THE QUEEN’S birthday honours list has been revealed. Here are some of the powerful people that have been honoured.
Brenda Emmanus, awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting and diversity
Brenda Emmanus is a familiar face on our TV screens. An former journalist at The Voice newspaper, she was once an arts and features editor at the publication, Emmanus is currently the BBC London News art, culture and entertainment correspondent, a position she’s held for an impressive 17 years.
Her past work includes co-presenting BBC One’s The Clothes Show, regular appearances on This Morning as the fashion and entertainment expert and various radio presenting roles across BBC Radio and Choice FM.
Emmanus, an inspiration to many black women and girls, spoke to The Voice last year about where she gets her inspiration from.
She said: “I am spiritual junkie so my first source of inspiration is God. I pray and meditate for guidance, motivation and to overcome challenges. I am also inspired by strong successful women who have overcome challenges and used their talents for the greater good – Michelle Obama is my ultimate hero; Shonda Rhimes changed my life once I read her book and Oprah inspires me to keep going in my work in the media.”
Nimco Ali, awarded an OBE for services to tackling female genital mutilation and gender inequality
Nimco Ali has been one of the leading faces and voices of the fight against female genital mutilation.
The author of What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway): Women’s Voices from East London to Ethiopia, Ali, who was born in Somalia, co-founded Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation which has helped to transform the approach to ending FGM.
Her efforts to eliminate the horrific practice of cutting that an estimated 3 million girls are at risk of, according to the WHO, have been recognised internationally. In March she was awarded she was awarded the International Women’s Rights Award at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.
Speaking about the impact that eliminating the illegal practice would have, Ali said: “Ending #FGM is not just about protecting girls from being cut. If we #EndFGM we will change how the world works. For the first time in 4,000 years we will have a world where girls are free from harm and their value changed.”
A trustee for Women for Refugee Women and a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party, Ali has been named as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain and one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most powerful.
Dr Nneka Abulokwe, awarded an OBE for services to business
Dr Nneka Abulokwe, founder and CEO of MicroMax Consulting, is an accomplished technologist, senior executive and board director. Throughout her extensive career she has been driven tech innovation with and business transformation initiatives at some of the largest multinational organisations around the world.
She’s previously been named as the fourth most influential BAME tech leader by the Financial Times, and featured on both the 2019 Powerlist 100 most influential black business leaders and the BAME 100 Top Business Executives unveiled in the House of Commons.
Speaking to ICSA about her life-long interest in technology last year, she said: “Early in my life, I spent a lot of my spare time building computers.
“This was back when computers were hand-built and getting to understand the components of computers themselves was a natural pathway into the IT industry.”
Colleen Althea Amos, awarded an OBE for services to community cohesion
The founder and CEO of The Amos Bursary, which works to inspire and develop talented British young people of African and Caribbean descent, staying with them from age 16 through to university graduation, Colleen Althea Amos’ career spans the fields of secondary education, communications and marketing and even TV presenting.
She’s previously worked as head of communications and marketing at The Learning Trust, a position she held for over 9 years, head of internal communications at AXA and corporate communications manager at Dairy Crest.
Amos, who has spent time working in Zimbabwe as well as the UK, currently works as a personal and professional development consultant.
Simon Woolley, awarded a knighthood for his service to race equality
Operation Black Vote director Simon Woolley has been awarded a knighthood for his service to race equality. Speaking to The Voice, he said: “It was a big surprise when the letter came through the mail from the prime minister and I was astonished and humbled and honoured – it’s a great priviledge.”
Alongside his work with OBV, Woolley is a former Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and sits on the Children’ commission panel looking at excluded children.