Neurodiversity in BAME community conference September 2023

Neurodiversity in BAME Community Conference

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The Neurodiversity in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community conference organised by Autism Voice United Kingdom in partnership with the Critical Autism/Disability Studies group at London South Bank University (LSBU) will be held on Wednesday 27th September 2023, from 11 am to 6 pm at the LSBU campus on 103 Borough Road, SE1 0AA.

The conference aims to amplify the voices of BAME neurodiverse people and emphasize the fact that every neurodiverse person deserves acceptance in a community of family, friends, colleagues, and professionals who recognize and honour their full selves, including their neurodiversity, as contribution. It will also inform about current research on neurodiversity in regard to the BAME.

The conference will cover the following themes:

1. Discrimination and biases faced by the BAME neurodiverse community

2. Neurodivergence, intersectionality and Social Model thinking

3. Experiences of parents/carers from BAME community

4. Daily Transitions & Change: Why It’s Hard & What Makes It Easier

5. Acceptance and Inclusion: Why do they matter?

Rationale and Objective:

  • The conference provides a timely opportunity for the neurodiverse community to brainstorm, identify and develop approaches and supports that are inclusive and multicultural sensitive to the needs of all neurodiverse people and their families in the United Kingdom.
  • The meeting will highlight lived experiences of neurodiversity in BAME communities with the goal of enhancing a broader understanding of the issues faced by BAME neurodiverse people.
  • The conference will provide a platform for families and practitioners to meet commitments and address new and emerging support needs of neurodiverse people from BAME communities.

Mariama Korrca Kandeh Co-founder and CEO of Autism Voice and Prof. Nicola Martin professor of social justice and inclusive education at London Southbank University will co-host the conference.

Speakers’ Profile

Dr. Prithvi Perepa

Prithvi Perepa is an Associate Professor in the Autism at the University of Birmingham and is part of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER). He teaches on the autism modules within the School of Education. He has many years of experience of working in the field of autism in various roles before he entered academia. His research interests include family experiences, intersectionality of autism and culture, and developing good educational provision for children on the autism spectrum. He has authored books and journal articles focusing on some of these themes including a book titled Autism, Ethnicity and Culture. Prithvi will speak on the topic; ‘Autism through a cultural perspective’.

Marsha Martin

Marsha Martin is a former Behavioural Therapist and the Founder and CEO of Black SEN Mamas. They are a national support group and informational hub, which aids Black mothers of special educational needs and disabled (SEND) children, in sourcing adequate mental health support for themselves and SEND resources and provision, for their children. We are currently over 1,000 mums strong and growing fast!

They do regular support group sessions, informative discussions and panelled talks; on all things Black mental health, Black motherhood and Black Neurodivergence, psychotherapist lead workshops, nutrition and gut healing; for better mental health courses, one-to-one psychotherapy & counselling programmes, regular mummy meet ups, mummy nights out, Black SEN Mama brunches and wellness retreats, as well as various manner of SEND activities/events and advocacy for SEND children, on behalf of their mothers/carers. A lot of the mothers are now starting to recognise their own neurodivergence, through their child’s diagnosis- very interesting intersectionality!

Her team of specialists (lawyers, psychotherapists, behavioural therapists, nutritionists, counsellors, SENCOs, Educators housing officers- the list goes on), are also ALL Black mothers, with special needs children. So they have an invested interest and genuine, collective want, to support these mothers! Marsha will be speaking on the topic ‘Masking Mamas’.

Marium Naeem

Marium is a highly energetic results-focused Executive (Finance Director/ CFO) with over 15 years of international experience in a leading FTSE 100 company. With a strong commercial focus, I have partnered with CEOs (incl. C suite) to develop strategy and deliver strong business results at both an enterprise and local level. She has a broad finance background attained via various directorships covering: Strategy, Finance management, Financial Planning & Analysis, Finance Operations, Risk Management (financial, operational, regulatory incl. ESG issues), Insurance and Commercial Finance. I also have significant expertise in supply chain management, leading large-scale transformations (incl. digitalisation), strategy consulting, leading & developing offshore centres, driving operational excellence and executing strategic portfolio decisions.
She is extremely passionate about people development and embedding a strong D&I culture in the workplace. Marium is the Mum to an autistic child, and she will speak on parents’/carers’ perspectives of bias.

Tumi Sotire

Tumi is the founder of The Black Dyspraxic, an initiative that emphasises the importance of intersectionality in neurodiversity from his lived experience as a British-born Nigerian. Through this platform, he aims to shed light on the unique challenges faced by individuals who belong to both these communities. Tumi actively participates in the Neurodiversity community and holds advisory roles on the Centre for Neurodiversity at Work at Birkbeck University and the Co-Production Board for Neurodiversity in Business. He has also served as a judge for the Genius Within Neurodiversity Awards for four consecutive years. Additionally, he contributes to The Diverse Creative CIC future leader’s advisory board and Noetic the community advisory board.

Tumi’s expertise and passion for neurodiversity have led to numerous speaking engagements and recognition in reputable publications. His advocacy efforts have allowed him to publicly speak about his experiences at prominent companies such as Sony PlayStation, IBM, and Universal Music. In 2020, Tumi received the Dyspraxic Advocate of the Year award from A2i for his outstanding work in the field.   Tumi was awarded the Dyspraxia Foundation Mary Corley Awarded. Tumi will share his experience of daily transition and change.

Prof. Nicola Martin

Professor Nicola Martin’s research interests centre around inclusive education across the age range into adulthood. Alongside autistic colleagues, she also researches ways in which society could be more conducive to fulfilling the lives of autistic people She is a Professorial Research Lead in Law and Social Sciences at LSBU and a Professor of Social Justice and Inclusive Practice. She is an interim co-lead of the LSBU Research Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility.

As an Accredited Speaker for the CPD Standards Office, she delivers CPD on autism and social inclusion. She has an overview of two research groups at LSBU: Education for Social Justice (Ed4SJ) and Critical Autism and Disability Studies (CADS). The Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) originated within CADS. She is a National Teaching Fellow and holds, or has held, visiting professorships and fellowships at: the Hong Kong Institute of Education, Trinity College Cambridge, Sheffield Hallam University, and the RSA. Current funded research is exploring the well-being requirements of older autistic adults who have intellectual impairments and their family carers and creating an autism-friendly local authority. She is currently working on an edited book about Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education, and she edits the Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Nicola will speak on Neurodivergence, intersectionality and Social Model thinking.

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