The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre team
Dr Lisa Palmer, Director SLRC
Dr Lisa Amanda Palmer is the Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester. She was the former Course Director for the Black Studies undergraduate programme and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Birmingham City University.
Lisa is a qualified librarian and previously worked for Birmingham Libraries and Archive Services for many years. She has a keen interest in working with local archive collections, specifically, the Vanley Burke Archive held at the Library of Birmingham.
Her research focuses on Black feminism, Black cultural politics and the intersection of race, racism, gender and sexuality. Her writing covers a broad spectrum of fields including the gendered politics of lovers’ rock music, the production of local community archives and the misogynoir faced by Black women in British public life. She is the co-author of the book Blackness in Britain (2016) and is currently writing her book on Black women in the UK’s lover’s rock reggae scene.
Monica Barrett, Programmes and Operations Manager
Monica Barrett has a breadth of experience in overseeing administrative operations and implementing new systems to enable a team to work both efficiently and seamlessly.
She continues to learn the ins and outs of University operations, having worked as a Research Assistant on a cross-cultural study on the attainment gap at the University of Greenwich and having supported the Dean of the School of Business at the University of Leicester, before joining De Montfort University to work for the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre in 2018.
Monica has also worked internationally in the United Arab Emirates overseeing the administrative operations of a company, and has put her humanitarian efforts into practice to find and clear unexploded ordnance off the coast of Iraq.
Monica holds a BSc in Psychology with a focus on cultural identity and when she is not exuding passion for discussions surrounding race, identity and social justice, she is widening her perspectives through exploring cultures through travel and remaining grounded by getting back to nature, with most recently trekking through jungles and hiking volcanos in Central America.
Sherilyn Pereira, Public Engagement Manager
Sherilyn Pereira has had a long-standing career in Communications, Marketing and Public Relations (PR). Her early career in international fashion PR set the pace for an exciting career in New York where she worked as PR to the newly divorced Ivana Trump and a number of high-profile clients. She also held PR positions at the Metropolitan Opera and Cambridge University’s US Development Office - her entry point into the Higher Education sector.
Sherilyn was a member of DMU’s Communications Team before joining the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre in January 2019, with a focus on developing the public face and professional profile of the centre, which she now manages through delivery of an exciting public engagement programme. She is also co-chair of DMU’s BAME Network.
Sherilyn juggles her role while studying for an MSc in Advertising and Public Relations Management. Her work is enhanced by her passion for race, identity and social justice issues that are debated on a nightly basis with her large ‘team’ at home.
Rayann Bryan, Research Assistant
Rayann Bryan is a PhD student at Birkbeck, University of London. Her doctoral research is focused on investigating how immigration to the UK in the Windrush era has created a intergenerational effect of racial melancholia and trauma for the mothers and daughters of Windrush. She is also the founder of the Thelma Matilda Alves Foundation which is dedicated to addressing the prejudices and racism that inhibit black women from gaining access and working in the UK mental health sector.
In her previous role at London South Bank University, Rayann worked with the School of Law and Social Sciences to produce research on the BAME attainment gap and some of the issues BAME student face studying in higher education. She is keen to partake in questions about race and racism in UK higher education. Rayann has published an article for gal dem magazine thinking through the idea of black universities in the UK.
Dr Amanda Arbouin, Teaching to Transform Project Officer
Dr Amina Easat-Daas
Dr Amina Easat-Daas earned her PhD at Aston University, Birmingham, UK and studied Muslim women’s political participation in France and Belgium. She is an Early Career Academic Fellow in the department of People, Politics and Place at De Montfort University, Leicester. Before joining De Montfort University Amina worked in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds within the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies on the EU funded Counter-Islamophobia Kit project.
Her research interests include the study of Muslim political participation, Muslim women, Muslim youth, Islamophobia and creatively countering-Islamophobia in Europe, gendered dimensions of Islamophobia, and ‘European-Islam’. In her capacity as an emerging Islamophobia studies specialist, she has been invited and has presented her research findings to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Carter Center (USA), and the OSCE-ODIHR among others and has appeared on national and international media on numerous occasions to discuss Muslim current affairs.
Her forthcoming publications include her monograph EASAT-DAAS, A., 2020. Muslim Women’s Political Participation in France and Belgium. (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke)
Dr Christopher Roy Zembe
Dr Christopher Roy Zembe is a Lecturer in History at De Montfort University. His research interests are the history of migration, colonial and post-colonial legacies, Black British History and the African diaspora. His published work consists of: a book entitled Zimbabwean Communities in Britain Imperial and Post-Colonial Identities and Legacies ; a Chapter entitled Quest for a Cohesive Diaspora African Community: Reliving Historic Experiences by Black Zimbabweans in Britain in a book on ‘New Perspectives on Black British History’; and an article in the Journal of Migration History entitled Migrating with Colonial and Post-Colonial Memories: Dynamics of Racial Interactions within Zimbabwe's Minority Communities in Britain.
Chris has also been involved in organising ‘History Matters’ Conference aimed at exploring why there are few history students of African or Caribbean heritage in British education institutions.
His Twitter handle is
Legacy in Action Fellows
Dr Karis Campion
Dr Karis Campion’s current research focuses on barbershops and examines their function as key social institutions for Black communities in Britain.
She says: “If we can open a window to these intergenerational spaces where people can relax and be themselves, talk about politics, have debates about the state of society, discuss health concerns, all free from an oppressive gaze, there is so much to learn about the complexities of black identities and how community knowledge and history is maintained, cultivated and passed on.”
Prior to becoming a Legacy in Action Research Fellow, Karis was a Research Associate at the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester and held a lectureship at City, University of London.
Karis obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Manchester in 2017. Prior to that she completed an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at Manchester.
She is currently writing a book entitled Making Mixed Race: A Study of Time, Place and Identity. Her research interests span areas of (mixed) race/ethnic identity, geographies of race in urban space, intersectional inequalities, Black feminism, youth identities, anti-racism and institutional racism in education.
Dr Fatima Rajina
Dr Fatima Rajina’s research is focussed on the relations between Bangladeshi and Somalian communities in Tower Hamlets in the East End of London.
She will be looking at how the Bangladeshi community constructs notions of blackness and how this construction unravels vis-a-vis the Somali community.
Dr Rajina says: “I am fascinated by the East End of London and I want to see what the interactions are between communities as they have moved around the world.”
After completing an MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures, Dr Rajina went on to do a PhD at SOAS, University of London. She has also worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, looking at police and counter-terrorism. Dr Rajina was also a Teaching Fellow at SOAS, Research Fellow at UCL and worked as a Lecturer in Sociology at Kingston University.
Dr Rajina has a passion for languages and is fluent in German, Spanish and Bengali and can read and write in classical Arabic.
Dr Yusef Bakkali
Dr Yusef Bakkali grew up in Brixton, South London, and from an early age became aware of injustice and inequality operating in society.
His key research focuses around the lives of young people involved in ‘Road Life’ - a contemporary street culture of which elements have recently been the subject of popular media representations in shows like Top Boy (Channel 4/Netflix) and films like Blue Story (BBC Films/Paramount Pictures).
Yusef says: “It is important to me to be working with people who have a lot of faith in what we are trying to do. We have to respect the legacy of the Lawrence family and our research has to have an activist dimension to it. Activism is about taking a stance. We do not necessarily want to be part of the current research canon. Our research needs to challenge and it needs to take risks.”
Yusef’s areas of expertise are youth, social exclusion, race, crime, music, youth cultures, road life, austerity, decoloniality and masculinities. He holds a PhD in Sociology, an MSc in Social Research Methods and a BA in Politics and Society.
Camille London-Miyo, PhD Researcher
Camille London-Miyo was awarded a DMU Research Student Scholarship within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at DMU in October 2020. Her research will focus on black educators who are navigating the dynamics of racism in Leicester Schools. For the past 30 years, Camille has been a teacher and a middle and senior leader in inner city schools. She is also an active trade unionist and became the first black president in the history of Leicester teachers’ unions in 2018.
Camille is a co-founder of the Black Educators Alliance, a national group of black educators who seek to challenge the institutional racism that exists in education and a co-founder of Leicester Black Educators Network. Additionally, Camille is a community activist who helps to building parent/ community networks to give support to parents of Black children while challenging the narrative of the “underachievement of Black pupils in UK schools.
Camille is also a co-founder of the Phoenix Agenda Supplementary School also based in Leicester. Her understanding of the complexity and importance of involving students, parents and communities in order to achieve genuine and sustained progress in education at all levels has been the foundation of her work to date, by establishing and working with teacher networks and professional development programmes across the UK.
Camille’s research interests include: black teachers in education - recruitment, retention and progression; strategies to decolonise the UK curriculum; radical pedagogies that challenge empirical ideas about teaching and learning; developing a global “English “Literature Curriculum as part of a holistic anti-racist strategy in schools.
She has written a chapter entitled: Education, race and the decolonisation of the curriculum in Beyond the Blockade - Education in Cuba (2019) and is presently co editing The History of Black teachers in the NEU as part of the commemoration of 30years of Black teachers self-organising in the Legacy NUT and the NEU - to be published in 2021.
She can be found at Twitter @camillelm7
Mutsa Mhende, PhD Researcher
Mutsa Mhende is a PhD researcher at DMU. Her collaborative doctoral award: Textures of Blackness in the Midlands: Excavating Regional Archives of Black Culture and Politics, is in partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre and Black Arts organisation, Serendipity. This interdisciplinary and community-based archival project aims to problematise the colonial archive, while reimagining sites of memory which centre the living knowledge production of Black people in this region.
Mutsa is a proud Zimbabwean, who you can often find explaining the deep temporal complexities in traditional African cultures, which allow the past, present, and future to collapse into one spacetime; where we may all become connected across the African diaspora through memory, storytelling, and virtuality. This understanding gives her work, at its core, radical liberatory aims.
Holding a BA(Hons) in Sociology & Politics and an MA in Sociology, Mutsa’s other research projects have been: "The impact of Media representations of Black women’s sexuality" and "Writing in the dirt with a twig: Exploring the personal archives and memory-making of Black women in Britain". Her other research interests include: Black British identity, Black women’s storytelling, African Traditional Religions, and Healing Justice.
Nkiruka Emodi, PhD Researcher
Nkiruka Emodi is a PhD researcher at The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre. Her research aims to assess post-Covid-19 spatial inequalities, housing needs; concepts of ‘race’ and wellbeing of people with sickle cell and thalassaemia and their families; and to generate public health and housing policy insights that can be put directly into practice to improve health and wellbeing across the life course. Her supervisor(s) include Dr Natalie Darko (Stephen Lawrence Research Centre), Dr Maria Berghs and Professor Jo Richardson.
Nkiruka is a biomedical scientist working in an NHS hospital laboratory. She has previously worked at the Kings' College Hospital, Red Cell Centre (protein laboratory), a national reference centre for clinical and laboratory services for patients with a range of red cell disorders such as sickle Cell disease, thalassaemias etc. She holds a Master's in Haematology from the University of Westminster and Master's of Public Health from the University of Hertfordshire.
Her research interests focus on the disparities (including race and ethnicity) in the perception and management of any disorder. She is a member of the Sickle Cell Society (SCS) and volunteers for the Sickle Cell Society’s blood donation project ‘Give Blood, Spread Love, England’, a project which encourage and inspire black and mixed-race communities to donate blood.
Alethia Antonia, PhD Researcher
Alethia Antonia is a freelance choreographer, performer, teacher and researcher. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. During her undergraduate study, she was a Peggy Hawkins scholar and recipient of the Principal's Award (LCDS) and was awarded the Overall Achievement Award in Professional Practice on completion of her postgraduate studies (NSCD).
Alethia is currently a 1st year PhD researcher (part-time) at De Monfort University, with a Midlands4Cities studentship award. Her doctoral research is investigating the notion of self-authorship feminine blackness to develop decolonised practice methodologies in British contemporary dance. Looking specifically at performance, choreographic and pedagogical practice. Other research interests included trauma, mental health and accessibility, the fluidity of performance modalities, and the relationship between pedagogy and industry.
As a performer, she has worked internationally and danced for companies such as Russell Maliphant Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, James Cousins Company, James Wilton Dance, VOXED – Wayne Parsons, Tribe//, Matsena Productions, and Extended Play.
Her choreographic work has been supported by and performed at venues such as The Place, Dance4, Yorkshire Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds Dance Partnership, York Theatre Royal, Fashion Space Gallery, and DanceEast. She is currently a Work Place Artist at The Place.
As a teacher, she has taught nationally and abroad for institutions such as Scottish Dance Theatre, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Trinity Laban, The Place, London Contemporary Dance School, CAPA College, Dance4, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Kingston University, and Accademia Balletto Roma.
Lisa Robinson, PhD Researcher
Keisha Bruce, PhD Researcher
Raj Gill, PhD Researcher
SLRC Academic Advisory Committee
Chris Hall, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Fiona Dick, Head of Sport
Professor Shushma Patel, Dean, Computing, Engineering and Media
Professor Jo Richardson, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation
Katharine Short, Special Collections Manager
Dr Manjeet Ridon, Associate Dean, International and DMU Dubai Provost
Dr Meera Warrier, Head of Policy Governance and Research Student Services
Dr Momodou Sallah, Director, Centre for Academic Innovation
Professor Bertha Ochieng, Integrated Health and Social Care
Professor Richard Hall, Education and Technology
Professor Siobhan Keenan, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation
Professor Stuart Price, Media and Political Discourse
Vanessa Haye, Project Manager, Leicester’s Future Leaders
Kaushika Patel, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Professor Simon Oldroyd, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean, Health and Life Sciences