Words by Blyth Brentnall
Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock has been awarded an honorary doctorate of the arts from Buckinghamshire New University, in recognition of her work tackling racism.
Cool! What has she done?
Leigh-Anne rose to fame after winning X Factor with Little Mix in 2011. But she’s also exploited her celebrity status to promote racial equality through a charity she co-founded, The Black Fund.
The fund provides racial equality charities with grants of up to £5,000 and supports young people with their careers. They also lead on campaigns and partnerships to build momentum for the racial equality movement.
Leigh-Anne established the charity alongside her sister and personal manager Sairah Pinnock, footballer Andre Gray, and her mentor Jay Blades MBE.
The singer has spoken out about her own experiences of racism growing up and as a celebrity. She felt “invisible” as a young Black woman due to the way she was treated compared to her bandmates.
Her work was also recognised when she won the Equality Award at the 2020 Ethnicity Awards.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Windrush Foundation. This is a registered charity that designs and delivers heritage projects, programmes and initiatives which highlight African and Caribbean peoples’ contributions to the UK. Learn more here.
Race Equality Foundation. A national charity tackling racial equality in public services. Find out more here.
SARI. Stand Against Racism and Inequality is a charity that provides free and confidential support for anyone who is a victim of hate crime across Avon and Somerset. Support them here.