Baton Awards set for November

The event is the highly respected platform for recognising young BAME women in Britain

ALL SMILES: Baton Award winner Brenda Emmanus with The Voice's executive director, Paulette Simpson (right)

NOMINATIONS HAVE now closed for the second annual Baton Awards to be held at The House of Lords on November 28.

Hundreds of nominations were submitted to celebrate BAME women of past, present and future.

Endorsed by Lord Hastings, the Baton Awards is the highly respected platform for recognising BAME young women in Britain.

Among last year’s winners were a young inspirational speaker who recovered from a coma, a children’s coordinator for musical The Lion King, a British Bangladeshi former boxer, and a domestic abuse survivor.

Those are just a handful of the incredible women celebrated at last year’s inaugural ceremony, which was held at the Houses of Parliament and gathered an impressive host of key influencers that included Vanessa Vallely OBE, Maggie Semple OBE and Heather Melville OBE; CCMI.

Lord Hastings said of the event: “The Baton Awards is a wonderful moment to recognise genuine and consistent commitment from individuals who are fighting to build a stronger more generous society.

“I was thrilled to discover the Baton Awards and honoured to get involved in enabling better recognition of people’s character as well as BAME activity and in my own small way, to add to the founders compelling effort, my humble respect and appreciation.”

In 2019, BAME women are living, learning and negotiating their lives in an increasingly complex and challenging world.

This has left a huge need for BAME women, who play a crucial role in modern Britain, to be encouraged, empowered and inspired. This is where The Baton Awards 2019 comes in.

The Racism Ruins Lives study has recently found that a majority of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers have experienced racial harassment at work in the last five years or believe they have been treated unfairly by their employer because of their race. 

At the same time, The Global Shapers new report reveals that London’s BAME women are suffering a ‘double disadvantage’ in the workplace.

Baton Awards founder, Diahanne Rhiney said: “Racism remains a widespread issue in everyday life for BAME women in the UK and the world over as we continue to be served a ‘double disadvantage’ particularly in education and industry.

“Last year, I was humbled to see so many female BAME women achieving extraordinary success despite adversity, barriers and inequality.

“This year, the second annual Baton Awards is needed more than ever as we work to celebrate, empower and acknowledge our vital BAME female community.”

Rhiney is well qualified to stage the event. She is a NatWest Every Woman Award winner and TEDX speaker has been awarded a British Citizen Award for her positive contribution to empowering young people.

Nominations were accepted from all over Britain, with a special category for global submissions, in 14 categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Third Sector of the Year, Thought Leader of the Year, and STEM trailblazer.

The Baton Awards will take place on November 28 within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, the international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

The inaugural event raised more than £1,800 for children’s domestic abuse charity Strength Within Me foundation (SWIM), a non-profit organisation, providing comprehensive intervention in response to the prevalence of domestic abuse among young girls and women.

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