Celebrating Black History Month
Some of you reading this may know that I’m currently Chief Community Officer for Wired Sussex overseeing their marketing strategy and all events including the annual Talent festival, plus collaborations with members on key initiatives. Based in Brighton, Wired Sussex supports the digital, media and technology sectors across Sussex with thousands of companies and freelancers making up their regional network.
Wired Sussex celebrate the Black community all year round. But, as October is Black History Month, I wanted to highlight just some of the people with African and Caribbean heritage, people we admire who are doing great work in the digital, tech and creative industries.
Meet our FuseBox resident Bashàïr Ahmed, Research Fellow and CEO of pioneering charity Shabaka. They work with technology partners such as Meta, together with global humanitarian organisations, to help connect displaced peoples of Haiti, Sudan, and Syria. Read more about their work here.
Massi Mapani is a Software Engineer at MPB, a developer with front and back-end skills. She is on the OpenUK Gen Next Honors List 2022 and she won Developer of the Year at the BTA Awards 2022. She’s passionate about accessibility and bringing more diversity to the tech industry.
Marc Boothe is the Founder and creative catalyst of B3 Media, a leading media arts network that has supported more than 3,000 Black and Asian creative artists across film, visual arts, new media and spoken word, over the last five years. We are delighted to welcome Marc as a new FuseBox resident. Marc produces Talentlab, a development incubator programme for emerging creative artists and producers.
He recently created L8 Unseen for the Museum of Liverpool, a groundbreaking cross-platform storytelling project based on stories from Toxteth in Liverpool, which was seen by over 420,000 visitors. Marc is a voting member for BAFTA, has a NESTA Fellowship Award, was winner of Shell Best Cultural and Creative Business Award and a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Prize, which recognises outstanding mentors of young artistic talent.
Priss Nash is an exceptional up-and-coming poet, musician, performer and activist, who has worked with the FuseBox on a number of 5G-related projects. Her creative impact and powerful delivery blended perfectly with immersive VR/AR technology — read more about the project here, and follow her on Instagram here.
Benjamin Shaun Thomas
Benjamin Shaun Thomas is a Virtual Reality Unity developer at Engage XR in Bognor Regis, and was previously at Future Visual, using cutting-edge technologies. He has such an impressive CV we can’t wait to see what he does next.
And finally, if you haven’t discovered Brighton’s first bookshop celebrating Black authors, pop into the Afrori Bookshop on Kensington Street for a browse.
Every genre is available, from children’s books to sci-fi, fashion to history, race and women’s studies. Meet Carolynn Bain, the effervescent owner and tell her we sent you. You might get a free lollipop. Check out all their new arrivals, author events and more here.