I undertook the MA in Creative Writing in 2006-07, an experience that really set the foundation for the writing career I went on to build. Since then I have completed a PhD in Creative Writing, established a thriving freelance career and published my debut novel, Cygnet, which was shortlisted for the SI Leeds prize for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women as well as the Writers' Guild Award for Best First Novel 2020.
I believe my best achievement would be receiving my degree in English Literature and Sociology and simultaneously beating depression. I am most proud of my first for my dissertation on analysing depictions of blackness in literature. Because of my dissertation, I have spoken at my local BLM protest, and I have been in contact with schools about going in to discuss both my speech and my dissertation topic within classrooms – which is something I’m ecstatic about, especially as I would like to be a teacher.
"As a mixed-race woman from a majority white town, I find it extremely important to speak out and speak up, no matter how difficult it may be. I’ve always been described as ‘bossy’ and ‘outspoken’, but I prefer to think of myself as someone with leadership qualities and a desire to be heard." — Ellen-May Pedley-Coke
I completed an undergraduate degree studying BSc (Hons) Psychology and Education at Bath Spa University. My biggest achievement is graduating with a 2:1 and receiving a first in both of my dissertations!
Dr Jermaine M Ravalier
I was a first-generation, working-class, mixed race university student. My grandparents on my dad's side came from Dominica in the Windrush generation of the 50s and worked to build a life in London. I'm proud of where I've got to, and want to make the world a more equal place for those growing up like me.
“I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am not your expectations...” - India Arie - one of Dr Jermaine Ravalier's favourite quotes
My name is Aramide Pearce. I am from Lagos Nigeria. I did my Bachelor's – Media Communications and Publishing (2013- 2016) and Master's – Advertising Practice (2016-2017) at Bath Spa University. I miss Bath and Thermae Spa. I am glad I got to spend my university life there and had the wonderful opportunity to study at a world heritage site. I have had the opportunity to work as a content producer in a digital marketing agency after my studies. I have also been featured cooking on a few shows as well... as I love everything to do with food.
Sado Jirde is the Director of Black South West Network (BSWN). Since 2013, she has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of racial inequality faced by Black and minority ethnic communities at strategic and policy levels regionally and nationally, utilising over ten years of experience working in the Racial Justice sector. Her professional and personal mission is to provide evidence-based understanding of the systemic impact of racial and socio-economic structural inequalities and develop community-led solutions to achieve a more equitable society.
"A new civil rights movement cannot be organized around the relics of the earlier system of control if it is to address meaningfully the racial realities of our time. Any racial justice movement, to be successful, must vigorously challenge the public consensus that underlies the prevailing system of control.' Michelle Alexander - Author of The New Jim Crow — one of Sado Jirde's favourite quotes