In a celebratory moment, Dr Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, aka Lady Phyll, has gained recognition for her trailblazing activism in the UK and overseas
BY NIC CROSARA
Throughout her career, Dr Phyll Opoku-Gyimah has worked tirelessly to fight for the rights of LGBTQI people. She’s the co-founder of UK Black Pride, an event which has run since 2005 and brought visibility and community to people of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage in Europe. She’s also executive director at the Kaleidoscope Trust which works to uphold and advance the rights of LGBTQI people across the Commonwealth.
In our systemically racist, homophobic and sexist society, we rarely get to see Black queer women celebrated for their contributions to the world. It was no surprise to see how elated people were when it was announced that London South Bank University (LSBU) has awarded Lady Phyll a Doctorate for her “incredible leadership in the fight for equality”.
The activist celebrated the news on Twitter and what this recognition meant to her. “I dedicate this Honorary Doctorate to my daughter, and I dedicate it to all Black and Queer Black women – whose intellect and ability have been consistently underestimated.”
NEWS: I’m officially a Doctor.— Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Lady Phyll) (@MsLadyPhyll) January 16, 2022
To receive this recognition,surrounded by my family and friends, means more than words can describe. To receive this recognition in front of my mother and my daughter is honestly too difficult for me to quantify. I’ve cried so many tears of joy! pic.twitter.com/VgWYHPCVVx
For those not in the know who may be wondering why the activist icon is commonly called Lady Phyll, in 2016 she refused an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List due to the colonial and toxic legacy of empire. In admiration for her standing her ground, the communities she serves has dubbed her Lady Phyll ever since. Her new title of Dr is as equally deserved.
Lady Phyll is one mighty role model. On her award, David Phoenix, LSBU Vice-Chancellor said: “Lady Phyll is an outstanding example to LSBU’s graduates and our current students of the vital role we all play in ridding society of racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination and the huge achievements that are possible by working together.”
From every one here at Team DIVA, congratulations Dr Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and a huge thank you for all the work you do.
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