15th November 2018, London: Diversity UK yesterday honoured writer & sociologist Elaine Sihera with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for her outstanding contribution to equality and inclusion in Britain. “Brought up in poverty in Jamaica in the sixties, with a father who didn’t want girls, only boys”, Elaine initially carved out a career as a senior education manager in a British secondary school before going on to found a magazine and a multicultural training business. Today, she is an shining example of the power of confidence and positivity as a motivational speaker.
Chairman of Diversity UK, Dilip Joshi MBE said “Elaine is an inspirational equality pioneer who has forged a path for many of the Windrush generation children and their families to follow. Her courage in pursuing independent higher education; founding a national magazine and then moving on to write 4 books and over 3000 articles on the power of positivity and confidence shows that even in the darkest hours, it is possible to triumph. She has shown that education and the doors it can open are vital if you want to succeed in life and I am doubly pleased that she is such a shining example to young girls everywhere. I am delighted to honour her resilience in overcoming challenges with dignity and pride with this Lifetime Achievement Award”.
The presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award took place on Wednesday 14th November 2018 at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in London at the annual Diversity UK Paul Stephenson Lecture, which is named in honour of the social worker who, in 1963, led the boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company for discrimination that eventually paved the way for the Race Relations Act of 1965. Previous recipients of the award include Dr Stephenson himself; Simon Woolley, Co-Founder & Director of Operation Black Vote (OBV) and entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, among others.
The award was presented by Dilip Joshi MBE, Chair of Diversity UK; Rita Hunt, Trustee of Diversity UK and Lopa Patel MBE, Founder & CEO of Diversity UK, alongside Anil Bhanot OBE, Chair of the Ethnic Minority Foundation and Indraj Mangat, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, who are co-sponsors of the lecture.
In her acceptance speech, Elaine said “I was rather surprised, and honoured, to be invited to give the Paul Stephenson Lecture, but even more amazed at this public recognition. I do not see myself in such glowing terms, because I enjoy my work immensely, while striving to make a difference in my own way. Thus to have my achievements acknowledged in such a generous and elevated way seems rather surreal. Sincere, heartfelt thanks to everyone at Diversity UK for this wonderful accolade, and I hope I will still be doing justice to it for many years to come!”