Remembering Olive Collective (ROC 2.0)
Olive Morris Memorial Awards 2022
The Remembering Olive Collective is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2022 Olive Morris Memorial Awards, in remembrance of community leader and activist Olive Elaine Morris (1952 – 1978). These awards were created as an opportunity to celebrate Olive’s radical and grassroots activism as it lives on in the work of a new generation of young women and non-binary activists of African and Asian descent, aged between 16 and 27 years.
The awards were open to those who are engaged in grassroots political work. For example, as organisers, advocates, activists, artists, or being themselves victims of repression for their political activities. Each awardee will receive £500.
The recipients of this years’ awards are as follows:
Barbara Edem Ntumy (28)
Barbara received the Olive Morris Memorial Award in recognition for her work with Decolonising Contraception and London Black Women’s Project alongside her student activism. She expressed that “the legacy of Olive Morris is a huge source of political inspiration. Most importantly, the legacy of connecting struggles in a post-colonial globalised world is still relevant as we continue to fight for our liberation. It is truly an honour to be associated with her legacy.”
Lola Olufemi (25)
photo by Robert ChristianLola was honoured and surprised to be nominated for an Olive Morris Memorial Award and noted that “Olive’s political conviction & the work you (Remembering Olive Collective) all do in extending it has been so formative for me – this really feels like coming full circle in a way” Olufemi is recognised as an organiser and involvement with groups such as Sisters Uncut, demonstrations against Yarlswood Detention Centre and involvement in efforts to decolonise the Cambridge University curriculum.and their ongoing work with the Feminst LIbrary. Olufemi is also the author of Feminism, Interupted: Disrupting Power (2020) and Experiments in Imagining Otherwise (2021).
Yasmin Begum (27)
Yasmin was thrilled to receive the Olive Morris Memorial Award and stated "I was a squatter as a teenager, and this award means the world to me. Words cannot articulate how profound the influence of Olive Morris is on me.” Begum is recognised for her work with the following groups No Borders Cardiff No Borders South Wales ; People's Autonomous Destination ; The Anti-raids Network; Cardiff People of Colour Collective ,and campaigns against deaths in police custody in Wales.
Shanelle Webb (24)
Shanelle shared with us that she was “truly grateful to win this award, especially one in the name of one of my first inspirations in community work, Olive Morris. I first learned of her legacy whilst doing a work placement at Olive Morris House with Lambeth Council as a teenager, and hope to use the award to support our plans of creating a youth-led community housing model in Kennington.” Webb is recognised for her work with The Soul Shack LDN CIC that has delivered community-based workshops for those at risk of violence and exploitation in Lambeth, as well as food security initiatives such as free breakfasts and food drives for community members.
Scarlett Westbrook (16)
Scarlett was delighted to find out she’d been nominated for the Olive Morris Memorial Award and said “Olive Morris was a trailblazer in racial and gender justice, and I am immensely honoured to receive this award in her memory. Her passion for grassroots organising for social justice is one I share, and I am so grateful for this award. The importance of racial justice cannot be understated as people of colour are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis, and by recognising these disparities together, we can build the world that we deserve.” Webb is being recognised for her work as a climate justice activist, involved in organising the Birmingham School Climate Strikes; contributing to the English Climate Emergency Education Act; working towards Birmingham adopting a clean air zone as well as all the work she has done to raise the profile of young activists to enact political change.
Special Award for Afruika Bantu Saturday School
Sister Afruika Bantu
In addition, this year we have made a special award of £ 500 to the Afruika Bantu Saturday School [A.B.S.S] - Home (weebly.com) which was established in 1997 and named in honour of Afruika Bantu (aka Annette Blair 11/9/55 – 12/9/99), who is remembered as an activist, scholar, black history researcher and teacher. The school , which is dependent on volunteers, has been providing supplementary education, including history, science and maths, to black children within the community for over 25 years and ROC wanted to recognise and honour this their work and commitment.
The Afruika Bantu Saturday school stated they are “delighted and humbled to have been chosen by ROC for this award. It is a significant moment for us and highlights yet again the impact that Afruika Bantu has left through her legacy. Afruika (born Annette Blair) was indeed a contemporary of Olive Morris and was known to her. Both women being involved in OWAAD, with Olive being a founding member.
Our school was originally called the Next Generation Saurday school, but when she passed on, we renamed the school in her honour.
Sister Afruika was a determined proponent of Garvey, a community activist, and staunch leader involved in APLO, Black History for Action and in later life before her untimely death, our Saturday school. Annette, as a Garveyite was very focused on Education, research and the deconstruction and analysis of scholarly texts and articles, applying theory to the real world and struggle. Afruika dedicated herself towards the upliftment and development of our young people. She was inspiring and encouraging and had a deep intellectual capacity, put simply she was the dream teacher that every pupil needs in their life to guide them on their journey. in closing we would like to say a massive thank you for honouring the Afruika Bantu Saturday school and our students with this award.”
Due to the impact of the pandemic the planned awards ceremony will now be held online (date to be confirmed) although we plan to bring the awardees together later in the year.