The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the members of the Community Advisory Group who will spearhead the development of the capital’s new annual celebration of Black culture.
An annual event in Trafalgar Square is being created to showcase the ethnic and cultural diversity of Black communities and champion upcoming talent.
Meeting for the first time today, the new Community Advisory Group is made up of award-winning filmmakers and artists, CEOs, producers and editors, and together they will develop an event that will bring together Londoners and visitors to the capital.
The Community Advisor Group includes:
- Kemi Olivia Alemoru – former Culture editor of gal-dem magazine
- Adrian Gardner – Lyric Theatre Hammersmith producer responsible for the acclaimed “For the Culture: Celebrations of Blackness Festival’
- Ayan Mahamoud MBE – Founder and Managing Director of Kayd, who also host the 10-day Somali Week Festival, the largest Somali-centred festival outside the Horn of Africa.
- Kojo Marfo – founder of My Runway Group, which provides career guidance and creative opportunities for emerging creatives
- Josette Bushell-Mingo – the Principal and CEO of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- Azieb Pool – artistic director and CEO of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre and founder of the Windrush Festival and the Tottenham Literature Festival
- Sasha Salmon – Public Policy Adviser
- Amani Simpson – an award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur and youth coach who runs the social enterprise, AVIARD Inspires CIC.
The event, which will take place in the September, delivers on the Mayor’s manifesto pledge to create an event to celebrate Black culture and is part of his wider work to support and celebrate the talent within the capital’s Black communities.
This includes a wide range of initiatives and programmes to tackle structural inequalities and support communities, including the Workforce Integration Network, which is supporting young Black men aged 16 to 24 years into living wage employment in the construction and digital sectors, working with the Black Cultural Archives to provide masterclasses to help young Londoners pursue their dreams, hosting events to mark the UNESCO International Day for Remembrance of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its Abolition, and providing funding to organisations that support Londoners impacted by structural racism.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted that this talented group has come together to help us organise a fantastic celebration of Black culture in Trafalgar Square. London’s Black communities are integral to all aspects of life in the capital, and it is right that we join together to acknowledge and celebrate our diversity. This unique event will see exciting and innovative Black artists, musicians, designers and performers on one of the world’s biggest stages, and is another example of our work to build a better and fairer London for everyone.”
Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE said: “I am honoured to have been asked by the Mayor’s team and the Greater London Authority to Chair the Black Community Advisory Group, and to work alongside esteemed colleagues to showcase the enormous diversity of talent that exists across the capital – and beyond. This initiative will contribute to work being undertaken by Black leaders across London and the wider United Kingdom to celebrate the strength, creativity and culture of all our communities.”
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