The Black Icons project is overseen by the Steering Committee below. (Adding members so please check back).
Steering Committee Chair
Moira has lived in the area for 34 years and started Brockley Max in 2001 to provide opportunities for local artists to showcase their work. Max Media Arts has commissioned several murals in Lewisham including the Bob Marley mural by Brockley station, and was the lead organisation for the 2014 Brockley Street Art Festival.
Sofia Akel is a cultural historian and producer, researcher, Black British studies lecturer and founder of the non-profit, Free Books Campaign. From leading institutional strategies to tackle systemic racism to entire reviews of organisational practice, her work spans numerous sectors including the creative, educational and charity industries, publishing multiple leading research studies
Karen Arthur is a Fashion Creative, Sewing tutor and podcast host. She speaks about the positive links between fashion and mental wellbeing – Wear Your Happy – and how this helped her through depression after leaving teaching. Her podcast Menopause Whilst Black, centres the mid life stores of Black British women. Having taken up modelling in her late fifties, you may have seen her smiling eyes gracing the Specsavers TV and billboard campaign. In 2021 she was one of the artists chosen to redress Liverpool statues in the cities bid to ask provocative questions about their own role in colonialism and the Slave trade. @thekarenarthur @menopausewhilstblack
Jennifer G Robinson
Jennifer G. Robinson is the Founder/Director of Women Of The Lens Film Festival, dedicated to the work of British Black women in the film industries. With its first festival in 2017, the platform has already screened over 200 films - not only from the UK, but from across the globe. It was after the 2015 role of Festival Coordinator for the iconic Black Filmmakers International Film Festival, created by the late Menelik Shabazz, that Jennifer ventured into film festival production and curation after seeing a lack of channels to prioritise the talents of British Black women in the creative industries.
Jennifer's career spans journalism, film and education and as someone who is always prepared to adapt, she now has cross-pollinated into communications where social media management is her major. Finishing her formal education role as Head of Department at Haberdashers' Aske's Academy in 2020, Jennifer has over 20 year's experience as a teacher in film and media where she's taught at secondary and post-sixteen levels.
Jennifer has written for varied publications to include The British Blacklist, MelanMagazine, Black Film Bulleting (as part of BFI's Sight and Sound Magazine), the ICO's Cinema of Ideas and MediaMagazine Jennifer is passionate about the creative arts and champions platforms that provides others' opportunities to showcase, exchange and nurtures careers within the industry.
©Marvin Mendlinger, InspiredWordNYCY
Y.A is South Asian Lyricist, International Slam Champion, Performance Poet, Spoken Word Artist and Writer from South East London. Renowned for delivering the kind of poetic lyricism that immediately captivates an audience, Y.A’s words transcend beyond expectation deeming her to be one of the most highly sought after spoken word artists on the UK scene. Y.A has featured in the US hit “I Got the Mic” produced by Tina Knowles and has headlined on Sky Art's BAFTA award winning TV series “Life and Rhymes” hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah. Y.A featured along side the likes of Idris Elba and Trevor Noah at Snap.inc and PwC US DEI Summit last October and has previously performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, on BBC Radio London, Reprezent Radio as well as hosting a weekly show (The Word) on Soho radio. Y.A founded the Young Wordsmith project offering spoken word workshops to young people in South East London. She mentors for the Alchemy Project at Goldsmiths University and is Rap and Lyricism Tutor for Lewisham Music, where she co-ordinates the Lewisham Music Lyricist Collective. She is also a poetry therapy and performance poetry workshop facilitator for FLO Vortex. Y.A has toured internationally in Europe and the US. She is a proud mental health advocate, youth participation advocate and women’s rights activist, Y.A also heavily campaigns for an end to gender-based violence against women and girls. Y.A challenges some of the most common misconceptions of poets, women and mothers, all whilst continuing to represent South Asian female creatives in the UK.
Photo by Tom Trevatt
Shereener is Founder/director of Orisun Productions. Frustrated at the lack of roles for black actors. Tired of audition notices calling for the maid, the slave or the baby-mother. She ranted to other creatives about her desire for change; but she knew she had to do something. A chance meeting on the platform of an overground station one cold October morning presented a collaborator who fast became a friend, a brother; Seun Shote. Their collective frustration gave birth to Orísun Productions; a theatre company that provides a platform for creatives from the African diaspora, with the specific aim of breaking down stereotypes.
In 2016 Shereener returned to her childhood love of acting. Since then she has played Miss Julie & Lady Macbeth at the London Theatre; Mariam Sankara in Sankara at the Cockpit Theatre; Antonio in an all female The Tempest at the Brockley Jack Theatre. In October 2020 shereener completed a three-week run in debbie tucker green’s three playing the title role. Her screen credits include the multi-award winning short, BAiL. In 2020, shereener was cast as co-lead in her first full length feature, Dead on the Vine written & directed by Mark A Brown.
Shereener is also a barrister and associate tenant of Garden Court chambers. She won the Sidney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award for her unpaid work in employment & discrimination law. Until 2021, she was a night lawyer with a national newspaper.
Former chair of the New Cross Gate Trust, founding chair of Friends of Eckington Gardens, a board member of Goldsmith’s University Equity Awards & a trustee of of The Albany, Shereener is a fearless advocate for equality and change. She is married with three children.