03 May ‘Inclusion in the Age of Populism and Nativism’, Jubilee Lecture by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
On Thursday 15 June at 5pm, Regent’s Park College is delighted to be hosting acclaimed columnist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, to deliver a Jubilee lecture: ‘Inclusion in the Age of Populism and Nativism: An Optimistic Take’. This will doubtless be a thoughtful and provocative contribution to our Jubilee series, celebrating the College’s sixtieth anniversary as a dissenting voice within the University of Oxford. Entry is free but numbers are restricted, so please book tickets here.
About Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Alibhai-Brown came to the UK in 1972 from Uganda after completing undergraduate studies at Makerere University, where she passed with an exceptional first class degree in English. She was awarded a scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford, where she obtained an MPhil in 1975.
Now a journalist, she has written for The Guardian, Observer, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Evening Standard, The Mail and other newspapers, and has been a weekly columnist on The Independent for sixteen years. She was the first regular columnist of colour on a national newspaper in the UK, and the first female Muslim. For someone of this background, politically on the left and a committed anti-racist, to find a voice and space in the mainstream media has been challenging and rewarding. She is now also a respected pundit, radio and television broadcaster, appearing regularly on key political and cultural programmes. Currently, she is a weekly columnist on the International Business Times and I newspaper.
For over twenty-five years, Alibhai-Brown has been consulted by institutions and businesses on race and gender equality. She has met and advised politicians, peers and ministers, including David Cameron (Prime Minister, 2010-16), on diversity and inclusion policies in Britain’s complex democracy. She is a regular international public speaker in Britain, other European countries, North America and Asian nations. She is recognised as someone with experience, intellectual rigour and policy expertise by the public sector and private sectors. Campaigning organisations like Liberty and Index Against Censorship have invited her to debate sensitive subjects such as freedom of expression and state authoritarianism from the point of view of an insider/outsider, an important perspective; total commitment to goals can make the most honest campaigners lose sight of diverse viewpoints. She has been awarded several honorary doctorates and is a visiting professor at three universities. She is President of the Institute of Family Therapy and campaign against forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and for the rights of women and girls. In 2013, she was appointed Professor of Journalism (part-time) at Middlesex University.
Alibhai-brown has also authored several books. Her autobiography, No Place Like Home (1990), an account of a rootless migrant, was well received by critics. From 1996 to 2001, she was a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research which published True Colours on the role of government on racial attitudes. Tony Blair launched the book in the House of Commons and his government implemented some of the recommendations. In 2000 came an acclaimed book on the state of the British nation, Who Do We Think We Are?, also published in the USA. She was senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre which published her prescient book, After Multiculturalism, a critique of multicultural policies in a globalised future. In 2001 she published, Mixed Feelings, a book on mixed race Britons, which was highly praised by reviewers; the Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded this book. Her last book, The Settler’s Cookbook (2009), was a food memoir on East African Asians and book of the week on BBC Radio 4; it has been described by critics as ‘groundbreaking’ ‘wonderful’ and ‘elegiac’. She is currently writing a book on England and the east, and was awarded the Winston Churchill travelling fellowship in 2011 to fund her research. She was invited to speak at a prestigious TED salon in London on this work in progress.
In 2001, Alibhai-Brown was appointed an MBE for services to journalism in the new year’s honours list. In 2003, she returned the MBE medal as a protest against the new imperial and illegal war in Iraq. In 2005, she was voted the 10th most influential black/Asian woman in the country in a poll. For three years running, she has been in the Daily Telegraph list of influential media names. In 2007, she co-founded a charity called ‘Muslims for Secular Democracy’, to promote democratic values among young British Muslims. In 2011, she was awarded the Politics and Public service award for journalism by Ed Milliband at the House of Commons. In 2017, she won the Columnist of the Year at the National Press Awards for writing bold columns that ‘get to the heart’ of subjects. This is one of the highest accolades in the newspaper industry.
BBC ASIA Award for Achievement in Writing, 1999
Commission for Racial Equality Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, 2000
EMMA Media Personality of the Year, 2000
Windrush Outstanding Merit Award, 2000
Final shortlist for the Rio Tinto Prize for Journalism, 2001
GG2 Leadership and Diversity Award, Media Personality of the Year, 2001
George Orwell Prize for Political Journalism, 2002
EMMA Award for Journalism, 2004
Public Service Journalism Award, 2011
Columnist of the Year, National Press Awards, 2017