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Birkbeck’s Black Question Time

Interview series has attracted an impressive line-up of speakers and leads the way supporting the positive mental attitude of the College's Black students.

A photo of Bernard P Achampong, creative thought leader and mentor
Bernard P Achampong, scheduled for the April Black Question Time

A new online interview series, held monthly with inspirational public figures from the Black community, is sowing the seeds for students at Birkbeck to identify ways in which to pave their own successful career paths.

Black Question Time, The Call of Success was set up at the beginning of the year to introduce more representative speakers into the fold of student-facing events at Birkbeck, primarily for the College’s Black students.

It has long been recognised that student aspirations are best formed when they can relate to the background of the speakers and subject matters. To that end, Ray Rose Raymond, Learning Development Manager for the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy set about inviting a list of notable Black people to speak to Birkbeck’s Black students whilst also emphasising the point that all students of all backgrounds would be invited.

Ray Rose said, “Diversity and inclusivity are central to all of our pursuits at Birkbeck and this interview series is no different. We have sought to incorporate speakers from communities that are traditionally under-represented as encouragement and motivation for Black students in forging their own career plans but essentially is also aimed at all students in recognising the many avenues for wisdom and success.”

The most recent interview with one of the UK’s only commercial Black farmers and founder of the Black Farmer brand, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE was brutally honest from the start, with the realities of a deprived social upbringing not viewed as a deterrent to success but rather a motivation to carve a different reality. As Wilfred said, “Have passion. Passion defies hurdles and logic. You must be prepared to shout for what you want (out of life).”

Wifred’s “audacity to dream” was heralded as the key to his rise to success from humble beginnings in the West Midlands; with two points referenced for achieving success in life: being ruthlessly focused and having passion.

He also spoke of ‘fear’ as a construct and asserted to attendees that the correct mental attitude is paramount to their success.

The Black Question Time playlist can be viewed here.

Book tickets for the next Black Question Time, on Wednesday 28 April, 5.00-5.30pm.

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