We stand on the shoulders of the giants who have fought anti-Black racism for decades in Britain.
BEO brings a committed and diverse staff team together with experienced Black leaders from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds, including law, business, media, culture, private and public sector in service to Black Britain. Our structure reflects the different expertise and talents of our richly diverse team.
Their long history of service to helping Black people and burning desire for fresh and radical changes in this country will enable us to achieve our vision.
Siobhan co-founded Conservatives Against Racism, for Equality, Britain’s first centre-right organisation dedicated to race-relations, during the pandemic. A Tory Reform Group Board Member and Deputy Chair Political of Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association, she is an active campaigner for the Party and has stood twice in London Council elections. Outside of politics she is a governor at St. Jude’s Church of England Primary School in Elephant and Castle, London.
Siobhan works in the automotive industry advising on trade related regulatory and compliance matters, developing strategy and policy, across EMEA, North America and APAC. She is the chair of the UK automotive trade body’s International Trade Working Group and sits on various UK, EU and US associations’ trade committees, consulting governments and policy makers.
Akec is a young historian, writer and speaker. His main areas of focus are climate change, youth violence and racial inequality. He’s written for the Guardian, Independent, Huffpost, Huck magazine and other national newspapers. He’s been profiled by The Times and was a cover star for i-D magazine’s 40th anniversary up and rising profile of Black activists, writers, photographers and actors. Athian has spoken in the House of Commons as a member of the UK Youth Parliament. Athian previously served on the board of a youth charity and commission in Camden focusing on economic renewal following the pandemic, and was a special advisor to a Parliamentary inquiry into the teaching of Black history in British schools. Athian was published by Penguin in September 2021 as a part of the “Black Joy ” collection with an essay on the Black British cultural renaissance. Much of Athian’s new work is focused on highlighting forgotten aspects of Black history whether through the parliamentary inquiry, in TV features such as the AlJazeera Generation Change episode or through writing articles such as his 2020 opinion piece published in Esquire Magazine entitled “To Address Systemic Racism, We Need A New History Curriculum or Jordan’s “Black history Month celebrating heritage series” which highlighted the importance of remembering forgotten Black British history.
Karen is a proven business leader with a track record in creating vibrant cultures, energising teams, and consistently delivering business growth and success. She is U.K. Country Manager for WPP, the world’s largest marketing services group, and U.K. CEO of GroupM, the world’s leading media investment company.
Responsible for driving growth in WPP’s second largest market of 10,000 people, as GroupM UK CEO, Karen managed the business at a critical time during the COVID global pandemic and the subsequent impact of the killing of George Floyd.
In June 2014, Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours and topped the Power List, being the first businesswoman to come in at number 1. Karen has recently been appointed NED for Diageo (FTSE Top 100 company) and was a former NED of The Cabinet Office.
Karen is a single mum of a beautiful 12-year-old boy, Isaac. The daughter of 2 Bajan parents, Karen regularly returns to her spiritual “home” Barbados and spends her weekends enjoying the outdoors and walking her two adorable dogs Bob Marley and Missy Elliot.
Mark Boisson is a qualified accountant with vast experience especially in the charity and education sectors, where he held senior positions. He has also worked in commerce as well as with a trade union. Mark is currently the Director of Finance & Resources of Hackney Council for Voluntary Service, a role he has undertaken in other organisations for several years.
Mark sits on two schools governing bodies and is a trustee and the treasurer of Hackney Foodbank. He also held previous board roles including in housing, an NHS mental health trust, and a college. Mark is a keen ‘carnivalist’ for which he attributes to his Caribbean roots.
Michelle is an activist leading on disability justice on the national and international platforms. Michelle’s work has involved producing research for Greater London Authority (GLA) as part of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Bicentennial on the experience of Enslaved African Disabled People and the role they played in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Michelle has written for Huffpost titled ‘Rise Up Against The Harm And Killing Of Disabled Women Through Myths’. She has also contributed to a chapter Social Policy First Hand. An international introduction to participatory social welfare titled Independent living from a Black Disabled Woman’s perspective.
Michelle has a personal website with a focus on the experience of Black Disabled People in Britain. Her most popular blogs are ‘Thank you letter to British Black Disabled Women activist and campaigners’ and ‘The White Man’s Burden – Global Disability Summit personal reflection’.
Michelle is a steering group member of the new Baobab Foundation.
Yvonne Field is the Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, an African Diaspora led social enterprise helping to build more sustainable communities across the UK.
She has spent more than four decades working with individuals, groups and organisations across the UK, the English-speaking Caribbean, Asia, South Africa and mainland Europe. Her work with women, young people and Black and Minoritised communities has created a lifelong commitment to the promotion of social justice, equalities and anti-discriminatory practice.
Yvonne has advised the UK and regional governments on Black and minority ethnic and women’s enterprise and was included in the Nat West Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise (WISE) group in 2018. She has also been on the board of a number of charitable trusts and is a Fellow of the Institute for Learning (FIfL), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and a Churchill Fellow (CF).
Dame Vivian Yvonne Hunt DBE is a senior partner for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in the United Kingdom and Ireland and Chair of the charity Teach First. She is active in a variety of business settings, including the CBI, UK’s Industrial Strategy Council, the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Council, the Trilateral Commission and is the former Chair of BritishAmerican Business. Dame Vivian also serves of the boards of The British Museum, the Southbank Centre, and Chairs the HRH Prince of Wales’ “Seeing is Believing” programme. She has been named as one of the ten most influential black people in Britain by the Powerlist Foundation and one of the thirty most influential people in the City of London by The Financial Times.
Dame Vivian is an alumna of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Warwick, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York and an Honorary Fellowship from University College London (UCL). She was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours for ‘services to the economy and to women in business’.
Kwame Kwei Armah OBE is Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre. He was Artistic Director of Baltimore Centerstage (2011- 2018) and Artistic Director of the Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Senegal (2010), where he wrote and directed the opening ceremony at Senghor stadium. As a playwright, Kwame was the first African Caribbean to have a play produced in London’s West End (Elmina’s Kitchen). His triptych of plays was produced at the National Theatre, where he later created the online resource The Black Play Archive. Kwame was Chancellor of the University of the Arts, London (2010 – 2015). He is a Trustee of the Tate, a Patron of Ballet Black, and The Black Cultural Archives, Chair of Warwick Arts Centre Advisory Board and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. Kwame was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama in 2011, and in 2020 listed as one of 100 Great Black Britons.
David Lammy MP is a British Labour Party politician serving as Member of Parliament for Tottenham since 2000, and was a Government Minister under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He has served as Shadow Foreign & Development Secretary in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet since 2021, and prior to that, Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Lord Chancellor since 2020.
In response to the Home Secretary’s statement on Windrush in the House of Commons, David played a leading role in emphasising the status of the Windrush generation as British citizens and raised the issues facing other Commonwealth citizens who have temporary or indefinite leave to remain.
David has regularly been included in the Powerlist as one of the most influential people in the UK of African/African-Caribbean descent, including the most recent editions published in 2020 and 2021.
Ric Lewis is a British businessman. He is a founding partner of Tristan Capital Partners, a British property investment firm, and its predecessor, Curzon Global Partners (1998–2008). He is also the founder and chairman of a registered charity, the Black Heart Foundation, dedicated to supporting initiatives that improve educational benefits for under-resourced young people and providing opportunity to those who are otherwise denied it. Each year, it provides several educational scholarships to young people in need in the UK and abroad. At present, the Foundation has over 80 Black Heart Scholars at 45 different universities, 6 schools and programmes throughout the UK and US. He is also Chair of Impact X which funds Black, Asian and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe.
He ranked 1st in the Powerlist 2019, an annual list of the UK’s most influential people with African or Afro-Caribbean heritage and was ranked second in the Powerlist 2018 and 2017 as well as 10th PERE Global Awards, Industry Figure of the Year: Europe
David Olusoga is a BAFTA winning film-maker, broadcaster and historian. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he studied history and journalism before joining the BBC.
He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester, a columnist for The Observer and the Creative Director of Uplands Television Limited, a Bristol based independent production company.
He presents the long-running BBC history series A House Through Time and is the author of seven books including – Black & British: A Forgotten History, The World’s War, and The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism.
David is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society.
Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon), is a director and Managing Partner at the renowned legal aid practice Birnberg Peirce Solicitors. She has, and continues to, represent individual and families in challenging and high profile cases against the state.
A keen champion of diversity, she has created working environments to enable access for lawyers from marginalised communities, who are least likely to be afforded opportunities within the legal profession.
Marcia has strong sense of leadership with a commitment to social justice. Marcia also has a long history and commitment to the not for profit, charity, and voluntary sector.