Race debates to conclude at London College of Fashion

London College of Fashion (LCF) is to host the final discussion around race equality in creative higher education and creative practice on March 7, bringing to a close the series of college debates organised by Shades of Noir.

The debates aimed to stimulate broad discussion around the impact of race within the higher education, creative and cultural sectors amongst internal and external audiences.

Shades of Noir, a long term project and movement for change across University of the Arts London has been working hard towards addressing the degree attainment gap between black and minority ethnic and white home students.

Project Manager Aisha Richards says: “The Big Debates have provided a safe place for lively discourse both within and beyond the university.”

Panellists have been drawn from a diverse range of sectors including television and radio, fashion, creative arts, business and politics.

“Their knowledge, expertise and perspectives shared at the debates have generated bold ideas that will help inform our strategies for long term change,” Ms Richards added.

Blind marking and positive action are just two of the major issues raised at previous debates at Chelsea College of Art and Design and London College of Communication.

The upcoming debate at LCF will be centred on race in the creative industries. Issues under discussion will include the engagement of black and minority ethnic communities in museums and galleries and race equality in the world of fashion. 

The impressive line-up of panellists includes fashion designer Colin Thompson, who has designed for Dolce and Gabbana, Prada and Moschino. The debate is open to the public but registration is essential.

Venue: Rootstein Hopkins Lecture Theatre, London College of Fashion, 20 John Princes St, London W1G 0BJ

Time: 6.30pm -9.00pm; Register to attend by email to: k.hecker@arts.ac.uk

Head of Widening Participation & Dean of Students Mark Crawley at the Big Debate in January at London College of Communication

Big Debate panellists

Colin Thompson trained in fashion design at Ravensbourne College and the Royal College of Arts. During his twenty years in the fashion industry he has designed for some of the top haute couture labels including Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Moschino and Valentinto. In recent years he has lectured in fashion at several higher education institutions including the University of Northampton and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.

Buki Akiba studied design at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and is now a successful menswear designer in Lagos, Nigeria. Buki’s trademark designs feature knitting with African fabrics such as the Yoruba hand-woven Aso-Oke with silk and cotton to create a luxury fabric. She plans to open a studio factory in Ghana to revive the African textile industry with government support.

Luke David is a producer and director for the BBC’s regional current affairs programme Inside Out. He started his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper in London before going to work for a number of national titles and then television. He specialises in investigative journalism.

Chantal Badjie is currently based at the BBC Diversity Centre as a project manager. Her achievements include managing the BBC's Abolition of the Slave Trade Season in 2007 and the BBC’s Darwin Season in 2009. In 2011 she delivered the BBC’s Mixed Race Season and independently runs a Mixed Race Reading Group for young people with issues around identity, alcohol and drug abuse.

Aaron Kiely is the National Black Students Officer for the NUS and co-convenor of the Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism within NUS. He studied criminology and social policy at the University of Kent, and currently sits on the national committee for One Society Many Cultures, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

Pamela Kember is an independent art historian specialising in contemporary Chinese art. She previously lectured at the Academy of Visual Arts at Baptist University in Hong Kong and was Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Chinese University. She currently curates and lectures on Asian contemporary artists at Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Chair, Anthony Ebanks is an International Transformation Architect who supplies change management and professional training to both government and commercial bodies.  Anthony's work has affected change within a range of organisations including D&AD, BBC, Sky, and Pearson Government Solutions.  

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