NUS announces first ever Black Leaders Conference

Monday 07-09-2015 - 18:26

We’re pleased to announce details for the first ever Black Leaders Conference, which takes place in Sheffield this November and how you can book your place today!

NUS recognises that the current lack of ethnic diversity amongst staff and officers in the student movement is something which requires attention.

As a part of our programme of work to increase Black representation and support Black leadership, we’re pleased to announce that our first ever Black Leaders Conference will take place in Sheffield on Wednesday 11 November 2015.

Registration for the conference is now open, and you can book your place here.  

What delegates can expect

The conference is designed for Black* staff and sabbatical officers and will provide delegates with the opportunity to:

  • Network with other Black staff and officers;
  • Develop their leadership skills through a range of workshops;
  • Hear about the latest research on Black leadership in higher education; and
  • Hear from inspiring speakers on the importance of Black leadership in the student movement

The conference will also offer delegates a choice of workshops, covering everything from ‘mobilising Black students in elections’ through to ‘advancing their careers in the student movement’.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from Dr Gurnam Singh and Dr Josephine Kwhali during our plenary session on ‘How can we make not break black and minority ethnic leaders in higher education?’.  

We’re delighted to announce that Linda Bellos OBE will deliver the keynote speech at the Black Leaders Conference.

Linda has a long track record of championing equality and human rights across the UK. Notably, she was elected Leader of Lambeth Council in 1986 - one of the first Black women to gain such a position, she was vice-chair of the 1980s campaign to select Black candidates within the Labour Party, and was awarded an OBE for her services to diversity in 2007.



Race Matters

This conference is part of our work to address the findings in our Race Maters report on the experiences of Black staff, which shows that Black staff are not only underrepresented at all levels, especially management and senior management roles, but are also facing a range of barriers. The report found:

  • 18 per cent of Black staff have experienced racism whilst working in a union.
  • 35 per cent of Black staff disagreed or strongly disagreed that they had access to career opportunities
  • Only half of respondents thought their union had taken action to consider the needs of Black staff

‘I am really concerned that there are very few Black senior managers and leaders in the movement. What is more concerning is that nobody seems to be willing to say it and do anything about it.’ - Race Matters respondent

For further information about the Black Leaders Conference please contact NUS Equality & Diversity Consultant, Mandeep Rupra-Daine -


Register here

*Black is used an inclusive term to represent those from African, Arab, Asian, Caribbean and South American communities.


Black, Features, Union Development

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