Meet the team
Our members consist of talented journalists, academics and media activists at the forefront of media diversity. Through our networks and experience, the Centre acts as an impartial voice addressing inequality in the industry.
Professor Sir Lenny Henry
Actor, University Chancellor and Activist
Sir Lenny Henry is an actor, comedian and campaigner. He became the Chancellor of Birmingham City University in July 2016.
Born in the West Midlands town of Dudley in 1958, Lenny rose to fame through the television shows Tiswas and New Faces, as well as co-founding the charity Comic Relief. Since then, he has enjoyed an extensive career in film, TV and onstage. In recent years, Sir Lenny has enjoyed widespread acclaim for more dramatic roles, including playing the title role in a stage production of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’.
In 2015, he was made a Sir in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours List for services to drama and charity. He was then presented with a special BAFTA award in 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television. Sir Lenny released his memoir, Who Am I, Again?, in 2019.
In academia, Sir Lenny became a Doctor of Philosophy in 2018, for his research investigating the role of black people in the media. 'n 2020 Sir Lenny was made a visiting Professor of Media Diversity at Birmingham City University.
Professor Diane Kemp
Diane Kemp is Professor of Broadcast Journalism at Birmingham City University.
She’s Director of the new Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity and lead for the HuffPost Centre for Journalism at Birmingham School of Media. Additionally, she is Deputy Chair of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council – elected in 2013 – she chairs the Journalism and Accreditation Board, is Chair of the newly launched Placement Assistance Scheme as well as Chair of the Audit Committee www.bjtc.org.uk
She was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016 and is a judge for the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards.
In 2019 Diane started the Women’s Professoriat for the then 27 women Professors to meet and exchange information at Birmingham City University. She was on the University’s committee to gain Athena Swan recognition and works on the cross-city initiative ‘Birmingham Partners’ of which Birmingham City University was a founder member. For ‘Birmingham Partners’ she is also on the city’s child poverty action forum and was a Poverty Truth Commissioner for two years.
Diane is a consultant for the Council of Europe on diversity in journalism, most recently coordinating their ‘Div-A’ project – Diversity Accelerator. She was the lead consultant on their two year MEDIANE programme and facilitated, as well as published training workshops, for the Council of Europe’s previous two campaigns. Diane has taught journalism ethics in Macedonia as well as for the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU in Lithuania, where she has also done work for Transparency International. She has also chaired panels at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy.
Marcus Ryder MBE
Marcus is a leader on the issue of diversity in the media industry, backed by a track-record of award-winning news and current affairs productions delivered by diverse teams for a range of organisations including the BBC and China’s largest digital broadcaster CGTN, spanning a period of over 25 years.
Marcus is currently Executive Producer of New Media for Caixin Global which he joined in December 2019. He was also recently made a visiting Professor in Media Diversity at Birmingham City University. He has been actively involved in nearly all major UK diversity developments over the last five years, and been asked to give evidence to the UK Parliament twice on the topic. He is regularly asked to write articles on the topic for newspapers such as The Guardian and FT, as well as industry magazines such as Broadcast.
He blogs at https://blackonwhitetv.blogspot.com.
Recent key diversity achievements
- He successfully campaigned for the BBC to give financial assistance to ‘BAME press’ - 2019. In October 2019 the BBC announced it would extend its financial assistance to help regional local newspapers to include BAME focused press following a campaign Marcus launched earlier in the year.
- He successfully campaigned for the BBC to reverse their decision on how to report race - 2019. In September 2019 reporter Naga Munchetty was found guilty of breaching editorial guidelines on how to discuss racism. Marcus campaigned with other journalists to overturn the decision and how to discuss race.
- House of Lords Select Committee - 2019. In June 2019 Marcus gave evidence to the House of Lords Communications Select Committee on diversity and streaming. His evidence was used in a final report on recommendations on how to increase diversity.
- Diversity Tax Cuts - 2018. In November 2018 Marcus organised the campaign for diversity tax cuts in film and television hand-delivering a petition to 10 Downing Street signed by all the major entertainment unions and trade bodies.
- Co-Editor of “Everybody In - A journalist's guide to inclusive reporting” - 2017. Marcus co-edited a collection of essays with Bob Calver and Diane Kemp. A practical guide for journalists on diversity issues including race, gender and class to sexuality, age and regionalism.
- “Diversity” Included in the BBC Charter - 2016 Marcus successfully campaigned with Sir Lenny Henry CBE for the BBC to diversity to included as a key and explicit objective in its charter.
Course Director for Journalism
Marverine is the Director of BA (Hons) Journalism courses at the Birmingham Institute of Media and English. A born-and-bred Brummie, and an alumna of Birmingham City University (having completed not one, but two postgraduate courses here) she has experienced both the excitement of student life and learning at the university, as well as its teaching excellence.
Marverine’s media career spans 33 years, the last 17 of those as a Journalist and Broadcaster, across local, national and international broadcasters, winning several awards for her work. She’s clocked up over 3,500 hours of presenting live on television - in studios and on location. She’s also produced documentaries for BBC Radio 4, BBC 5 Live and BBC Radio 1Xtra.
As a News Anchor for a world-renowned international rolling news channel, Sky News, Marverine handled countless major breaking news stories, regularly broadcasting to an audience of millions worldwide. She’s also been a Newsreader and Reporter for the BBC, ITV News, and 5 News.
As a core member of the Sir Lenny Centre for Media Diversity Team, Marverine will be working on practice and research projects.
Image credit: Mind Charity
The Centre's Advisory Board comprises the core group and the following members.
Mukti Jain Campion (Chair)
Culture Wise, Founder
Mukti Jain Campion is founder of the independent production company Culture Wise. She trained at the BBC and went on to produce a wide range of richly diverse television and radio documentaries for over 35 years. In 2004 she was awarded the Guardian Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford for a ground-breaking study, Look Who’s Talking: Cultural Diversity, Public Service Broadcasting and the National Conversation. She has written, lectured and trained widely in the UK and internationally. She currently serves as a panel member for the Audio Content Fund.
Karon Monaghan QC
Karon is a barrister practising principally in the fields of equality and human rights law. She is the author of the leading textbook, Equality Law (OUP). She is a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Preferred Counsel. Karon is also a visiting professor in the UCL Faculty of Laws. She has undertaken advisory work on promoting media diversity through the innovative use of equality laws.
Dr Rajinder Dudrah
Birmingham City University
Rajinder is the Director of the newly formed Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (CEDIA) at BCU. He is an elected Trustee of the Executive Council for Learning on Screen: The British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council which serves over 200 higher, further and school education member institutions in the UK.
Rajinder has also been appointed to serve on the Research Excellence Framework/REF2021 as a Sub-Panel Member for Unit of Assessments 25 – Area Studies; and 33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies.
From September 2012 until July 2020 he has also served as Elected Secretary (until Sept 2015) and Executive Committee Member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).
Rajinder has also appeared widely across global media sharing aspects of his research, including with the BBC Asian Network on Fifty Films, Another Fifty Films, and as Doc Bollywood in The Film Surgery.
Former Advisory Board Members
Chief Executive, The British Academy
Hetan Shah is chief executive of the British Academy, the national academy for humanities and social sciences. He is visiting professor at Kings College London. Hetan is chair of the Friends Provident Foundation, a grant-making trust, and deputy chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute, which focuses upon how to ensure artificial intelligence and data are used for public good. He is a trustee of St George’s House, a charity based in Windsor Castle which organises discussions on issues of public interest.