Book your place now for TEDxDemontfortUWomen 2020


We are delighted to announce that DMU's second TEDx event will be taking place online on Tuesday 24 November from 10am - 2pm this year. Led by DMU Women and DMUworks Enterprise, in the spirit of “ideas worth spreading”, we are showcasing some of the amazing women who are leading social change in Leicester.

What is TEDx?

TEDx is a grassroots initiative, created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the globe through TEDx events. These events are organized by passionate individuals who seek to uncover new ideas and to share the latest research in their local areas that spark conversations in their communities. These events are not controlled by TED, but event organizers agree to abide by our format, and are offered guidelines for curation, speaker coaching, event organizing and more. 

We can't wait for our inspirational speakers to share their stories and for their voices to be heard. Here’s a sneak preview of who will be joining us: 


Tara Munroe (left) and Dr Paris Connolly (right)

Tara Munroe

Founder and Creative Director of Opal22 Arts and Edutainment and advocate of Black History.

I produce thought provoking projects and outcomes that merge Black History, Arts and Culture together.

Dr Paris Connolly

Senior Lecturer, Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University.

Dr Paris Connolly is a Research Fellow working on the Decolonising DMU project. She was awarded a PhD in Sociology in 2019; her thesis is titled Female Genital Cutting in the UK: A feminist phenomenological study of perceptions and lived experiences. She also completed her BA Hons in Health studies here at DMU and was awarded a First-Class degree. Paris has worked as a Domestic Abuse Practitioner for Women’s Aid and is interested in trauma-based approaches. She is interested in researching issues around gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, human rights and violence against women and girls, feminist research methods and art-based methods.


Nafisa Siddiqui (left) and Natalie Whyte (right)

Nafisa Siddiqui

Third-year biomedical student, De Montfort University

An advocate for women’s rights and mental health awareness. Hoping to inspire more people to help make the world a better place.

Natalie Whyte

Local and national advocate for women’s maternity services.

Following her own tragic loss within her pregnancy at 34 weeks this led her on a journey to make a difference within maternity health services for women and their families. Working with service users, Heads of Midwifery, Midwives and Clinicians has been highly beneficial and rewarding. Her main goal is to continue working together to enhance the future of maternity care in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Natalie also works with a baby loss charity which aims to reduce barriers to accessing bereavement services.


Jane Hearst (left) and Jo Richardson (right)

Jane Hearst

PhD Researcher in Arts-for-Health / Founder of The Curious Observer

Jane is an East Midlands creative with a passion for storytelling. Whether it be writing for film and radio or working with communities to creatively express their real-life stories. She is fascinated about the use of artistic media and storytelling to aid positive mental health and holds this at the core of all her work. In addition to her work as a practitioner, Jane conducts research into the arts-for-health industry. Underlying this work is a belief that narratives have the power to educate, build emotional intelligence, bring communities together and offer social justice.

Jo Richardson

Professor of Housing and Social Inclusion, De Montfort University

Jo is a housing researcher, working with local, national and international community partners. She is passionate about finding a sustainable solution to homelessness, and is interested on what we mean by ‘home’.  Her recent book explores ‘Place and Identity: the performance of home’.  You can follow Jo on Twitter @socialhousing and further details about her research can be found here.


Sarah Thomson (left) and Carol Leeming MBE FRSA (right)

Sarah Thomson

Director of Social Impact and Engagement, De Montfort University

Sarah leads a directorate that focuses on public engagement and co-curricular student activity. Sarah’s research focuses on the barriers to the implementation of service-learning within universities and how to co-create curriculum with the community. Sarah is committed to embedding social justice practice within higher education and is an advocate of bringing together communities to work in partnership for positive social change. 

Carol Leeming MBE FRSA

Lecturer, Contemporary Music Theatre Module BA, Performing Arts, De Montfort University

Carol was awarded an MBE in 2019 as poet and playwright, for her contribution to arts and culture in Leicester. Carol works as a freelance multi-disciplinary arts practitioner, and consultant for Leicester based arts cultural organisation Dare to Diva. Carol is hailed as a polymath, her other roles include: published author (fiction/non-fiction), director, dramaturge, performer, filmmaker, curator, and public speaker.

Other achievements and numerous awards include, UK Cultural Olympian 2012, East Midlands Womens’ Awards: Outstanding Woman Arts Media & Music, Leicester Writers Club Awards: Ena Young, Siobhan Logan & Penfold Award for Poetry, Listeners and Media. African Caribbean Citizens Forum/Leicester City Council: Black Achievers Award Arts and Entertainment. 


Shardia Briscoe-Palmer (left) and Sarah Higgins (right)

Shardia Briscoe-Palmer

Lecturer in Media, Race & Social (In)Justices, De Montfort University

Shardia’s research specialisms intersect across the politics of gender, race, and social injustices. Her research focus explores the politics of black masculinity whilst (de)constructing postcolonial identities. Shardia’s research interests also include academic diversity and inclusivity challenges faced by minority groups within higher education. Shardia completed her doctorate at the University of Birmingham in political science and international studies.

She is a strong advocate on why and how race and its intersections must be addressed adequately in Higher Education. I am a mother of two young boys and spend many of my days navigating the world around them, being their example for change. She can be found via Twitter @ShardiaBPalmer.

Sarah Higgins

Leadership Coach and Author of ‘Power of Love Leadership®’

Sarah Higgins is the author of 'Power of Love Leadership®, which enables leaders to improve productivity, morale, creativity and fearlessness by using seven successfully proven strategies. Having gained a first-Class honours Business Studies degree from De Montfort University in 1996, Sarah has over 25 years professional experience. After leaving her role as Human Resources Director until 2011, Sarah Higgins set up her own successful coaching and consultancy business, which enables leaders and leadership teams to maximise their effectiveness through her 1-1 executive coaching, leadership team workshop facilitation and training.

A Fellow of the CIPD and Practitioner in NLP, Sarah brings professional, practical expertise as well as the use of world class psychometric assessments for self-insight and impactful change to her leadership clients. Sarah supports local charities including Hope Against Cancer and she is a Board Trustee for Lamp (Leicestershire Action for Mental Health Project). She is also an Employment Tribunal Member, employed by the Ministry of Justice and a Black Belt in Karate.

How can I get a ticket?

#TedxDemontfortUWomen 2020 is open to all DMU staff and students, our Leicester communities and the wider public. The full programme of speakers will be revealed over the next few weeks and joining instructions will be confirmed by Friday 20 November. We’re looking forward to sharing, learning and connecting with you!

Tickets are free and available here. 


Posted on Tuesday 20 October 2020

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