Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Source: The Guardian

After graduating with a BSc in physics, and later a PhD in mechanical engineering, from Imperial College London, she worked for the Ministry of Defence on projects ranging from missile warning systems to landmine detectors, before returning to her first love: building instruments to explore the wonders of space.

The telescope is just mind boggling,

she says of the Gemini instruments, her voice abuzz with her trademark fervour.

I like to call it a cathedral to science because sometimes I go out to Guildford Cathedral and [it has] this big vaulted ceiling. It is large and echoey, and the telescope is just the same.

Read the full interview on The Guardian.

Source: BBC

 Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin Pocock

As a dyslexic child, Maggie found reading and writing in school difficult. Nonetheless, it was a book that changed her life. On its cover was an astronaut. As soon as Maggie saw that picture of a man floating without gravity in his amazing suit, she craved more information about space. Driven by a desire to understand how the universe worked, she studied science and went on to make new discoveries about space on her own. Maggie worked hard to overcome stereotypes by staying true to her goal. Despite not fitting the common image of a ‘serious, white male scientist’, she made it. Her message to others is simple:

Believe in yourself, and you can achieve so much.

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Black Mental Health UK at 16th session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent Geneva

Matilda MacAttram UNWGPAD Sesstion 2015 445x335 2 Black Mental Health UK at 16th session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent Geneva
Human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMHUK) attended 16th session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD in Geneva last week as the work of implementing the International Decade of People of African Descent gets underway.

This annual week-long session held at the Palais De Nations in Geneva, Switzerland is convened for the Working Group of Experts to agree on the implementation on the Decade of People of African Descent and hear from  nation states, invited speakers  and civil society organisations that advocate for  or serve people of African Descent across the Diaspora.

Now that the UN Decade of People of African Descent has been announced BMH UK’s attendance at this year’s session is part of the campaigns groups work to ensure that this issue as it relates to the Diaspora in the UK is put on the programme of action  for this UN Decade so that some of the most disturbing human rights abuses faced by black people in need of mental health care living in the UK are addressed.

BMH UK presented a 10 page briefing to this working group on the human rights concerns that they have over the way black people living in the UK are treated by mental health services and the police when they are in need of mental health care.

During the week long session BMH UK’s director Matilda MacAttram raised the issue of the mass incarceration of people in the Diaspora in the criminal justice system, and also the issue of policing and it relates to black Britons from the floor of this form.

Connections were also made with many other civil society leaders and agengies around the world also fighting for justice for people of African Descent around the world.
Matilda MacAttram, director of BMH UK and Fellow of the UNWGPAD said: ‘There are very few arenas whether domestically or internationally where the issues that BMH UK have been campaigning on for a number of years now are prioritised. We have found the international human rights community at the United Nations here in Geneva very supportive of our work and now we want to turn this into more tangible action that will make a real difference  for the people that BMH UK have been set up to serve back home in the UK.

One of the reasons for attending this year’s session is that BMH UK are of the view that we cannot continue to see people from this community treated so badly by services that are supposed to help them  just because of the colour of their skin. It is not right that people from our community on psychiatric wards fear being restrained just because they are in distressed or over- medicated rather than offered talking therapies or counselling services that they need.

It is shocking to know that black people are locked up on overcrowded dirty wards fearful that staff will call the police in riot gear in a  hospital with taser, batons and CS spray if they decide a patient in distress is proving to be too much of a handful.

People are truly fearful of what might happen to them and this should not be so. BMH UK are here in at the United Nations so that the protections afforded to this group only on paper right now becomes a reality as is their human right.’

Delegates at this year’s session included Malaak Shabazz, daughter of civil rights leader Malcom X, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Pastor Elias Murillo Marinez, member of the UN committee on the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), UN working group expert Professor Verene Shepherd and current chair of the working group, Mirelle Fanon Mendes France.

Recommendations from this 16th session included establishing a Forum for people of African descent as a platform where individual nation states, civil society and the UN will strategise and plan concrete actions for the Decade.

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Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women speaking at Women@TheTable: The Cutting Edge

musimbi kanyoro th Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women speaking at Women@TheTable: The Cutting Edge

Dr Musimbi Kanyoro is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Fund for Women and has been a passionate advocate for the health, development and human rights of women, girls and minority groups throughout her life. Prior to the Global Fund, Dr Kanyoro led the Population and Reproductive Health Programme at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and also served for 10 years as General Secretary of World YWCA. Dr. Kanyoro is a member of the Aspen Institute Leaders Council and the UNFPA/IPPF High-level Taskforce for Reproductive Health. She also sits on the boards of Intra Health, CHANGE and CARE.

Location Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, England | 1 PM Thursday 16 April (BST)

 Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women speaking at Women@TheTable: The Cutting Edge

Meagan Fallone, Barefoot College, CEO, (scaling its revolutionary rural model around the world); Musimbi Kanyoro, Global Fund for Women, CEO, (#BeTheSpark campaign to put women + technology front + center); Jensine Larsen, World Pulse, CEO, (digital vision to connect women worldwide + give voice to the voiceless) Antonella Notari Vischer, Womanity Foundation, Director, (replicating + scaling groundbreaking work); Sharon Bylenga, Media Matters for Women, Founder, (connecting rural women to information + community through technology).

Join us! Bring a friend!

And some great questions!
love, women@thetable

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Barbados born Marvo Straughn from Lewisham tells us how she came up with the idea of her business of Caribbean Baby Foods.

How we started

I had a dream I was in a supermarket with my baby son Andrew who was in his buggy and he wanted me to buy some cornmeal porridge, (which is a traditional dish in the Caribbean). I looked at the shelves in the baby isle, but could not see any, then I woke up, and suddenly the idea came to me. I then told my other 2 children Roxanne and Toni that I will go to some shops to check out the varieties of baby foods, and was surprised to find there were were no Caribbean recipes available. Now my dream has become a reality.

After realising there was a demand for Caribbean baby food and no one producing it. Marvo experimented with some recipes trying them out on family and friends. She started selling them in Lewisham market where she found a great demand for the Caribbean recipes. Since then Marvo has approached local retailers, schools, nurseries and hospitals and has had a great response.

Background

 Barbados born Marvo Straughn from Lewisham tells us how she came up with the idea of her business of Caribbean Baby Foods.

Marvo Straughn and Prince Charles.

Marvo’s frozen baby foods are for babies from the age of 4 months plus, (stage 1). The recipes are formulated using the finest natural ingredients, ready for baby to eat. The products have a 12 month shelf life, and there are 5 delicious recipes available. The foods are lovingly handmade and once made, the foods are blast frozen, to seal in the goodness and flavours.

Marvo Foods contain no additives or preservatives. Currently 5 recipes are available:

Apple and Mango

Green Banana and Pumpkin

Sweet Potato and Carrot

Cornmeal Porridge

Cod and Plantain

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Social Justice, Human Rights, Mental Health Care & The UK’s African Caribbean Black British Diaspora community round table at the House of Lords

BMH UK community round table at the House of Lords

Social Justice, Human Rights, Mental Health Care & The UK’s African Caribbean Black British Diaspora

Date:                     Monday 16th March 

Time:                    11.00 – 1.00 pm 

Venue:                  House of Lords  – full details will be emailed to registered delegates

To register:           email:events@blackmentalhealth.org.uk with ‘BMH UK House of Lord’s Community round table‘ in the subject header.

A pre-election community round table looking at the issues of social justice, human rights and mental health care and the UK’s African Caribbean Black British Diaspora is set to take place at the House of Lords this month, organised by human rights campaigns group Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK).

Hosted by race equality chief, Lord Herman Ouseley  this pre-election community round table event will take place on Monday 16th March 2015chaired by BMH UK’s director Matilda MacAttram.

In a bid to move away from the BME banner which has consistently seen key issues affecting black people from the UK’s African Caribbean communities sidelined at the expense of other groups, this meeting has been convened  for those from this community with a commitment to serve, agree on what the priorities that the political parities need to focus on in relation to black Briton in the run up to the May general election.

This meeting comes on the back of a BMH UK’s Harris Review round table, held in parliament in January this year, on the disturbing numbers of ‘self inflicted’ of young people in prison, in light of the mass incarceration of black Britons in this system. BMH UK convened this event because of their concerns over data which now shows that that there is now a greater disproportionality in the number of black people in prison in the UK than in the United States prison industrial complex.

Attendees at the event in January highlighted the need for a follow up meeting, where those who serve the community could agree on strategies that address the inequalities faced by those black Britons that come in contact the justice system, and other issues relating to the Diaspora  ahead of the general election.  This round table has been convened to facilitate this process and inform this agenda in the run up to the general election in May.

The primary focus of the meeting on the 16th May 2015 will be mental health as it relates to the Diaspora and also the justice system.

Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK said:

‘All the indexes show that it is people  from the UK’s African Caribbean Diaspora living in the UK are among society’s most economically and socially excluded groups.

They  have some of the worst experiences and poorest outcomes in the area of health, justice, education, employment or any other arena you care to look at,  and yet there have been numerous strategies over the decades that have been focussed on addressing the inequalities of BME communities, which  have consistently failed to improve the condition of this group.

It is important that we recognised this and prioritise the concerns of our communities if we are ever going to bring about positive change for those significant number of people who don’t have a voice, particularly in the area of mental health. It is clear that the BME banner doesn’t work for us, we urgently need to find solutions that do.’

pixel Social Justice, Human Rights, Mental Health Care & The UKs African Caribbean Black British Diaspora  community round table at the House of Lords

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