#Black Lives Matter: Dare to Diva Statement & Anti-Racism Information Resources

#BlackLivesMatter Dare to Diva stands in solidarity, with all those who have lost their lives, along with  the suffering endured by their loved ones and communities. Due to police brutality and injustice.  The list is far too long, of Black People who have lost their lives, due to Police Brutality and Injustice, USA Ahmaud Aubrey George Floyd, Belly Mujinga, Breaonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, in the UK  Cherry Groce, Tony McDade, Mark Duggan, the list goes  on, with countless other cases, we haven’t heard about in the media.

This sadly continues to this very day. We all have to confront terrible manifestations, of wider systemic racism, anti-black racism coupled with white supremacy and white privilege.  We have piles of reports gathering dust, that evidence the inequality, disparities, and injustice,  Black deaths in police custody etc poor health and educational outcomes etc..  Her in Britain from over  many decades . It now time to change the conversation and take  action. To challenge and be proactively anti -racist  and make significant change now.

#The Black Lives Matter campaign continues it has been re -kindled, with the  recent world wide protests in the wake of the George Floyd killing by Police in USA. We need to ‘seize the time’ to maintain the momentum, long after the headlines of protests. With this in mind there are e links below this text, information resources to read and share with colleagues, associates and friends.

To educate ourselves further, to begin the the process of deep reflection, to be actively anti-racist, in what ever, context, sphere or way we can. especially in the arts cultural and heritage sector that i work in. There is also a template, for a letter to  the Education Minister Gavin Williamson, to  make for a Black Curriculum for all our children, to address Britain’s hidden historical narratives about itself as a nation. Now is the time!

Carol Leeming MBE FRSA  Director Dare to Diva

List of Resources BLM

List of Resources BLMLinks for White Allies

Will you contact Gavin Williamson




Carol Leeming MBE – One of the Contributors For An Important Black Arts & Culture Book by Serendipity Arts Launched Windrush Day 22nd 2020

04077_Serendipity_Reflections_Cover_Final-01-1536x1536Carol Leeming MBE is very proud to be one of the contributors, for an important book  published by Serendipity Arts  launched Windrush Day June 22nd 2020.  The book features a stellar group of contributors, as this new Serendipity Arts publication brings forth the contributions of Black people in Arts, Culture and Heritage, from a British and European perspective, rendering them visible. It explores historical and contemporary contexts and how these are expressed in various art forms. Reflections includes a paper by Professor Stephen Small which delves further into the cultural implications around Windrush.

All of the above with regard to this important publication, is most timely, with both the Celebration each year Windrush Day 22nd June and recent  shocking events that have re-invigorated the #BlackLivesMatter movement . This was triggered by the death of George Floyd  in USA, as a victim of Police Brutality, which led to continuing World wide protests. In addition to statements of solidarity, there have been strident calls for action to address longstanding issues of systemic racism, that impacts Black People in USA, Britain and elsewhere in the world.  The global conversation is underway in earnest, and its terms, the way it is articulated has changed, with more of a focus on White people to reflect and understand their white privilege thorough avid and appropriate reading and other resources: as to how they can  understand and change systems that perpetuate racism, inequality and disparities, together with being proactively anti-racist, across all areas of society of and how to be an ally to Black people, to implement strategies to challenge racism effectively.

This book will be a must have for those working  in Arts Culture & Heritage, both in academia and the sector. It has arrived at a time when the Arts Cultural & Heritage, is facing the challenge of the Covid 19, its current and  future impact. This pivotal moment therefore is a further opportunity, by arts cultural & Heritage institutions, to address the many decades of evidenced racism in the sector,  in terms of injustice, indifference and neglect, with regard to Black Arts Cultural & Heritage, its  critical role and contribution to 21st century Britain. Order the book here https://serendipity-uk.com/product/reflections-cultural-voices-of-black-british-irrepressible-resilience/










Dare to Diva Covid 19 Lockdown-DMU Remote Teaching Successful Freelance Projects Impacts & #Black Lives Matter

Carol Leeming, along with colleagues at De Montfort University, has been working  p/time remotely with Students online during the Covid 19 Lockdown period from March 2020 to the end of term.   Throughout this period also, Carol has continued to work remotely online via video meetings, online project management platforms, via phone and email, working as an Arts Consultant for a client a Leicester Arts Group that work with Children specifically.

All work flows at times have been ad hoc, and there have been real challenges and steep learning curves. Carol like many other self employed arts cultural practitioners,  accessed successfully the HMRC Self Employed Income Support Scheme, due to the loss of other freelance work from the arts cultural sector which is closed down.

However Carol has completed some very short pieces of work , in roles as follows: as Host for the launch of an online Festival 2 Funky Urban Music Festival in May 2020 with pre-recorded performances of an all Women Music Artist Line Up. it was a great success with significantly large online audience of 700 viewers and very large audiences across the whole festival, with viewings continuing via Youtube.

From June 20th 2020 Carol also is the Host (filmed) for 2 Funky Music Cafe Virtual Concert Series which includes 12 Bands online pre-recorded performances each Saturday night evening over a 12 week period. It anticipated to also attract  good numbers in terms of an online audience in comparison to numbers in a live venue context.

The current situation overall, remains difficult and unclear as to the arts cultural sector, which is at a stand still due to Covid 19 regarding the country as a whole. In particular as to arts organisations,  venues, theatres, offices etc. re-opening. All of which is dependent on the latest Government advice as to any likely easing of restrictions e.g. social distancing etc.This  in turn is dependent on the reduction of levels of infection across the country, delivery of testing, track and trace, alongside effective treatments and vaccines.

Overall mid term to long term planning therefore is difficult, creating anxiety, in this challenging current economic situation.  We can but wait and see to plan as best as we can for the future,  it is clear for the short term, Carol will be working more from home and online, which also shapes the way how she works going forward.

in recent weeks the Black Lives Matter Campaign has been re-ignited worldwide in the wake of the yet another tragic, brutal and callous killing by the Police of a Black man George Floyd in USA. This has had a seismic effect across the world and protests continue. More importantly it has re-vigorated, the discourse around  systemic racism as a white issue to address, and the need for change, the urgent need for dismantling  wholesale of systemic racism .

This demand has been clearly articulated and demonstrated with widespread protests, and messages of solidarity with #Black Lives Matter here across the  UK. We have witnessed the overspill of frustration of years of  inaction, and seen in response some small changes, by institutions, or large organisations as an initial response, but there is so much more to do, than statements or one-off actions now and in the future. It is unclear how  #Black LivesMatter campaign will impact the UK arts cultural sector, together with the impact of Covid 19 Lockdown as we all move forwards.