BHM: Sado Jirde – Bath Spa University

Black Futures: An Uncomfortable Truth

Wednesday 21 October, 2020 – Wednesday 21 October, 2020
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

This talk will be delivered virtually and in person. There are a limited number of in person tickets available strictly for students and staff of Bath Spa University.

Differences in power manifest in asymmetrical access – a privilege which continues to run along racial lines. Under its cosmopolitan surface, our society remains racialised in its structure and its power dynamics. Much like its historic form, it has a heart of Whiteness. It is an emulation of a template that already existed and was established by the oppressors who now seek ‘inclusion’ of the oppressed using the systems established by the former dominator. How do you develop community organisations using these same processes?

The values that these organisations extol and espouse are the values of the oppressor and working within these templates does not create equitable outcomes for Black people. Black futures must therefore involve the creation of alternative solutions and spaces. Spaces which do not seek to privilege certain groups over others but seek to centre Black voices, change the template, and create alternative spaces for Black people to thrive.

About Sado Jirde

Sado Jirde is the Director of Black South West Network (BSWN) and has worked for the organisation since 2007 when she was the Policy Officer, becoming Director in 2013. Since 2013, Sado 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, as well as locally in Bristol, 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.

Sado shifted BSWN’s focus from an infrastructure organisation to the role of a solutions-focused racial justice incubation hub where new socio-economic models are developed both within the organisation itself and the Black and minority ethnic entrepreneurial communities in the city and larger region.

This approach has created an impetus for transformation in policy-making decisions for Black and minority ethnic populations, backed by action programmes for implementing and embedding sustainable change. Under Sado’s leadership, the organisation’s delivery model focuses on creating meaningful relationships within the Black-led sector, and beyond, bringing together Black-led organisations and communities with funders, social investors, cultural institutions, politicians and professionals.

Looking forward, the goal is to use data to develop community-led solutions in every growth sector – from care to tech.

In her day-to-day work, Sado is responding to challenges facing Black and minority ethnic communities by developing a socio-economic strategy focused on implementing inclusive growth.

BSWN succeeded in securing commitment from key stakeholders in the city/region such as Bristol City Council, the City Office and the University of Bristol and West of England Combined Authority for this endeavour. In addition to this, she has established a five-year collaborative strategic relationship with University of Bristol to enhance BSWN’s research capabilities in understanding the dynamics of social, political and economic relations between minority ethnic communities and the systems and structures of British society to inform policy development.

Sado is active on a number of relevant boards and advisory structures locally, regionally and nationally, including Bristol’s Covid-19 Health Protection Committee, Bristol One City Economy board, Housing and Communities board, and Bristol University Court. She is also a trustee of Voice4Change England and Somali Resource Centre.

She was recently invited to join a ministerial-led VCS BAME Stakeholder Group, chaired by Baroness Diana Barran, to help ensure that the Black-led sector is contributing to Government policy in the context of COVID's disproportionate impact on Black and Asian communities.

Sado was awarded The African Achievers Award in 2015, as well as the Most Inspirational Role Model award by the West Women of the Year Awards in 2019.

She is a fellow of Royal Society of Arts and is proud to have been made a Visiting Fellow to University of Bath Spa in 2020. 

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