The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre team

Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry, Director SLRC

PERRYK

Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry serves as Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University where she is also a Reader in History.

Prior to her appointment at De Montfort, she was an Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the African & African American Studies Program at East Carolina University in the USA. 

Her research interests include Black British history, transnational race politics, Black women’s history, archives of Black Europe, and anti-racist movements for citizenship, recognition and social justice throughout the African Diaspora.

She has published widely, including a book-length study on African Caribbean migration to Britain following World War II titled London Is The Place For Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford Press, 2016). 

Currently she is researching histories of state-crafted racial violence in the UK and completing a book manuscript tentatively titled, David Oluwale’s Britain:  A Political History of Black Life, Race and the State.

Kennetta tweets at @KennettaPerry

Dr Lisa Palmer, Deputy Director SLRC

Pic - Lisa Palmer

Dr Lisa Amanda Palmer is the Deputy 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 PicMonica 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

Sherilyn2Sherilyn 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.

Sajidah Ali, Administrative Coordinator

sajidah-ali

Sajidah Ali is an administrative and operations professional with over 6 years’ experience working in the third sector and Higher Education. She brings to this role strong experience in programme and project administration. She has worked both internationally on projects in Bosnia, nationally in Westminster and locally with communities in Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester. Driven by her commitment to social justice and community empowerment, Sajidah is keen to continue learning through her role at SLRC and contributing towards creating a more open, equal and progressive society.

She holds a BA in International Relations and a Diploma in Project Management.

Sajidah is also an independent social researcher and freelance writer, with core interests in amplifying voices within Muslim communities. Outside of work but not separate from her interests, Sajidah enjoys understanding new cultures through food and literature.

Rayann Bryan, Research Assistant

rayann-bryan

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.

Keeley Close, Frontrunner

Keeley Close is currently a second year LLB (Hons) Law, Human Rights and Social Justice student. She started her internship with the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre in October 2020, with a focus on student engagement. A key part of her role is developing strategies to translate and communicate the centre’s work in a variety of ways that will connect with students.

Keeley previously studied Sociology and Government and Politics at A-Level in Birmingham which explored social inequalities in society in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Studying these subjects fuelled her interest in these topics and was the motivating factor for her to apply for and successfully achieve a placement with the SLRC.

Academic affiliates

Dr Amina Easat-Daas

Amina

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

Chris Roy Zembe Photo (002)

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 @czed1970

Shardia Briscoe-Palmer, Early Career Academic Fellow

Shardia Briscoe-Palmer is an early career academic fellow at De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom. Shardia’s research specialisms intersect across the politics of gender, race and social injustices. She currently teaches within the Leicester Media School a second-year module on Race and Media, exposing the discriminative and influential nature of the industry.

Shardia has a 15-year employment history working with young people and the community. Employed previously in project management, Shardia has experience working on issues including knife crime and gang culture, gender-based violence, child exploitation, sex and relationships, deprivation and more.

Shardia is completing her doctorate at the University of Birmingham in political science and international studies. 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. She is a strong advocate on why and how race and its intersections must be addressed adequately in the discipline.

She can be found at: www.shardiabpalmer.wordpress.com or via Twitter @ShardiaBPalmer

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.

PhD Researchers

Camille London-Miyo, PhD Researcher

camille-london-miyo

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

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.

SLRC Academic Advisory Committee

Professor David Mba, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise 

Chris Hall, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 

Fiona Dick, Head of Sport 

Professor Jo Richardson, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation 

Katharine Short, Special Collections Manager 

Dr Manjeet Ridon, Associate Dean, International 

Dr Meera Warrier, Head of Policy Governance and Research Student Services 

Dr Momodou Sallah, Director, Centre for Academic Innovation 

Dr Raimi Gbadamosi, Head of Fine Art 

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 

Yasmin Ali, Deputy Director, Strategic and International Partnerships

 
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