With stories, resources and insights and exclusive travel knowledge, Las Morenas de España is the ultimate destination for anyone with an interest in Spain. With an intense love for the country as a whole, our founder was frustrated with the lack of representation and stories of Black individuals living in Spain despite the growing number residing in the country.
This site is a space for diverse stories to be shared, community to be fostered and for people all over the world to have an inside guide to Spain, inspiring them to experience and enjoy the country in a way they never have before.
DJ Candice McKenzie: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero
Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:
I picked Candice to be a Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary Shero for many reasons but mainly for her positive energy that I find completely infectious! I first blogged about Candice in March 2009 when I learned about her Dolly Mixes. She is known for her signature blend of house and Gospel music that makes me want to sing and dance and laugh at the same time. I also chose Candice for her drive, diverse appeal and creativity. I am thrilled to announce DJ Candice McKenzie has created an exclusive 10th Anniversary mixtape for us:
I hope you like our exclusive B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Mixtape as much as I do. Feel free to download it, be sure to share it via Twitter, Facebook and all the other usual suspects. Leave a comment for Candice, she’s a darling.
Thank you Candice for celebrating our 10th! Thanks for being our Shero.
Here’s more about Candice:
Of Ghanaian and Jamaican descent, Candice McKenzie was born and raised in London, UK.
She has been DJing since 1999 and plays Soulful, Uplifting, Inspirational / Gospel House Music with a sprinkle of Deep Beats.
She has won two BEFFTA (Black, Entertainment, Film, Fashion, TV & Arts) awards for Female DJ of the Year – 2009 & DJ of the Year 2010. She DJ’s at various club nights in the UK and Europe, and in countries including Croatia, Georgia, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Siberia, Slovenia, Ukraine and the USA.
Candice also DJ’s for high profile corporate clients. These have included T Mobile, Stella McCartney, Fashion TV, Havana Club, Smirnoff, Selfridges, Soho Gyms, Breakthrough for Breast Cancer and the BBC working as the Eurovision Song Contest UK Jury in May 2014.
Wow, I can’t believe we have our 10 year anniversary in 2016. Sounds cliche but I remember launching the blog as if it were yesterday. But 1,827 posts, 15 awards, and 3 international speaking engagements later it truly does add up to 10 years of passion.
Logo created by Andy Collins
We have grown from blog to social network, to private groups, with Twitter list and You Tube channel, and as we’ve branched out to more platforms we continue to grow and learn new things always keeping in mind that the Black Women in Europe Blog was created to celebrate the lives of the ordinary and extraordinary black women living in Europe.
We will celebrate all year with special contributions from sisters across Europe and a brother that supports us.
Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:
One such brother is Andy Collins who created the Black Women in Europe™ Blog logo several years ago and graciously created our anniversary logos. I first met Andy when he called me to ask what I thought about a website he was launching: an urban website in Sweden. I was on Sweden’s west coast, he was on the east, easterly at least up in past Stockholm. We talked, we clicked, I encouraged, he laughed, I laughed, we talked some more and I remember thinking, wow: aren’t British dudes cool? But when I hung up the phone I marveled, with a grateful heart, at the power of the Black Women in Europe™ blog to make connections. It was my vision come true. I not only wanted to “meet” black women in Europe who were doing amazing things, I wanted to meet other people in my community doing amazing things. And that’s what Andy is doing: amazing things! And he’s incredibly talented in graphic design and he’s a visionary too. He’s putting Soul Music on the map in Scandinavia. Or rather Scandinavian Soul Music on the world map.
Thanks for being a brother who supports black women in Europe, Andy! We love you back.
Here’s more about Andy:
I moved from London to Sweden in September 2005 with my native girlfriend hoping to lay some foundations for my children, to realise some hopes and dreams for a better life for ourselves too. After the initial disorientation that comes with emigrating I found myself a student again but this time learning about life. Not ordinary life but ‘urban life’, right in here in Sweden. I had to learn how to speak Swedish, read Swedish, shop in Swedish and convince other people that I could be ‘Swedish?’ (Being of Afro- Caribbean descent, that was no mean feat!).
It wasn’t long before I had yearnings for my previous life. There were things I missed from home, my heritage and I began to question ‘would I ever fit in here?’ I feared not least for myself but for children and the same unanswered questions they would face whilst growing up here. It was then that the concept and website ‘urbanlife.se – a website for the afro-swedish community’ was born. I turned to the best blog/website I could find for inspiration, which was Adrianne George’s Black Women In Europe (BWIE). It was literally the only website discussing and highlighting life for black people in Sweden!
Thanks to her advice and guidance the platform was born and I happily worked on creative projects with her. Times have changed for me since then. I now promote soul music in Scandinavia, www.scandinaviansoul.com, which also highlights the multi-cultural background that represent modern Scandinavia.
Meanwhile BWIE is still going strong and I’m simply delighted to help celebrate such a wonderful, positive blog driven by such a delightful and hard working woman.
Jourdan Dunn was named Model of the Year at the 2015 British Fashion Awards.
Jourdan Dunn was discovered in Hammersmith Primark in 2006 and signed to Storm Model Management in London shortly thereafter. She began appearing on international runways in early 2007. In February 2008, she was the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade.
Jourdan Dunn has attracted attention because of the paucity of black models in the fashion modelling industry. In April 2014, it was announced that Dunn was signed as the new face of Maybelline New York. As of July 2014, she was declared an icon by models.com In 2014, Forbes listed Dunn in their top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $4 million in one year. She was the first black British model to make the list.
Other awards include:
2008 British Fashion Awards Model of the Year – Won
2012 British Fashion Awards Model of the Year – Nominated
2013 Harper’s Bazaar Women of The Year Model of the Year – Won
2014 British Fashion Awards Model of the Year – Nominated
2015 Glamour Women of the Year Inspiration Award – Won
W Magazine named her one of the “New Royals” on the October cover this year.
Here is Jourdan Dunn in an editorial spread in the January 2016 Japan Vogue.
In July 2008, Steven Meisel selected Dunn to appear on the cover of the Vogue Italia issue devoted entirely to black models. She has also been featured on the cover of American Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Japan and Teen Vogue, as well as covering i-D- eight times, W Magazine, Elle, Pop, Russh, Muse, The Sunday Times Style, Ponystep, Antidote and Luella.
She has been in campaigns for Ann Taylor, Burberry, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, DKNY, John Galliano, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Jaeger, Rag & Bone, Gap, Aldo, Shiatzy Chen, Benetton, H&M, Banana Republic, Free People, Neiman Marcus, Pepe Jeans, Liu Jo and Saks Fifth Avenue, and was the face of Rihanna’s collections for River Island.
During the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Jourdan Dunn was one of the British models wearing bespoke fashions created by British designers specifically for the event. She also made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut for the 2012 show.
In March 2013, Dunn appeared as the cover story in Net-a-Porter’s “The Edit.” In it she spoke of encountering discrimination telling the magazine that casting agents would say clients
“didn’t want any more black girls”.
In July 2013, Jourdan Dunn received media attention for tweeting that she had been cancelled from a Dior haute couture show, “for her boobs”; rather than her skin colour – which she noted, “usually happens”.
European Commission’s 1st Dialogue on Skills and Migration
In preparation of a possible reform of the EU Blue Card and a new Commission communication on legal migration and integration, the dialogue will help the Commission to better understand the challenges economic actors face with skills and labour shortages and the role played by skilled non-EU workers. These challenges will require new actions on labour migration and in facilitating labour market integration.
The public event will take place on 28 January 2016, with a session made of keynote-speeches, workshops and a conclusive session where outcomes of the discussions held on 27 and 28 January will be summarised. On 27 January, a dinner roundtable with selected representatives of public and private employers will take place on the basis of individual invitations sent by the Commission.
Registration for the 28 January session can be done here. Participation will be confirmed by the Commission as there are very limited places in the selected venue.
Podemos’ Rita Bosaho becomes Spain’s first female black MP
As Spanish politicians gear up for what could be weeks of political wrangling, the unprecedented election result has ushered in another first for the country, with Podemos’ Rita Bosaho becoming the first black person to win a seat in Spain’s parliament.
“It’s about time, isn’t it?,”
Bosaho told El País. In Spain immigrants make up about 15% of the population but represent less than 1% of the country’s lawmakers.
Born in Equatorial Guinea, 50-year-old Bosaho moved to Spain more than three decades ago, working as a nurse before she made the jump to politics. Motivated by what she calls an
for human rights and worried about what kind of world she was leaving behind for her child, she decided to add her name to the list of Podemos candidates in the coastal city of Alicante.
“It’s a window that’s open to the future,”
she said of her party. The amount of attention she has received in recent weeks has surprised her, she told Spanish news agency Efe.
“Why is it so striking that a black woman could end up in parliament? What does that say about us all being integrated?”
The dearth of diversity in Spain’s institutions, she said, comes down to a lack of opportunities.
“It’s a structural problem that needs to be put in context, looking at the social panorama of Spain.”
Known in Alicante for her activism in gender issues, one of her goals is to push the central government to do more to address violence against women and raise the profile of women in government.
“We talk about rights and equality and the constitution protects us,”
“But what happens with institutional representation or women in business? Why aren’t our voices being heard there?”
In 2010 the Black Women in Europe™ Blog released its first Power List naming 58 women across Europe in 6 categories. For the past two years the list was called down to highlight 5 women. This year the awardees are in the following categories: Arts, Media, Politics, Science and Sports.
This list, presented in alphabetical order, is intended to acknowledge powerful black women in Europe and to inspire others to reach their full potential.
What constitutes power?
Power is defined as the ability to act or produce an effect.
The Power List does not aim to assess rank but rather to showcase influential women who, in some cases well known and in others, are women who should be known.
Arabella Kiesbauer – Austria – Journalist/TV Personality
Arabella Kiesbauer’s career started already in the 1980s at Austrian Broadcasting ORF before she moved to host her own talk show in Germany on the German TV channel Pro7 for 10 years and significantly influenced the TV landscape there. She returned to ORF in 2002 to lead the talent show Star Mania.
She’s also hosted TV programs on ARD in Monte Carlo, Berlin TV station N24 TV, has presented the Viennese Opera Ball 5 times as well as the Lifetime Ball. In addition Arabella Kiesbauer works in international TV in different languages including Sylvestergala 2005 on Arte TV in French; the International Cirkusfestival 2007 in Monte Carlo on ARD also in French and the FIFA World Players Gala 2007 on Eurosport in English.
Arabella has also worked as an actress in 1996 in Das Superweib and 2004 in Kommissar Rex. She has won several awards recognizing her television work. Arabella is also a model and ambassador for shoe company Vogele Shoes.
She is a two time published author having written Nobody is perfect in 1999, and later My African Heart.
Since 2008 she has been an ambassador for integration in the team of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration. She became the host of Kiddy Contest in 2012 on Puls 4 and in 2014 became the presenter of a popular show helping Austrian farmers find love.
She’s won 3 awards for her TV work and in 2013 she was honored for the commitment to tolerance and against racism with the Golden Medal of the Republic of Austria. This year she was one of the hosts for the Eurovision Song Contest viewed by over 200 million people worldwide. Welcome to our Power List.
Arlette Bomahou – Sports – Ireland
Arlette Bomahou has two World champion titles and is two-time European Champion title in power lifting in 2013 and 2014. She has been weight training for the past 10 years. In 2011 her personal trainer Adrian Quinn suggested she compete and she participated in her first competition in Cork in August 2013.
She has gone on to win the World champion title in Dusseldorf in 2014 where she broke the World record in division equipped deadlift with 162.5kg, and also picked up the Silver medal in unequipped deadlift with 167.5kg
Arlette has also won the European champion title in full power Championship in 2014 with Squats: 100 kg, Bench press: 57.5 kg and Deadlift at 165kg; the European champion title in single lift Championship in 2014 where she broke World record in equipped division with Deadlift at 175 kg, and the World Champion title in Glasgow in 2013 with Squats: 102.5 kg, Bench press: 62.5kg and Deadlift 160kg. Welcome to our Power List.
Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE – Arts – England
Chi-chi Nwanoku is the founder of the Chineke! Foundation that seeks to be a force for good in the classical music industry, levelling the playing field for young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) music students, and helping to create a vibrant new generation of professional musicians of all colors.
The Chineke! Foundation has formed Europe’s first professional all-black orchestra.
She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and with Franco Petracchi in Rome, and soon found herself in demand internationally.
Chi-chi is Principal Double Bassist and co-founder of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, and was made a Fellow there 1998.
Her range of musical interests has resulted in a broad career performing and recording in a diversity of styles from authentic baroque through to 21st century and new commissions, with many of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras and ensembles. Some of her notable chamber recordings include Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet (recorded three times), and Octet, Beethoven Septet, Hummel Piano quintet and Boccherini Sonatas. Her solo recording of Dittersdorf and Vanhal Concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Hyperion CD 67179 received critical acclaim.
Chi-chi was awarded an MBE for services to Music in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday honors. Welcome to our Power List.
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock – Science – UK
Margaret Ebunoluwa “Maggie” Aderin-Pocock, MBE is an English space scientist. She is an Honorary Research Associate in University College London (UCL) Department of Physics and Astronomy. Since February 2014, she has co-presented the long-running astronomy TV program The Sky at Night.
She attended Imperial College London, earning a BSc in physics in 1990 and a doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1994. Her thesis was accepted in 1995, entitled “Interferometric Studies of Very Thin Lubricant Films in Concentrated Contacts”. This project involved development of an ultra-thin film measurement system (using spectroscopy and interferometry to the 2.5 nm level). This doctoral research involved improving the optical performance and the mechanical design of the system, as well as development of control and image processing software. Other techniques at the time could only operate to the micron level with much poorer resolution. This development work resulted in the instrument being sold by an Imperial College spin-off company.
Aderin-Pocock is committed to inspiring new generations of astronauts, engineers and scientists and she has spoken to about 25,000 children, many of them at inner-city schools telling them how and why she is a scientist, busting myths about careers, class and gender. Through this Aderin-Pocock conducts “Tours of the Universe”, a scheme she set up to engage school children and adults around the world in the wonders of space. She also helps encourage scientific endeavors of young people by being a celebrity judge at the National Science + Engineering Competition. The finals of this competition are held at The Big Bang Fair in March each year to reward young people who have achieved excellence in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics project.
She has won numerous awards including 2013 UK Power List, most influential black people; 2013 Yale University Centre for Dyslexia “Out of the box thinking award”; 2011 Winner of the “New Talent” award from the WFTV (Women in Film and Television); 2010 Awarded Honorary fellowship from the British Science Association; 2010 Awarded third STFC Fellowship in Science in Society, held at UCL, and 2009 Winner of Red Magazine’s “Red’s Hot Women” Award in the pioneering category. Welcome to our Power List.
Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana – Politics – Germany
Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana was a 2014 candidate in the EU Parliament with the Green Party. In the same year she was reelected to the position of City Counselor in Erlangen, Germany for the third time giving her a mandate from 2005 – 2020. She was the first black woman elected to a German Parliament.
She is the President of FORWARD Germany the Foundation for Research, Health and Development, Against Female Genital Mutilations and forced marriage in Europe and a Board Member of the Federation of Female Migrants Organization known as DAMIGRA. She was a 2013 Member of the Executive Committee Network of Female Migrants in Bavaria, Germany and since 2011 has been a Member of the Executive Committee of Higher Council of African Communities in Germany. From 1995-2006 she was a Member of the Executive Committee of AFARD & AAWORD and it’s Representative in Europe.
She is a multiple award winner including the 2014 African Women Award; 2014 Certificate of High Appreciation de IAC/CI-AF; 2009 Recipient of the Helene Weber Prize Award from the Federal German Ministry of Women, Aged Persons and Youth making her the first political women with an immigrant background to receive this distinction. In 2004 she was the first recipient of Pilgrim Gorée awarded for scientific publishing.
Dr. Herzberger-Fofana holds a Ph.D. in Romantics and Germanistics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and a Master’s Degree in in German socio-linguistics from the Maîtrise at Sorbonne. She is currently a Researcher at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Welcome to our Power List.
View the Power List on YouTube.
Let’s use our collective power to make a difference. Join the Black Women in Europe™ Kiva team.
Since 2013 the Black Women in Europe™ Kiva team has grown to 8 members and has provided $250 in loans. Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Our collective efforts will make a difference to an individual, a group, and a community.
Let’s support women. You don’t have to wait to start giving as part of our team. Choose a project and click on the amount you would like to donate. Remember as little as $25 is all that is needed. You’ll be taken to your basket where you can select what lending team your loans should count towards. Beneath the “Count Towards Team” column, you’ll see a drop down box with Black Women in Europe™’s lending team listed. Click that box and select the Black Women in Europe™’s lending team and the loan to will count towards our team.