12 June

Event Schedule

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A series of live debates on topics that affect us all hosted by the Birmingham Commonwealth Association with debates around the food agenda to what Birmingham our city means to us.

Sponsored by Birmingham Commonwealth Association.


Welcome from Birmingham Commonwealth Association


What does ‘This Is My City’ mean to me - Panel discussion presented by Panikos Panayiotou - Sport Development Manager -BCC

Panikos Panayiotou

Sport Development Manager - BCC

Simon is a former journalist who has written a book exploring Birmingham’s historical links with the Commonwealth. The book is out very soon, and is called From Gas Street to the Ganges.’


Forced Marriage - Allies Network

She will be speaking about Why Forced Marriages happen? Forced Marriage in the United Kingdom, the UK Legislation on Forced Marriage, and where anyone suffering Forced Marriage can get help and support.

Participants: Nura Ali only

Allies Network


Domestic Abuse - Women Acting in Today's Society (W.A.I.T.S)

Domestic Abuse is caused by old fashioned customs and religious practices. Exploring the part culture and religion plays in Domestic Abuse in the home for people from the Commonwealth.

Marcia Lewinson
Buki Hannaway
Chris Tse
Aisha Siddique


Women Acting In Today's Society

WAITS is a Charity established in 1993 whose vision is: A society where women are safe, valued and fulfilled. We achieve our mission though supporting women experiencing domestic abuse to find safety and rebuild their lives.
We also support women to have a voice and the ability to influence services and policies.

WAITS has specialism in supporting women from minority ethnic backgrounds, have language barriers and involved in the criminal justice system.

Women accessing our services can get help with counselling , access to refuge and housing , workshops that improve skills , mental health and employment opportunites.


What is Poverty and what are the effects in modern Uk society today? - Genisys ARCt
Led by: Hyacinth Shirley

Genisys Arct

Other participants:

  • Safwan Ahmed
  • Chelsea Buckton
  • Tayyiba Khanu
  • Marvellous Kanu
  • Nicole Mapani

What is Poverty and what are the effects in modern Uk society today?

  • Our Cities & Communities
  • Mental Health and other impacts
  • Education
  • Geographic locations – where we live
  • Migrant Communities
  • Income and resources

Poverty affects millions of people in the UK. Poverty means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty, and impossible decisions about money. It means facing marginalisation – and even discrimination – because of your financial circumstances. The constant stress it causes can lead to problems that deprive people of the chance to play a full part in society. (JRF)


Health issues including Health Disparities/Inequalities - Monica Coke, Birmingham Jamaican Consulate

Panel includes:
Dr. Melrose Stewart, MBE, a recently retired Birmingham University lecturer and chartered physiotherapist.
Dr. David Burton, consultant ophthalmologist from Nottingham
Mrs. Elsie Gayle, a midwife and honorary fellow- University of Wolverhampton.
Tony Kelly, Diabetes Strategic Patient Partner – NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group.

Birmingham Jamaican Consulate


This is My Food City: Healthy Futures

Trying to eat healthy in Birmingham. What do you think Birmingham needs to do to support healthier, sustainable food choices?

Healthy Futures


What does ‘This Is My City’ mean to me - Panel discussion presented by Panikos Panayiotou-Sport Development Manager - BCC with Natalie Graham and Raurie ‘NOHUN’ Williams

Panikos Panayiotou

Sport Development Manager - BCC

Natalie Graham

Natalie Graham is a Record Label owner, Music Manager, Executive Producer, Writer, BBC Radio Presenter and Compere. As manager of Birmingham’s very own British Soul music pioneer Jaki Graham, Natalie has toured and learnt from some of the most influential and key players within music, from those behind the scenes at management and Executive levels to Pop, Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop and Motown icons of the past and present. Natalie’s experience and network has developed from her years within business, which has allowed her to also consult and facilitate for a number of additional industries outside of music including sport, property and chocolate!

Raurie ‘NOHUN’ Williams

NOHUN is a TikTok viral sensation from Birmingham known for his funny rants, shopping trips and elevator dances. Starting out on Snapchat in 2017, NOHUN has now amassed over half a million combined followers across all platforms.

This is my city recap from Rebbecca Hemmings - Time to Glow Up

Rebbecca Hemmings

Rebbecca Hemmings is a stage host and former tv/radio presenter, whose entertainment career spans over 20 years.
Having hosted for a range of audiences for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Big Centre TV’s The Wassifa Caribbean Show, the 0121 Jamaican Independence Festival – Birmingham, Brit Writers Awards – London and countless Black History Month launches, Rebbecca is no stranger to the stage and screen.
Celebrity and high-profile interviewees include Grammy award winning Kirk Franklin, presenter June Sarpong, Maxi Priest, footballer Tony Daley, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Gyptian, Freddie McGregor, politicians Jess Phillips MP and many more. Past co-presenters include sports broadcaster Tom Ross and DJ Apache Indian.
Rebbecca is the founder of the Time to Glow Up brand (set up to help empower women following her breast cancer experience) and Director of diversity training company Strawberry Words.

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