2017 BAME Leader’s Conference Article
Our 2016 BAME Leader’s Conference was a packed success. Every seat was filled and, once our keynote speaker, Akala, took to the stage, the walls were lined with people as well. It was a tremendous success. So successful, in fact, that we had a challenge this year to match it.
It was difficult, of course, to bring in someone as popular and successful as Akala – someone whose name immediately draws a huge crowd to the venue without you having to do all that much promotional material at all. This year’s Conference, however, still found success. We had different speakers, who’s talks and discussions held different flavours and content and brought forth conversations we haven’t previously heard at our BAME Conferences.
However, the event started off with a leadership workshop that quickly became a heated discussion in an entertaining, intriguing debate about what the prominent qualities of a good leader should be. Different qualities were championed and when someone disagreed, they made their voice heard and reasoned that their chosen quality should be highlighted more.
The debate was ultimately settled by one of our attendees wisely claiming that instead of comparing qualities and pushing our own above others, we should acknowledge and appreciate the leadership qualities of others as well as our own. Therefore, we can all work together to help each other become better leaders and therefore make ourselves better leaders as well.
This entertaining debate was followed by our first keynote speaker - Gogo, the founder of The Award Group UK and prominent cast member on the YouTube web-series show ‘BkChatLDN.’ In his talk, Gogo discussed the importance of promoting and championing the work of other BAME members in the community and not just your own, and how this can prevent issues within the BAME community.
His talk was met with applause and positivity, which continued when Gogo spoke in the panel discussion shortly after.
The panel discussion featured Gogo, Kayza Rose (Executive Director of Black Out London UK), Amina Aweis (Founder of Young Muslim Creatives) and our second keynote speaker Shaun Flores. The panel discussion included questions and enlightening answers about several topics, including challenging stereotypes, owning every part of your self and being aware of privilege and using it to the advantage of the under-privileged, amongst other things.
This was then followed by our second keynote speaker- Shaun Flores. Shaun is an MA student studying Race, Media and Social Justice at Goldsmiths University. Shaun discussed the importance of decolonization for BAME members and how this is a key way to help prevent future prejudice and to bring forth a better sense of equality between the BAME community and the more privileged.
Our BAME conference also featured a spoken word performance from Tasneim Nyada as well as speeches and remarks from our Ethnic Equality Officer, Deqa Jama and our VP of Welfare, Chuchu Nwagu, who hosted the event.
Ultimately, although this year’s Conference (our third annual conference) may have lacked the celebrity appeal of last year with Akala, we are confident this year’s was still a success packed full of enlightening talks, intriguing debates and opinions and plenty of intellectual discussions. We look forward to our fourth Conference next year. See you there.