Image by Malcolm Hackett
My name is Marsha Ramroop. My parents are Trinidadian, and came, individually, to the UK to try to make better lives for themselves. Our early years were hard as they struggled financially, but they worked all hours to home, feed and clothe us.
Eventually, through determination, raw talent and continuous bone-tiring hard work, my parents earned just about enough to send me and my brother through private education, so that we would get access to the opportunities they felt, learned and experienced were, otherwise, more difficult to reach for BAME people. They believed by doing that they were giving us a voice. And, now I’m here, using my voice, hoping I’ll be heard and can pass on that voice to others.
I’m sure this background is why I am utterly committed to trying to address the inequalities in our society.
Part of the issue is that in organisations of all description, leadership is not aware of the biases that exist in them, so they are unaware of how uninviting their service can be for the whole gamut of people that make up our communities. The breadth and depth of our society does not always feel welcomed or included to participate in the offer they have.
And, if they are aware and have done some Unconscious Bias training, they do not know what to do next, to effectively change, do things differently and challenge that bias. Sadly, tokenistic change is often the outcome.
I am one of the few independently certified practitioners and facilitators of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) in the UK; and one of the first 300 in the world. I have been working in Community Engagement for 15 years within the media. I have actively sought out our marginalised communities to work with them and been successful at opening wider the doors of my organisations. I have developed Inclusive training programmes and mentored people to help enter institutions they felt were closed off to them.
I have been driven to work in consultancy as the need for social change is so great, I feel I should share my understanding with a wider group, so we can all be more inclusive.
I volunteer as a Trustee of an Arts organisation in Derby, where I live, and I am helping it with outreach and community engagement.
I am married to a wonderful Irishman and we have two lovely daughters.
(Throughout this website there are various terms to describe Black and minority ethnic people, or those non-white – all are problematic. Essentially we’re talking about under-represented racialised people, which is a mouthful, so I prefer People of Colour, POC, for now).