The Olive Morris Memorial Awards


Friday 2 December 2011, 7.00 €“ 9.30 pm

Karibu Centre, 7 Gresham Road, Brixton, London SW9 7PH

Tickets £3 Inclusive of food




The Olive Morris Memorial Awards have been organised by the Remembering Olive Collective (ROC) to celebrate the legacy of black woman activist Olive Morris. The Awards were created as an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Olive Morris as it lives on in the work of a new generation of young women activists. 


Women aged between 16 and 27 years of age, of African or Asian descent and involved in grassroots political work of any nature were nominated for the awards by their friends, colleagues or mentors.  Of the nominees chosen to receive an award ROC will be honouring the work of:


·     Brenda May Goodchild an artist creating powerful art for the current campaigns against the criminalisation of squatting in England and Wales

·     Ria Hylton involved in the Movement for Justice campaign against the deportation of Edson Comas

·     Mirella working with So We Stand, a UK-wide popular education collective focusing on struggles for environmental and social justice

·     Nim Ralph active on environmental campaigns So We Stand, Climate Camp and with MOSAIC, a member-led black and mixed parentage anti-racist group

·     Rukayah Sarumi, who has organised lectures on black feminism and the history of the women's movement in Britain and is now active in Streatham Labour Party


Each nominee will receive a cheque for £300 in recognition of their political activism.


A further award of £100 to will be presented to 18 years old Iman Hussein for her work in the Guides Movement challenging its lack of diversity and with Roots a self-education Black History collective of 6th form college pupils.


The Remembering Olive Collective was formed in 2008 to honor the life of Olive Morris, an inspirational community activist of 1970s Britain, who died at the young age of 27 leaving behind a significant legacy of activism. Olive was a member of the British Black Panthers, as well as a founding member of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) and the Brixton Black Women's Group. The breadth of her political work spanned from her pioneer role in the local squatter campaigns in South London; to organising with Black women and the student movement in London and Manchester, and supporting liberation struggles throughout the world.


€œ"Don't just criticize. Organise!" is one of the slogans I associate with my memory of Olive.€ said Liz Obi a member of the Collective. €œSo often I hear people of my generation bemoaning the lack of leadership and organization among young black people.  It is therefore incredibly inspiring to know that there are young people out there who are organizing and are politically active.  I am glad that ROC will be celebrating their achievements and can showcase to the community the breadth of activism that exists.€


ROC is a good example of what can be achieved when a group of people come together to organise around an issue. With the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, ROC was able to collect and archive papers, photographs and documents and a series of oral history recordings to form the Olive Morris Collection, which was deposited at Lambeth Archives in October 2009.  The Collection has quickly become one of the most accessed items at Lambeth Archives and many young academics are using the collection as a resource for their work, with Olive's story being included in books and references in many BA, MA and PhD dissertations. Other achievements of ROC's work include a dedication to Olive on a plaque on the Black Achievers Wall in Liverpool's International Slavery Museum (October 2011) and her inclusion in the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography. Olive was also featured on the Brixton Pound.


The Karibu Education Centre will host the Awards ceremony on Friday 2 December 2011. Formerly site of the Abeng Centre, it is a fitting venue for the awards as the first national OWAAD Conference organised by Olive and others was held there in 1978. The Karibu Education Centre was originally founded as the Abeng Centre by the Rev. Tony Ottey in the 1970s offering supplementary schooling and youth services to local children. Olive was a volunteer with the supplementary school. Thirty years on, and the work continues.


The legacy of Olive Morris is alive and well.



The awards event will take place at 7 €“ 9.30 on Friday 2 December 2011 at The Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Road, London, SW9 7PH 

Tickets £3 Inclusive of food

There will be a live DJ set by Carlos Martinez (Agent of Change)

Spaces are limited so booking is essential


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ROC - Remembering Olive Collective