Chancellor Sir Lenny Henry and Coldplay join forces to fund key research into media diversity


Birmingham City University Chancellor Sir Lenny Henry has joined forces with the global chart-topping band Coldplay to raise funds to improve diversity and representation across UK media.

Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity

Birmingham City University

Sir Lenny is offering the public a chance to enter a ‘Crowdfunder’ prize draw to win a Fender guitar donated and signed by all Coldplay band members, with the funds raised set to enable the delivery of new research, grants and action via Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity.

Since its inception almost two years ago, Birmingham City University has funded nine key research projects through its Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, including a collaboration with Cardiff University and work with Channel 4

The Centre has published important research findings, examining the portrayal of Black people in UK documentaries, the use of the term BAME in broadcast media, and how entertainment trade unions should provide better support for their members of colour

It carries out an array of independent activities including offering Practitioner Investigating Media Industry Diversity grants to industry professionals, while it aims to further expand its work to ensure the media better reflects UK society.

Visiting Professor Marcus Ryder, Head of External Consultancies at Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, added: “Having worked in the TV industry for over 25 years, including campaigning for more media diversity and providing oral evidence to both Parliamentary select committees and House of Lords select committees, I believe passionately in the quality research we are carrying out and look forward to our future impact effecting real change.”

Through the Centre, all money raised through the Crowdfunder initiative will be used to provide grants for research and activity which promotes media diversity both in front of, and behind, the camera.

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Confirming the guitar’s authenticity, Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin said: “We fully support, applaud, and encourage everything that is being done to increase diversity and inclusion in the media through all of the brilliant things being done by Lenny and the whole team.”

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