The most authentic thing about us...

is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering



Ben Okri

Marian Wright Edelman
The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; It is whether we can afford not to.
Jesse Owens (1913-1980)
The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals.
The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.
Let's NOT waste the opportunites we have...


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BME Politicians, Activists & Campaigners


This page was created with the love and thanks of - Operation Black Vote


All links on this page will refer you to the information provided by


Adam Afriyie, MP 


Conservative MP for Windsor. Entered Parliament on 5 May 2005 - General election. Adam Afriyie was born in Wimbledon in 1965. He attended Addey & Stanhope Grammar School and gained ...

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Alok Sharma, MP 

Conservative MP for Reading West. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Alok Sharma was born in India but grew up in Reading. Alok is currently a governor of a local ...

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Anas Sarwar, MP 

Labour MP for Glasgow Central. Entered Parliament on 6 May 2010 - General Election. He was born and brought up in Glasgow. He studied at Glasgow University and prior to becoming an MP, ...

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Chi Onwurah, MP 

Labour MP for Newcastle Central. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Chinyela 'Chi' Onwurah was born in Newcastle in 1965. She attended Kenton School before ...

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Chuka Ummuna, MP 

Labour MP for Streatham. Entered Parliament on 6 May 2010 - General Election. Born and raised in Streatham in 1978 Chukka went on to study Law at the University of ...

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David Lammy, MP 


Labour MP for Tottenham. Entered Parliament on 22 June 2000 , By -election. Elected in 2000 for Tottenham MP at the age of 27, David Lammy's background is rooted in the ...

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Diane Abbott, MP 

Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. Entered Parliament on 11th June 1987 - General election. In June 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever ...

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Helen Grant, MP 

Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald Entered Parliament on 6 May 2010 - General Election. In January 2008 Helen Grant was selected as the Conservative Party Prospective ...

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Keith Vaz, MP 

Labour MP for Leicester East. Entered Parliament on 11th June 1987 - General election. Keith Vaz was born in Aden, Yemen on November 26th 1956. His parents were from Goa, India, and ...

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Khalid Mahmood, MP 

Labour MP for Birmingham, Perry Barr. Entered Parliament on 7 June 2001 - General election. Khalid Mahmood won the election with a majority of over eight thousand votes. His ...

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Kwasi Kwarteng, MP 

Conservative MP for Spelthorn. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Kwasi was born and grew up in London. At the age of 13 he gained a scholarship to Eton before ...

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Lisa Nandy, MP 

Labour MP for Wigan. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Lisa Eva Nandy was born in Manchester in 1979. She graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Politics ...

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Mark Hendrick, MP 


Labour MP for Preston. Entered Parliament on 23 November 2000 - By-election. A former electronics engineer and college lecturer, Mark studied electrical and electronic engineering at ...

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Nadhim Zahawi, MP 

Conservative MP for Stratford-upon-Avon. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Nadhim was born in 1967, and grew up in East Sussex. When Nadhim was selected, he promised ...

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Paul Uppal, MP 

Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Paul was born in Birmingham and is a Sikh of East African descent. He is a father of ...

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Priti Patel, MP 

Conservative MP for Witham. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Priti was born in London and went to a secondary school in Watford before going to the University of ...

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Rehman Chishti, MP 

Conservative MP for Gilligham and Rainham. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election Rehman, has lived in Gillingham and Rainham for most of his life, having attended ...

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Rushanara Ali, MP 

 Rushanara Ali 2

Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Rushanara was born 14 March 1975 in Bangladesh, she began her career as a Research Assistant ...

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Sadiq Khan, MP 

Labour MP for Tooting. Entered Parliament on 5 May 2005. He was a member of the prestigious Public Accounts Select Committee between 2005 and 2007. In early 2007, Sadiq became the ...

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Sajid Javid, MP 

Conservative MP for Bromsgrove. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Sajid was born in London and is one of five sons; his father is a bus driver. Sajid went to state ...

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Sam Gyimah, MP 

Conservative MP for East Surrey. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Sam was born in Beaconsfield he was educated in Ghana and Hertfordshire. Sam went on to Read ...

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Shabana Mahmood, MP 

Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood. Entered Parliament on May 6th 2010 General Election. Shabana Mahmood is the daughter of Birmingham Labour Party's chairman. Born and bred in the ...

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Shailesh Vara, MP 

Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire. Entered Parliament on 5 May 2005 - General election. Shailesh Vara is the Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire and was elected ...

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Valerie Vaz, MP 

Labour MP for Walsall. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Valerie Vaz is the sister of Labour MP Keith Vaz. Born in Aden, Yemen her parents originated from Goa, India. ...

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Virendra Sharma, MP 

Labour MP for Ealing Southall. Entered Parliament 19 July 2007 - by-election. Virendra Kumar Sharma was born in India 1947 and is Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall. He was ...

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Yasmin Qureshi, MP 

Labour MP Bolton South East. Entered Parliament May 6th General Election 2010. Qureshi was born in Jhelum, Pakistan and moved to the UK when she was nine. She stood, unsuccessfully, ...

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Civic and political campaigners

OBV Profile: Dr William 'Lez' Henry 

.. he was forced to go to the local comprehensive school, on account of his skin colour

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OBV Profile - Dal Babu (Superintendent) 

Was it a sense of civic duty that drove a young Dal Babu to join the Metropolitan Police force back in 1983?

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OBV Profile - Farida Anderson 

Farida Anderson MBE, can be described as the 'mother and father' figure of the national charity POPs - Partners of Prisoners, for having provided advice, guidance and strength to many ...

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OBV Profile - Mia Jones 

Mia Jones was a Liberal Democrat councillor for Chester, a former local authority cabinet member and parliamentary candidate in the 2005 General Election. On top of this she also runs her ...

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OBV Profile: Abdul Malik 

“Basically I knew there was an opportunity and vital service needed in this area that was profitable in the way that I could give back to the community and empower them and so this was the way to ...

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OBV Profile: Adeela Shafi 

"I know that there are many Pakistani Muslims who say 'we've always voted Labour so let's leave it at that',"

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OBV Profile: Ali Hadawi 

Iraqi-born Ali Hadawi is the principal of Southend Adult Community College who has a simple yet powerful agenda

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OBV Profile: Amerdeep Somal 

Among the most fulfilling parts of her work is the thought that she is making a difference

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OBV Profile: Anna Manwah Lo 

Lo, elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in March 2007, got straight into action by outlining the government’s first policy on the racial equality strategy

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OBV Profile: Art Hall 

Much of his ideals have always been about standing up for peoples' rights and fighting for those who are less privileged

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OBV Profile: Brian Haley 

Haley, said to be “one of the most influential Black councillor’s in London

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OBV Profile: Chris Mullard 

One of Focus’s many achievements has been an increase in the level of ethnic minority candidates recruited into the British Army

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OBV Profile: Chuka Umunna 

Some would say his life has been one long preparation for a future in politics

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OBV Profile: Cllr Betty Evans-Jacas 

Noted as referring to Martin Luther King as her political hero, Cllr Evans-Jacas herself has made considerable contributions to the fight for equality

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OBV Profile: David Michael 

David Michael was just one of a handful of Black people who joined the Metropolitan Police Service in the early 1970s. He became one of the founding members of the Black Police Association at a ...

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OBV Profile: David Weaver 

As one of the founding members of the human rights campaigning organisation The 1990 Trust, David Weaver has been an inevitable force in seeking equality for Black people. OBV profiles one of ...

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OBV Profile: Denise Headley 

This week OBV profiles Enfield Labour Cllr Denise Headley who has dedicated her life and career to political activism and community regeneration.

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OBV Profile: Donatus Anyanwu 

This week OBV profiles Labour councillor Donatus Anyanwu who makes it his goal to help excluded and disadvantaged communities.

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OBV Profile: Floyd Millen 

This week OBV profiles Labour Party member Floyd Millen who was recently selected to be on the list of potential candidates for Members of Parliament.

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OBV Profile: Gavin Jacobs 

Growing up during the apartheid in South Africa was just one of the many challenges faced by Pastor Gavin Jacobs, today he is the director of Youth Alliance, an organisation striving to ...

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OBV Profile: George Lee 

George Lee has made one of the quickest jumps in any political career. From joining the Conservative Party in 2007 he is now its parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras. OBV ...

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OBV Profile: Gloria Hyatt 

Gloria Hyatt can be regarded as someone who made a historical milestone becoming the first Black head teacher in Liverpool and establishing the UK's first Black independent school. OBV profiles ...

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OBV Profile: Gloria Mills 

For the past 30 years Gloria Mills has played a dynamic role in the trade union movement. The pinnacle of her career to date was her appointment as the president of the Trade Union Congress in ...

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OBV Profile: Harinder Mann 

This week OBV profiles the political trailblazer Harinder Mann, who was the first ethnic minority person to stand in North Yorkshire for the 2005 general election, and who is now at the forefront ...

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OBV Profile: Harmander Singh 

Few men from the South-East region of Asia or anywhere else, for that matter, can boast a life that connects as many dots in public life as Harmander Singh.

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OBV Profile: Hyacinth Parsons 

“Rising to the challenges posed by a job is the driving force for and the explanation of a diverse portfolio” says Hyacinth Parsons. OBV takes a glimpse of her life and achievements.

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OBV Profile: Jennette Arnold 

Jennette Arnold plays an instrumental role serving the needs of her community as a member of the London Assembly. OBV profile's this keen snow skier and former nurse looking at her life and how ...

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OBV Profile: Joe Montgomery 

Joe Montgomery is the person responsible for the implementation of regenerating many areas around the country. OBV profiles the director general by looking at some of his achievements.

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OBV Profile: Karamjit Singh 

Philanthropist Karamjit Singh has made it a personal commitment to make a difference in society. OBV profiles the Electoral Commission’s only BME commissioner, taking a look at his life and ...

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OBV Profile: Kay Hampton 

As the final chair of the Commission for Racial Equality Kay Hampton has played an important role ensuring that race equality matters are put on the political agenda. As the CRE comes to a close ...

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OBV Profile: Kulveer Ranger 

Kulveer Ranger is no ordinary politician. OBV profiles the former DJ looking at what he hopes to achieve in his political career as a Conservative Party member.

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OBV Profile: Mari Rees 

Can she do it? That is the question being asked of OBV shadow Mari Rees, Wales' prospective future MP. But this is not a story about how one woman seeks to become the country's first black ...

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OBV Profile: Marvin Rees 

Tackling poverty and racism is at the heart of Marvin Rees' political aim, OBV profiles this potential MP by looking at some of the experiences that have shaped his career.

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OBV Profile: Matilda MacAttram 

Matilda MacAttram is one of the leading figures addressing the issue of mental health within the African-Caribbean community. OBV takes a glance at her life and her campaign to amend the 2006 ...

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OBV Profile: Merlene Emerson 

Merlene Emerson has joined the growing ranks of political leaders of Chinese origin in the UK by her election as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrat party. The ...

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OBV Profile: Mia Morris 

Mia Morris, described as a renaissance woman, has established herself as a leading light in the Black community. OBV profiles this lady on a mission to raise Black awareness.

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OBV Profile: Priti Patel 

Priti Patel is tipped to be the first Asian woman MP for the Conservative Party. OBV profiles this prominent politician looking at her task ahead as a candidate for the new constituency of ...

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OBV Profile: Shaun Bailey 

Shaun Bailey is a rising politician with a distinct advantage. With no political background but a passion for youth and community work he is recognised for being able to represent people he can ...

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OBV Profile: Shirley Marshall 

Shirley Marshall (pictured) made history becoming the first Black woman councillor in Bristol City Council. OBV takes a look at this church minister's life, career and the many community ...

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OBV Profile: Sonika Nirwal 

As the first Asian women to ever lead a political group on any council, Sonika Nirwal looks set to continue that trend in the hope of becoming a Member of Parliament. OBV speaks to Nirwal about ...

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OBV Profile: Steve Stephenson 

There are few equality advocates that have had a career in race relations that spans as long as Steve Stephenson. OBV Profiles a man on a lifetime mission.

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OBV Profile: Sukhninder Gill 

Sukhninder Gill, also known by many of his colleagues as 'Rocky', has actively made grassroots politics an obligation in the borough of Barking and Dagenham. OBV profiles the Labour councillor, ...

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OBV Profile: Sunder Katwala 

This week OBV profiles Sunder Katwala, the general secretary of the political think tank, the Fabian Society. We take a look at Katwala's life and glance over some of the progressive steps the ...

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OBV Profile: Sylbourne Sydial 

Noted for his cause to promote the political advancement in Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, OBV profiles lawyer Sylbourne Sydial, the man who hopes to be the first Jamaican born ...

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OBV Profile: Thabo Jaiyesimi 

Next month photographer Thabo Jaiyesimi launches his new exhibition of work, OBV profiles this artist discussing the social and political content of his photography.

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OBV Profile: Yousuf Miah 

Yousuf Miah has come a long way since he came to England from Bangladesh. OBV profiles this prominent Conservative councillor and looks at some of the hopes he has for his local area. ...

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OBV Profile: Zehra Zaidi 

A passion for life, a passion for politics! Such words seem to fit Zehra Zaidi, who at the age of 33 is on the verge of making an impact in the world of European politics. In March 2008, Zehra ...

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OBV Profile: Ziauddin Sardar 

Ziauddin Sardar has established himself as one of the leading scholarly writers in Britain having penned over 40 books. OBV profiles the political writer who now stands as a commissioner for ...

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Family, is more important than we realise



“If I were angry, my prayers would not be answered and your heart’s not right if you’re angry.”


Vertus Hardiman

They said, “You are a savage and dangerous woman.”...


I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous

Nawal El Saadwi

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold."

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

"I would unite with anybody to do right...

...and with nobody to do wrong."

"Without struggle, there is no progress."

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

"To understand how any society functions...

... you must understand the relationship between the men and the women''

"We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. " 

Angela Davis

 Angela  Davis

"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated."

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King

"You're either part of the solution or part of the problem."

Eldridge Cleaver

Eldridge Cleaver

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Site last updated on Monday 14th May 2018

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