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Stella Dadzie - Women leading the Worldwide Conversation

Our sixth profile of participants in the University of London’s ‘worldwide conversation’ launch event in London, is writer and historian, Stella Dadzie.

Written by Binda Rai |

Stella Dadzie speaking at the Charter Lecture 2018
Stella Dadzie is a published writer and historian, best known for The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s lives in Britain.

Not only did Stella Dadzie provided an insight into the issues facing women, but also the specific issues faced by BAME women in the world of work. She contributed by drawing from her own professional experiences in the UK.

Writer and historian

Stella Dadzie is a published writer and historian, best known for The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s lives in Britain, (co-authored with Beverley Bryan and Suzanne Scafe) which won the 1985 Martin Luther King Award for Literature and has been republished by Verso in July 2018 as a feminist classic. A founder-member of OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African & Asian Descent) in the late seventies, she was recently described as one of the ‘grandmothers’ of black feminism.

Her career as a writer and education activist spans over 40 years, during which time she has written numerous publications and resources aimed at promoting an inclusive curriculum and good practice with black adult learners and other minorities, as well as challenging other institutional inequalities. In November 2003, she received the NBM Award for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Race Equality in Further Education’.

Equally well known for her contribution to tackling youth racism and working with racist perpetrators, Ms Dadzie was a key contributor to the development of anti-racist strategies with schools, education and youth services. She was also closely involved with the work of the Commission for Black Staff in Further Education in the early 2000s, authoring three publications for them on the recruitment, progression and retention of black staff and other under-represented minorities. She has worked to promote good practice in Germany, Slovenia, Poland, Norway, South Africa, the USA, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Ms Dadzie appeared in And Still I Rise, a documentary exploring the social and historical origins of stereotypes of African women and was also a guest of Germaine Greer on her BBC2 discussion programme The Last Word. More recently, she was a Commissioner on the Mayor’s Commission for African and Asian Heritage, which aimed to promote visible diversity across London’s major heritage organisations.

When we first came to write [The Heart of the Race], it was because we felt that it was high time we started to record “our” version of events, from where we stood as black women in Britain in the 1980s.

To find out more about the exceptional women leaders who participated in the launch of the University of London’s ‘worldwide conversation’, please see links to the profiles already published:

 Read more about the University of London’s ‘worldwide conversation’ London launch event and watch the video.