The project’s founder Chanté Joseph first presented the idea to the University of Bristol’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion steering group. The group were so excited by the idea that they agreed to sponsor the project, and following that Chanté secured partnerships with Bristol SU and Bristol 24/7.


Soon followed a plan to find nominations, to design, create, distribute and celebrate the list all over Bristol, to coincide with Black History Month 2018.


The campaign to find our nominees was launched in December 2017, fronted by Chanté in her role as BME Network co-chair of Bristol SU. The campaign was one of the most highly engaged of the academic year, capturing the imagination of hundreds of people and being featured across the city’s press outlets. In the end the campaign ended with 500 inspiring nominations of incredible BME people from Bristol’s community.


From there, a panel of ten judges were assigned the tough task of drawing 500 nominations down to a shortlist in nine categories that would form the final BME Power List.

The motivation behind the Bristol BME Powerlist is to improve links between students and the wider Bristol community, and to provide students with more visible BME role models to inspire them in their own careers, activities and engagement with the city.


As a Somali, arriving in the UK not speaking any English, my first experience of Bristol was a strange one. I later attended a majority white working-class state school where going to University wasn’t even on the agenda for us as students. I was even told by a teacher that I shouldn’t aspire to go to University. Resilience got me here.


The BME Powerlist is full of stories of resilience and inspiring individuals who have made a difference to their community and are continuing to fight against adversity.


Our officer team are pleased that Bristol SU has been involved in such an important project, for both the university and the city. We hope that the relationships developed through the BME Powerlist will continue to grow, providing a network of role models for BME students to connect to.


Nasra Ayub

Bristol SU Undergraduate Education Officer


With thanks to those working behind the scenes:

Robiu Salisu, Zoe Pither, Jessica Augarde, Ben Wright, Nicola Haydon, Andrew Page, Ed Thake-Adams, Helen Hoogewerf-McComb, Annie Avery, Caitlin Flint and Sam Eddy.


Featured photography by KōLAB Studios

Update January 2019 and Next Steps


Following the release of the Powerlist in October 2018, an event was held to bring together those named on the list, panel judges and members of the city. The event was attended by 185 people, including 65 of those featured on the Bristol BME Powerlist. There were several speakers at the event including Marvin Rees, Bristol City Council Mayor who praised the work carried out on the project. In addition to networking there was an hour of solution generation across a number of topics.


Inspired by this event, student newspaper Epigram ran a campaign on #WhatsMicroAggression which included support and contributions from SU Officers, Liberation Network Chairs, staff members and students.


One year on from nominations opening, the additional names of those initially nominated has been added to the website, in an even greater and more extensive celebration of incredible BME people from Bristol’s community. This marks the end of the 2018 Bristol BME Powerlist project.




© University of Bristol Students' Union 2018. Charity #1139656 Company #6977417

The people listed in the Bristol BME Powerlist publication and online were nominated across Bristol’s community, with the final shortlist of 100 decided on by a panel of judges. The selections made were based on the nominations that were received at the time. The list was compiled as part of a specific campaign and is not updated or maintained.