International Women’s Day with CitizensUK Birmingham

11/03/2024 by Newman Staff

On Friday 8th March, Birmingham Newman University was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm as it hosted this year’s CitizensUK Birmingham, International Women’s Day event.

With the theme for the year being, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, the day brought together a diverse range of individuals, all committed to celebrating the strength, resilience, and diversity of women’s contributions to various communities within the city of Birmingham.

Birmingham Newman University International Women's Day event with CitizensUK Birmingham

Hosted by Newman Pro Chancellor and ITV News Broadcast Journalist, Julie Etchingham, the event began with warm welcomes from Jackie Dunne, Vice Chancellor of Birmingham Newman University, and Elsa Zenatti-Daniels, from CitizensUK Birmingham. They emphasised the importance of diversity and inclusion, setting the tone for an event focused on empowerment and solidarity. 

Birmingham Newman University Vice Chancellor, Jackie Dunne

Commenting about the event, Birmingham Newman University Vice Chancellor, Jackie Dunne said: 

“We are proud to have worked with Citizens UK Birmingham to host this event at Birmingham Newman University, as well as showcasing local female business owners at our campus. International Women’s Day is very important to our mission, values and to our commitment to inclusivity and championship of diversity. We have had many truly inspirational speakers at the event, including a number of our own students and staff members, and our Pro Chancellor, Julie Etchingham.”

International Women's Day 2024 event CitizensUK Birmingham

The partnership between Birmingham Newman University and Citizens UK goes back over a decade. It is dedicated to bringing people together from all backgrounds and communities, to enact change.  

Speakers from various parts of the city shared their stories, experiences, and insights. From grassroots community organisers and school leaders, each speaker highlighted the importance of collective action and resilience in overcoming challenges. 

Elsa Zenatti – Daniels, CitizensUK Birmingham


#1 Entering uncharted territories

The first session, ‘Entering uncharted territories’, featured talks from Tiffany Joseph a Centre Manager at Saathi House, Kerry Rickett, Founder of B32 Community CIC in Quinton, Birmingham Newman University students Tamara Sandbach and Rachael-Nicola Quinn alongside Students’ Union President, Zoe Harrison.  

#2 Making a change in Neighbourhood and school organising

The second session, ‘Making a change in Neighbourhood and school organising’ involved contributions from women in the neighbourhood and school organising within civil society. Liz Coleman and Sister Pat from St Francis Parish, Aisha Khan from Ark Victoria Academy and Noorun Zaman from St Clare’s Catholic Primary School shared their stories and experiences.  

#3 Making a citywide impact

Making a citywide impact’ was the theme for the third session. Asha Rage from Dream Chaser Youth Club, Dr Angela Jeffery from Aston University and Maleika Selassie from BLESST spoke about pushing boundaries, challenging norms and championing the causes that matter most to them and to those around them.

#4 New Birmingham – the stories of the women and girls who moved from the commonwealth to Birmingham

The fourth and final session of the day featured the launch of “New Birmingham – the stories of the women and girls who moved from the commonwealth to Birmingham.” Funded by the Heritage Fund, this oral history project aims to preserve and celebrate the experiences of women from Commonwealth countries. Pro Chancellor, Julie Etchingham invited Mashkura Begum, Co-Chair of CitizensUK Birmingham and Chair of Saathi House, a women’s charity based in Aston to speak about the launch of her new book.

As the day came to a close, the message of unity, solidarity and women empowerment reverberated throughout the room. By coming together to celebrate achievements, share stories, and advocate for change, the call to action resonated strongly, urging everyone to become allies and supporters.

Speakers and attendees at the event
#IWD2024 #InspireInclusion