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Inspiring Women Series

What is the Inspiring Women Series?

The series was launched in February 2023. We invite women from all sectors and walks of life to share their stories across Welcoming Spaces and Community Hubs across Bristol. All events are free!

These influential women have overcome adversity, dedicated themselves to their passions, and worked tirelessly to give back to their community.  

They range from artists and creatives, community leaders, women in business, academics and sportswomen. 

All talks are free. And all are welcome. Please bring your kids if you’d like to – we will have colouring sheets and pens to keep them busy.

Upcoming Talks

All of our upcoming talks are listed on our EventBrite Page  under our Inspiring Women collection. 

Some of our Past Talks

Women standing in front of table talking to the audience.On Tuesday 5 September, we were delighted to welcome Ari Cantwell from the Co-exist Community Kitchen and Kate Swain, from Redcatch Community Garden to be our next Inspiring Women speakers. 

To a full room, Ari & Kate shared how they went about setting up community projects in Bristol. 

Read our blog on the talk here

On 2nd August, we will welcomed Sian Norris, a freelance journalist and writer specialising in human rights. 

Her work has appeared in the Observer, the Guardian, the i, the New Statesman, openDemocracy, and Byline Times.

Sian’s book Bodies Under Siege: How the far right attack on reproductive rights went global was published by Verso in June 2023. She was the founder of the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival.

Read our blog about the talk here

On 24th July, we are hosted an exciting talk with Dr Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, senior lecturer in Global Childhoods and Welfare at the University of Bristol, and director of True Talk Africa.

This talk challenged dominant representations of Africa and Africans in UK public and media discourses and provide a more holistic narrative about the continent and its peoples.

Read our blog about the talk here

On 6th July, we hosted a lunchtime talk with The Bangladeshi Bristol Women’s Group, and Nazia Hussein. BBWG are a collective of first and second generation immigrants from Bangladesh and the surrounding countries, who shared their experience of finding community in the UK. Nazia is a lecturer at the University of Bristol specialising in gender, race, ethnicity, religion and South Asia. She is also the author of ‘Rethinking New Womanhood’

Shoba Ram is an experienced manager with more than 20 years experience of working in the criminal justice and drugs/alcohol field, as well as the director for The Women’s Work Lab (supporting women on their journey back into employment).

Shoba shared her story, including her personal experience as an Asian woman growing up with a father behind bars. After her touching story, the floor opened up for others to share their experiences and discuss their thoughts around substance abuse in Bristol. 

Sue Cohen (left) spoke about her part to play in the founding of SPAN (Single Parent Action Network), an organisation that began as a tiny collective of women fighting racism and discrimination, into an international organisation that packed a punch. In the hope to take lessons from the successes of SPAN, the audience were intrigued to learn about how SPAN grew and kept momentum in the 1980’s, to apply within a modern context.

Marie-Annick Gournet, associate Professor of Lifelong Learning and Inclusive Pedagogy at the University of Bristol, spoke aptly on the coronation bank holiday weekend about her experience as a young girl from Guadeloupe moving to France, and later England. Her experience in education has set her on a path of endeavoring to change the education system to become more inclusive.

On Tuesday 16 May, we had two emerging musical artists discuss their health journeys with cancer and endometriosis respectively. Holysseus Fly (she/her) is a Solo artist, and vocalist and pianist from critically acclaimed Ishmael Ensemble. Ella Joy (she/them) is a visual and audio creator who can found touring the world with Grove. After they had shared their moving stories, including a fantastic poem, the talk dissolved in

to an intimate sharing circle where the attendees discussed their experiences with healthcare.

Kamina Walton, founder of  Rising Arts Agency, kicked off the series.

Kamina (left) describes herself as an artist, cultural leader and creative leadership coach. In 2015, after 30 years working freelance, she set up Rising Arts, empowering young people to collectively champion radical cultural change. Over five years, she built the enterprise from scratch to a thriving business led exclusively by young people.

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