Reach Society
Reach Society


Professor David Olusoga OBE

David Adetayo Olusoga OBE was born in 1970 and is a British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and film-maker. He is Professor of Public History at the University of
Manchester. He has presented historical documentaries on the BBC and contributed to The One Show, a BBC daily programme, and The Guardian newspaper.

Early life and education: Olusoga was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and British mother. At five years old, Olusoga migrated to the UK with his mother and grew up
in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. He was one of a very few non-white people living on
a council estate. By the time he was 14, the National Front had attacked his house on more than one occasion, requiring police protection for him and his family. They were eventually forced to leave as a result of these racist attacks. He later attended the University of Liverpool to study the history of slavery, and in 1994, graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in History; followed by a postgraduate course in broadcast journalism at Leeds Trinity University.

Career: Olusoga began his TV career behind the camera, first as a researcher on the 1999 BBC series Western Front. Realising that Black people were much less visible in the media and historically, Olusoga became a producer of history programmes after university, working from 2005 on programmes such as Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich, The Lost Pictures of Eugene Smith and Abraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner?.

Subsequently he became a television presenter, beginning in 2014 with The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire, about the Indian, African and Asian troops who fought in the First World War, followed by several other documentaries and appearances on BBC
One television's The One Show.

In 2015 it was announced that he would co-present Civilisations, a sequel to Kenneth Clark's 1969 television documentary series Civilisation, alongside the historians Mary
Beard and Simon Schama. His most recent TV series include Black and British: A Forgotten History, The World's War, A House Through Time and the BAFTA award-winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.

Olusoga has written stand-alone history books as well as ones to accompany his TV series. He is the author of the 2016 book Black and British: A Forgotten History, which was awarded both the Longman–History Today Trustees Award 2017 and the PEN Hessell-Tiltman
Prize 2017.

His other books include The World’s War, which won First World War Book of the Year in 2015, The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism (2011) which he co-authored with Casper Erichsen, and Civilisations (2018). He was also a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Black British History, and has written for The Guardian, The Observer, New Statesman and BBC History magazine. Since June 2018 he has been a member of the board of the Scott Trust, which publishes The Guardian.

Powerlist: Olusoga was included in the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Powerlist, an annual ranking of the 100 most influential Black Britons. In the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. Olusoga was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (or OBE) for services to history and to community integration.

Professorship: On appointing him as a professor in 2019, the University of Manchester described him as an expert on military history, empire, race and slavery, and "one of the

UK's foremost historians". In May 2019 Olusoga gave his inaugural professorial lecture on "Identity, Britishness and the Windrush" at the University of Manchester.

In response to the global Black Lives Matter movement with protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American by the Minnesota Police in the USA,
Olusoga's Black and British: A Forgotten History was re-broadcast on the BBC and made available on BBC Player] along with several other documentaries fronted by him.

Desert Island Discs: In January 2021, Olusoga appeared on BBC Radio 4's, Desert Island Discs, where he discussed his childhood experiences of racism and his love of Blues music. Among his choices of music were "Can't Blame the Youth" by Bob Marley and the
Wailers and "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" by Blind Willie Johnson. His luxury item was an acoustic guitar and his choice of book was The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: An Age Like This, 1920–40.

Professor Dame Donna Kinnair DBE

Professor Dame Donna Kinnair DBE is a British nurse and has been Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (or RCN) since August 2018. She has specialised in child protection, providing leadership in major hospital trusts in London, teaching, and advising on legal and governmental committees.

She initially pursued a maths degree but decided not to complete it. She later returned to education having been encouraged by an occupational health nurse to take up nursing. Kinnair credits her experience growing up with an asthmatic father with showing her the impact nursing could have on people. She attended the Princess Alexandra School of Nursing at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel in 1983 to train as a nurse.

Following her training, Kinnair worked with HIV and intensive care patients in east London. She subsequently worked as a health visitor in Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets and pursued further studies, gaining a master's degree in medical law and ethics. Her new qualifications led her to focus on child protection in south London. Notably, she was one of four expert advisers in the 2001 Laming inquiry into the death of eight year old Victoria Climbié.

Kinnair has held several senior positions in the healthcare sector including the following:

o Strategic Commissioner for Children's Services
at Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham health authority;

o Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust;

o Executive Director of Nursing, southeast London Cluster Board; and
o Director of Commissioning, London Borough of Southwark and Southwark Primary Care


Further to her positions in the healthcare sector, Kinnair has taught medical law, ethics and child protection in many countries including Britain, New Zealand, Russia and Kenya.

In 2008, Kinnair was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2008 Birthday Honours.

In addition she has provided advice to the UK government on nursing and midwifery through her work with the prime minister's commission in 2010.

In 2015, Kinnair was appointed Head of Nursing of the Royal College of Nursing (or RCN), after which she was promoted to Director for Nursing, Policy and Practice in 2016.

In August 2018, she was appointed acting Chief Executive and General Secretary before being confirmed on a permanent basis in April 2019.

In 2020, Kinnair was recognised for her influence, having been listed in the 2020 Powerlist, which is an annual listing of the 100 most influential Britons of African and African Caribbean background.

Leroy Logan MBE

Leroy Logan was born in Islington, London, to Jamaican parents. Logan attended Hackney Community College where he studied A-levels in biology, chemistry and physics. After leaving school, he attended the University of East London, from 1976 to 1980, where he earned a BSc degree in Applied Biology. In 2013, the University of East London awarded him an honourary PhD for his services to policing.

Logan is a British author known for his significant contributions to policing in the UK. He was both a founding member of the Black Police Association and its chairman for 30 years.

Logan left the Metropolitan Police at the rank of superintendent having been involved in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, the inquiry into the killing of Damilola Taylor and the organisation of the London 2012 Olympics.

In 2020, Logan released his first book ‘Closing Ranks, My Life as a Cop’ which detailed his time as a senior police officer in London. In the winter of the 2020, a programme
called Small Axe (an anthology series created by Sir Steve McQueen, the renowned British director) was aired on British television. Part three of this five part series, which dramatised Logan's time in the Metropolitan police service, aired on BBC One in the UK and Amazon Prime in the United States. Logan was played by the renowned actor John Boyega.

Personal life and career: Logan was awarded a six figure sum in 2003 by the Metropolitan Police following an investigation over a hotel bill. His autobiography Closing Ranks: My Life as a Cop was published in 2020.

Logan joined the police force in 1983, having previously worked as a research scientist. He was inspired to join the police after witnessing two officers assaulting his father.

He was described by The Voice newspaper as "one of the Black officers who helped change the Met." In 2000, Logan was awarded an MBE for his work in advancing policing.

As chairman of the Black Police Association he was involved in the Stephen Lawrence enquiry and the enquiry into the killing of Damilola Taylor. In 2013, Logan retired from the Metropolitan police service; and he remains an executive member of the National Black Police Association and a founder member of the Black Police Association Charitable Trust.

Lord Simon Woolley, Baron Woolley of Woodford

Simon A. Woolley, Baron Woolley of Woodford, Knight Bachelor (or Kt) is a political and equalities activist. He has a first degree in Spanish and Politics from Middlesex University; and a Master of Arts, post graduate degree, in Hispanic Literature from Queen Mary University of London. He is the founder and director of Operation Black Vote (or OBV) and the Advisory Chair of the UK’s Race Disparity Unit.

Woolley become engaged in British politics by joining the campaign group Charter 88. He started to research the potential impact of the Black community vote, which Woolley argued could influence electoral outcomes in marginal seats. These findings encouraged him to launch OBV in 1996.

The OBV launched voter registration campaigns, an App to inspire and inform Black and minority ethnic (or BME) individuals; and it worked with Saatchi & Saatchi on a pro bono advertising campaign. Woolley also worked to empower communities and to introduce better politics education into the school curriculum.

The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation estimated that Woolley's OBV efforts encouraged millions of people to vote. Much of his work has been around nurturing BME civic and political talent. The then Home Secretary Theresa May, said in a 2016 Westminster speech: "Today we celebrate a record number of BME MPs in Parliament, 41. British politics and British society greatly benefits when we can utilise diversity’s teaming talent pool. That’s why today we are announcing that in the months ahead we will begin a new MP and business shadowing scheme."

In 2008, the Government Equalities Office released Woolley's report, “How to achieve better BME political representation.” Woolley was appointed in 2009 to the Commissioner for Equality and Human Rights Commission (or EHRC).

He launched two governmental investigations, including REACH, which looked to tackle the alienation of black youth, as well as working with Harriet Harman MP on the political representation of BME women. He worked with Bernie Grant MP, Al Sharpton (US community leader) and Naomi Campbell (a super model) and Jesse Jackson (a US community leader) on grassroots campaigns highlighting racial discrimination.

In 2017 OBV, the Guardian newspaper and Green Park Ltd launched the “Colour of Power,” to date the most in-depth look at the racial make-up of Britain's top jobs across 28 sectors that dominate British society. The results were reported in The Guardian: "Barely 3% of Britain’s most powerful and influential people are from BME groups, according to a broad new analysis that highlights startling inequality despite decades of legislation to address discrimination."

He has called for local councillors to become more diverse, after it emerged that of the 200 councillors in South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, and North Somerset, not one was from a BME background.

In May 2019, Woolley and OBV launched a ground-breaking report into more than 130 key local authorities that emphasised the lack of BME representation. In over

one third of them, many with sizeable BME populations, they either had no or just one BME councillor.

Along with former Downing Street advisors - Nick Timothy and Will Tanner - Woolley is seen as the inspiration and one of the architects for the Government’s Race Disparity Unit, and became its Advisory Chair.

He has worked with the Open Source Foundation on their global drugs policy projects. He secured £90 million of funding to encourage disadvantaged young people into work. When OBV started, there were just 4 BME MPs; but as of 2019, there are more than 50.

Woolley has received a number of awards and honours as shown below:

He was included in the annual Black Powerlist every year since 2012.
He was selected as one of the Evening Standard's Most Influential People in 2010.
In 2010 and 2011 he was selected as one of the Daily Telegraph's 100 Most Influential People.
In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his equality efforts from the University of Westminster.
He received a Knighthood (Kt) in the June 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to race equality.
He was nominated for a life peerage, sitting as a Crossbencher in the House of Lords, by the Prime Minister Theresa May in her 2019 Resignation Honours List.
On 14 October 2019 he was created Baron Woolley of Woodford in the London Borough of Redbridge.

David Waboso CBE

David has led £multi-billion infrastructure and technology programmes in the UK and internationally, across both the private and public sectors. His expertise spans rail, water supply, commercial buildings, highways and power, gained at executive director and Board level.

Born in London, David went to secondary school in Gloucester and obtained degrees in engineering from Coventry and Imperial College then initially taught Mathematics in east London before working on transportation and water supply projects across UK and West Africa.

Thereafter he was recruited as Project Manager for the Docklands Light Railway which introduced him to high-technology train control systems and was then asked to join the Jubilee Line Extension where he led delivery and integration of the programme into operation in time for the politically critical millennium celebrations.

In 2003 he held the position in Government as an executive Director of the Strategic Rail Authority leading £3.5Billion cross-industry programmes and was the UK representative on the European Rail Agency, as well as being a non-executive director (or NED) of the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

For eleven years, from 2005, he was at London Underground firstly as Director of Engineering then Capital Programmes, leading delivery into operation of the £10Billion tube upgrade plan (at that time the largest in the tube’s history) through a variety of public private partnerships (or PPP) and in-house arrangements.

His most recent executive position, from 2016 to19, was Managing Director of the UK’s Digital Railway, leading the rail industry parties on the multi £Billion replacement of analogue technology with digital systems. In 2019 David retired and moved into non- executive roles. He currently sits as a NED on the boards of Thames Water and HPC.

His professional memberships and awards include the following: Chartered Engineer; Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers; Fellow of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers; Hon Fellow of the Association for Project Management; and Fellowship to the City and Guilds Institute; UK Project Manager of the Year (1996); President of the International Organisation of Metro Railways (2007); a national honour the CBE (2014); Leader of the Year in the Manufacturing and Infrastructure section of the Black British Business Awards (2014); President of the Association for Project Management (2015-19); and listed in the 100 most influential BAME leaders in tech, as featured in the Financial Times (2019).

Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE OD VLL

Beverly Lindsay was born in St Thomas, Jamaica and came to Birmingham as a teenager to complete her secondary education. She started a career in nursing and midwifery and then moved on to work as a senior community officer in Handsworth, and also in the financial services industry before founding a travel agency in 1987.

Lindsay, became a deputy lieutenant (or DL) November 2013, and four years later was appointed to the post of Vice Lord-Lieutenant (VLL) in July 2017.

Lindsay said: "I am humbled and overwhelmed to be appointed as the Vice Lord- Lieutenant of the West Midlands. To be even considered for this role ranks as a milestone in my professional and community engagement life. It is an honour that I embrace on behalf of the community and my family.”

Lindsay lives in Birmingham and is a long-standing member of the New Testament Church of God (or NTCG). She became a member of The Rotary Club of Birmingham in 1997; and she was named a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’, the highest award by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 2009. She served as its president in 2012/13.

Lindsay is the founder and general manager of Diamond Travel, one of Birmingham’s leading independent travel agencies established more than 30 years ago. She is also a member of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

In 2008, Lindsay was awarded a national honour, the Order of Distinction (OD) by the Jamaican government; and in 2009 she became a trustee of the Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK.

In 2011, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “services to business and to the community in Birmingham.”

On 20 July 2017, Lindsay was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Aston University for her community work and business success as the CEO of Diamond Travel; and a week later Birmingham City University's (BCU) honoured her with an Honorary Doctorate for her earlier career in nursing and midwifery, her work within the travel industry and her longstanding community involvement.

Baroness Valerie Amos CH

Valerie Ann Amos was born March 1954 in Guyana, South America. She is a British politician and diplomat who served as the 8th UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Before her appointment to the UN, Amos served as British High Commissioner to Australia. She was created a Labour Life Peer in 1997, as Baroness Amos of Brondesbury in the London Borough of Brent. She also became Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council.

When Amos was appointed Secretary of State for International Development in May 2003, she became the first Black woman to sit in the Cabinet of the UK. In July 2010 Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon announced Baroness Amos's appointment to the role of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. She took up the position in September 2010 and remained in post for roughly 5 years. In September 2015 Amos was appointed Director of SOAS, University of London, becoming the first Black woman of Caribbean background to lead a university in the UK.

In the summer of 2019 Amos was appointed the new Master of University College in Oxford. She will take up the post in August 2020, following Sir Ivor Crewe’s retirement after 12 years in the role. Baroness Amos will be the first female Master of University College and the first Black person to head an Oxford College.

In 1976 Amos completed a degree in Sociology at the University of Warwick and also later took courses in cultural studies at the University of Birmingham and the University of East Anglia. After working in Equal Opportunities, Training and Management Services in local government in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Camden and Hackney, Amos served for roughly 5 years as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1989.

In 1995 Amos co-founded Amos Fraser Bernard and was an adviser to the South African government on public service reform, human rights and employment equity. Amos has also been Deputy Chair of the Runnymede Trust, from 1990 to 1998; a Trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research; a non-executive Director of the University College London Hospitals Trust; a Trustee of Voluntary Services Overseas; Chair of the Afiya Trust; Member of the board of the Sierra Leone Titanium Resources Group; a director of Hampstead Theatre; and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Royal College of Nursing Institute.

Amos is currently a board member of the MasterCard Foundation; the United Nations Foundation; the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative; the Institute for Government; and Universities UK. She is also a trustee of the Grenfell Foundation and patron of the Amos Bursary.

Martin P. Griffiths DL

Born in South-east London to Jamaican parents, Martin is a consultant vascular and trauma surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust where he is the Lead for Trauma Surgery, Educational Lead for Surgery, and the Trauma Network lead for violence reduction.

He trained at the Medical School of St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he graduated with a distinction in Surgery.  He has lived and worked in London most of his life.

He teaches undergraduate medical students at Barts & Brighton medical schools and teaches on the faculty of numerous courses at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

He is a passionate advocate of diversity and equality has worked in the community to promote this for over 15 years. He was recently appointed as the first Ambassador to the Mary Seacole Trust. This charity celebrates the life and achievements of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican born nurse who treated troops in the Crimean War, and promotes her as a role model, tackling social challenges and inequality with a focus on youth engagement and the promotion of good citizenship.

He has been working with schools for more than 20 years to reduce gun and knife violence and was recently appointed to the Violent Crime Prevention Board, under the leadership of Dr Neville Lawrence. The VCP Board seek to challenge the attitudes around interpersonal injury in London.

He set up the first in country integrated ward-based violence reduction service at Barts Health supporting the victims of knife and gun injury, which has had spectacular success in reducing retaliation and violent reoffending in this group of vulnerable young people.

He was awarded the Hero Doctor Award at the recent NHS Heroes Awards, for his role in caring for people injured in the 2017 London Bridge terror attack.  He was named by the Evening Standard as one of the 1000 Most Influential Londoners, and gave the keynote address at the NHS70 celebration at Westminster Abbey in 2018.

In 2019 he became a Deputy Lieutenant (or DL) of Greater London serving with Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.

Sir Lewis Hamilton MBE

Lewis Hamilton, MBE was born July 1985 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England to a father born in Grenada and white mother born in England. Hamilton is a British racing driver who races in Formula One (or F1) for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. A six-time F1 World Champion, the most for any British driver, Hamilton is considered to be the best driver of his generation, and widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers in the history of the sport.

Hamilton won his first World Championship title with McLaren in 2008, then moved to Mercedes where he won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015 before winning 3 more titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019 making him one of the most successful F1 drivers of all time.

Statistically the most successful British driver in the history of the sport, Hamilton has more race victories than any other British driver in F1, and holds records for the all-time most career points, the most wins at different circuits, the all-time most pole positions and the most grand slams in a season.

Hamilton is the first and only Black driver to race in F1. In his first season he set numerous records as he finished runner-up in the 2007 F1 Championship to Kimi Räikkönen, by just one point. He set records for the most consecutive podium finishes from debut (9), the joint most wins in a debut season (4) and the most points in a debut season (109).

In his second season Hamilton won his first F1 World Championship in dramatic fashion; on the last corner of the last lap in the last race of the season, becoming the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren Hamilton signed with Mercedes AMG Petronas for the 2013 season when he finished 4th once again, the third time in five years. His next 6 years with Mercedes were simply historic. He won his sixth F1 World Championship in 2019 which puts him just one fewer than Michael Schumacher.

Dr Nira Chamberlain, FIMA

Dr Nira Chamberlain is a professional mathematician who is listed by the Powerlist 2018 as the 5th most influential person in the UK’s Black community.
He is listed by the Science Council as “one of the UK’s top 100 Scientist” and in 2015 joined the elite list of distinguish mathematicians who featured in the biographical reference book Who’s Who, becoming the first Black mathematician to do so since 1849. 
He is the Vice President, of Professional Affairs and Industry, of the Institute of Mathematics and Application (IMA) and is a Visiting Fellow of Loughborough University’s Mathematical Sciences Department. He is one of the few British Mathematicians to feature in the Encyclopedia of Mathematics & Society for two of his industrial mathematical models.
He has over 25 years of experience of writing mathematical models and simulation algorithms that solve complex industrial and engineering problems. He developed mathematical solutions within industrial sectors such as defence, aerospace, automotive and energy. He has worked in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Israel. 
During his career he has chaired and organized a mini-symposium at an international mathematical modelling conference. He has been invited to speak at a number of prestigious conferences such as the New Scientist's Instant Expert: The Mathematical World and the London International Science Youth Forum.
He is the author of the paper - Long multiplication and percentages without a calculator - which is based on a method he invented, while teaching at an Inner-city Saturday school. As part of the National Higher Education STEM Programme project he recorded a video of his career – Being a Professional Mathematician - for use as resource material for the undergraduate mathematics curriculum.
He supports a number of charities most notably of which are: Speakers for Schools, Target Oxbridge and Reach Society.