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Soul Purpose 360 - SHEroes for Social Change

Over the years, African, Caribbean and Asian women have lead causes for social change and have made huge strides forward.  Women such as the South Asian women Grunwick strikers (1976-78) and the Hillingdon strikers (1998). Then there are the individuals such as Connie Mark MBE, Olive Morris, Kathleen Wrasama and contemporaries such as Dianne Abbott MP and Doreen Lawrence; the list is endless.  Many, many more unknown Black women are playing leading roles in community development around the country, some enduring personal tragedies, challenges and barriers to achieve their ambitions.  

Do you want to be included here? Send your pic and a brief bio to soulpurpose360@gmail.com 

Kathleen Wrasana

Kathleen Wrasana

Kathleen Wrasama came to England from Ethiopia as a child in 1917. During the 1930s, she worked as an extra in films with Paul Robeson, and later established a Black Seaman’s mission in Stepney with her husband. She was a founder member of the Stepney Coloured Peoples Association, an organisation committed to improving community relations, education and housing for black people.

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Mavis Best

Mavis Best

Mavis and a group of Black women from the London Borough of Lewisham, lobbied the police and the government to scrap the sus law which was habitually used by the police to stop and search, arrest and detain and often, assault Black men. The law, which dated back to the 1824 Vagrancy Act was scrapped following demonstrations and meetings with government officials. This was a major win for Black British civil rights in the 1970’s.

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Claudia Jones

Claudia Jones

Claudia Jones, was a Trinidad-born journalist and activist. As a child she migrated with her family to the US, where she became a political activist and black nationalist through Communism, using the false name Jones as "self-protective disinformation". As a result of her political activities, she was deported in 1955 and subsequently resided in the United Kingdom. She founded Britain's first major black newspaper, West Indian Gazette.

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Connie Mark, MBE

Connie Mark, MBE

Connie Mark, MBE BEM was a Jamaican-born community organiser and activist who served as a medical secretary the Auxiliary Territorial Service after World War II. She was a driving force within the black community, raising awareness of the contribution women made to the war effort. She co-founded the Mary Seacole Memorial Association and was a member of the West Indian Ex-Servicemen and Women’s Association and of the West Indian Standing Conference.

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Beverly Bryan

Beverly Bryan

Alongside Olive Morris and Liz Obi, Bryan helped establish the Black Women’s Group as the three took on education, housing and police brutality in the Lambeth community. Beverly is an activist and author; The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain; a review of Black British Feminism of the 70’s. She won the Martin Luther King Award in 1986 and is a Professor at the University of the West Indies.

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Palma Black

Palma Black

Community activist and worker. In the late 80's, she and a group of Black activists in the Labour Party Black Sections, founded the Anti-Racist Alliance (ARA); a national campaign body to support and seek justice for victims of racist murders and harassment, and their families. The ARA succeeded in creating a law against racial harassment. She is a Personal Performance Coach and founder of Soul Purpose 360, a coaching & mentoring organisation for Black Women in community development.

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Olive Morris

Olive Morris

Olive Morris was born in 1952 in Jamaica and moved to London when she was nine. In 1969 she was brutally beaten by police after coming to the aid of a Nigerian Diplomat Clement Gomwalk and was imprisoned. She was a member of the Black Panther Movement; a founding member of the Brixton Black Women's Group and squatted at Railton Road, Brixton. She studied at Manchester University (1975/78) where she became involved in the Manchester Black community and set up a Black Saturday School.

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