako said: “BE stands for Black Excellence. It also stands for BE what you want to BE, achieve your goals, excel and affect your community positively.”

They are currently building a ‘Black Excellence Achievers in the UK’video series.

You can find out more about the #BlackExcellence project here.