London-based voluntary organisation BTWSC made a presentation to world renowned cereal grain scientist Prof Geoff Palmer at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he taught until his retirement in 2005.
He was selected as one of thirty-two men of African descent in Britain who are highlighted as role models by the NARM (Naming And Role Model) project, which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by BTWSC. The project documents African British people notable across a wide range of endeavours, and avoids the narrow pool of entertainers and sportsmen, who are usually put forward as role models.
Whilst there are a few well-known names, such as former ministers Lord Paul Boateng and David Lammy MP, and former trade union boss Lord Bill Morris, majority of the NARM role models are not celebrities – they’ve been highlighted because of their professional and community work.
Hence a headteacher who turned around a failing inner-London school stands next to a community activist who got a bus company to employ non-white staff – the list also includes entrepreneurs, mentors, music industry executives, book publishers, lawyers, police officers, teachers and youth workers.
Prof Palmer was presented with an advance copy of a DVD and booklet with contributions of the other NARM role models, and a photograph of himself, which was used in several photographic exhibitions in London.
The NARM resources, a DVD with contributions from the thirty-two living role models, and a booklet that features dozens of role models spanning 1907-2007, is launched in London on Friday November 26, 6.30-9pm at Willesden Green Library Centre, where the screening of the DVD will be followed by a discussion based around the issue of role models within the African British community.
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Photos by Kwaku of Prof Palmer at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh science laboratory