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Prof Antonia Bifulco

Antonia Bifulco is a Lifespan psychologist and Head of the Department of Psychology at Middlesex University. She is also co-director of the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies, which seeks to combine health, social care and criminological approaches to issues of abuse. Her research over 30 years has investigated the circumstances around childhood abuse, together with the consequences for later life adjustment, relationships and psychological disorder.

Vanessa Boon

Vanessa Boon, Chair of award-winning International Women's Day (IWD) Derby, and MD & Chief Difference-Maker, Energise - people development & diversity, has run her own giftwork enterprise promoting equality for over ten years. During 2016-17 she led a volunteer project to uncover 100 years of HERstory of IWD events in Derby/shire, in partnership with Culture Train, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This revealed Suffragette connections and captured oral histories for an exhibition. Vanessa will share how she made it happen, what the volunteers learned along the way, the outcomes and the moving impact that this journey back in time had on women in the present.

Mo Cooper

Committee Member HLF for the East Midlands

Mo Cooper is a community historian specialising in urban heritage. Her recent projects include her role as heritage officer for the major refurbishment of 75 acres of Grade 2* listed Victorian Gardens in inner-city St Anns, Nottingham, a community archaeology project, and a Deaf Heritage project. She was awarded an MA in History from the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester (2006), where her specialist interest was urban housing provision.

She is a founder member of the Nottingham Women’s History Group, and volunteers on other history projects and initiatives in Nottingham. Her interests include the heritage of communities of interest and the built environment.

Mo previously worked in social housing provision, working in the ground-breaking Liverpool Housing Co-operative movement of the 1970s through to inner-city regeneration in London in the 1980s and 90s.

Mo has also spent many years working in the equalities sector including Women and Manual Trades and the Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum.

Joanna Czechowska

Joanna Czechowska, wrote the novel The Black Madonna of Derby (originally published in Polish, Goodbye Polsko) in 2008. The plot revolves around three generations of a Polish immigrant family living in Derby in the 1960s and 1970s. The sequel, Sweetest Enemy, was published in 2012 and continues the story of the family into the 1980s and 1990s with the rise of the independent trade union Solidarity. Joanna now lives in London and works as the chief sub editor and book review editor Woman magazine

Dr Ali Flint

After four years of hard work I gained my PhD in History at the University of Derby in October 2017; this was in no small part to my director of studies, Dr Ruth Larsen, who never failed to show faith in my abilities. I am now an Associate Researcher here at the University working on a joint project with Ruth and Professor Paul Elliott. My research interests and expertise centre on the nineteenth-century epistolary cultures of Derbyshire gentry women, in particular exploring their lost voices and hidden lives.

Dr Ruth Larsen

Dr Ruth Larsen is the Programme Leader for Undergraduate History at the University of Derby. Following a PhD at the University of York on women in the Yorkshire country house Ruth has published a range of edited books, articles and chapters on eighteenth and nineteenth century history, especially exploring country houses, elite women and religious history. In 2004 she was part of the Yorkshire Country House Partnership team who created a series of interlinked exhibitions across seven country houses that explored the lives of women in the country house.

Clare Mullin

Senior Community Outreach Officer for East and West Midlands and Lead on Women in Parliament project for the Houses of Parliament Outreach and Engagement Team.  Working with the Vote 100 Team to celebrate 100 years since women gained the vote in 2018.  Passionate about involvement and engagement.

Suzie Litton-Wood

Suzie was born into an Irish Farming-Romany family and is very proud of her Celtic heritage. Her connection with all things 'spiritual' began at a very early age. Suzie says: "If you still your mind and listen to your inner voice, all you will hear is Loving Truth."

Shazia Parveen

Born in Derby in 1976 attended local schools and was bought up in an area where unity and community mattered. Unfortunately, so much has now changed and been dismantled and too often nowadays, 'We' means  'I'. I have been an activist for over 10 years in various guises and roles role and as a volunteer at various levels. At present I’m a registered  Nurse, facing with my colleagues significant changes/challenges to the NHS since I started in 1999  I am an active union rep at the work place as the passion inside me burns like a candle to be the change I want to see and be the voice for those who do not have their own. I’m also currently completing my Employment Law Diploma to increase my own knowledge in order to deliver the highest level of service to our member. I am a proud mother of one beautiful daughter who graduated last year successfully progressing in the world of work world. My daughter has the qualities which gives me hope for the future

Dr Sarah Richardson

In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities, Sarah Richardson's role as the HEA's Subject Director for History focused on strategic issues and she represented the discipline at a national level. In addition, she led on the central issue of scholarship of teaching and learning and pedagogical research, as well as issues concerning Bolognaassessmentplagiarism, and the RAE/REF.

Sarah Richardson's research is in the field of modern political and gender hsitory, particularly women and political culture in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain.

Sarah won a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006, and her interest in e-learning is reflected in her role as a founder member of the Association for History and Computing. On this subject Sarah co-authored Using Computers in History (2005), designed to help students of history make the most of the tools readily available to them. She was also involved in the steering group of the Teaching and Learning Technology Project (Phase 3) and of the Courseware in History Consortium.

On 17 September 2016 Sarah wrote a paper discussing the 1896 women's suffrage petition and the Special Appeal to Parliament that was signed by over 257,000 people. See the link at

This month Dr Sarah Richardson discusses the 1896 women's suffrage petition and the Special Appeal to Parliament that was signed by over 257,000 people.

Sonya Robotham

Sonya co-founded two organisations, Spectrum Derbyshire and Vox Feminarum: Women's Voices and is passionate about fighting oppression in all its forms. Current and former roles include: Senior Lecturer and Programme Manager in BSc International Relations and Global Development and BSc Third World Development, University of Derby and more than 20 years of community organising and activism in the UK and overseas; including in Derby Women's Centre; Hadari Nari; Children First; Community Action; Board member Derbyshire Friend (now DerbyshireLGBT+)  Panel Member Derby Youth Offending Team; Community Green Organiser of Birmingham's Pride Festival; Coordinator of Birmingham Shout Festival; Co-Chair of Derby LGBT Community Forum and vice-chair of International Women's Day Derby and IAG Member, Derbyshire Police. VF Organiser A Woman’s Place Grassroots Conference.

Dr Catrin Rutland

Catrin is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Developmental Genetics at The University of Nottingham. She is the President of the Young European Association of Veterinary Anatomists and Fellow of numerous international societies. She has written over 40 scientific publications and books, 70 conference abstracts and popular science books. She also undertakes pedagogical studies, specialising in the educational support needs of differing students (including gender/socio-economic differences and internationalism). Catrin undertakes outreach to children and adults and hopes to enable and encourage a love of science and education. In addition Catrin is a published science fiction and horror author. 

Ruchita Shaikh

Ruchita Shaikh is the Executive Director at Artcore, a visual arts charity in Derby. Ruchita is also a Visual artist with a post-graduate qualification in Industrial Design (ceramics) from the National institute of Design India. Ruchita joined Artcore in 2000 in India and is now the Executive Director of Artcore in Derby. Ruchita represents on the Culture and Leisure Board of Derby City Council. She feels strongly that art is an effective, empathetic tool to bring people together. She was the winner of the Derby and Derbyshire most inspirational woman in Arts awards in 2017.

Karen Springer

Karen is a history graduate and a passionate community activist. Among her many activities she is a key member of Disabled People Against The Cuts, Derby (DPAC, Derby)  and founder member of Women Against Austerity WAA. 

Maggie Slingsby

Maggie Slingsby has a lifetime’s experience of delivering Art and Design programmes as teacher and lecturer. She delivers lectures and practical sessions on range of arts related subjects to a diverse range of clients. Her most recent post was as Learning Director at Derby College. She is a practicing printmaker and keen exponent of women’s issues

Christina Smith

Christina Smith is an experienced Community Developer and she is currently growing a unique and ground breaking new community based at the Multi-Faith Centre in Derby.  Christina has over 20 years’ experience of working with communities in the UK and US to facilitate personal growth and spiritual development. Christina’s work with Derby Unity is about helping them become a powerful example of peaceful community by providing a space where people of all faiths and none are welcomed equally.  Christina's philosophy is that it is less about ‘what we believe’ and more about how we choose ‘to be’ in this world.

Prof Cecile Wright

Expertise Summary: Education, health inequality, lifestyle, children/youth, family, welfare, women's interests, race relations, social class divide, community cohesion, politics and representation, crime and policing, American civil rights.

Previous work with the media has included an appearance on BBC East Midlands, Sunday Politics and BBC News Online, as well as an appearance on the Sally Pepper Show on BBC Radio Derby.

For more information about Professor Wright please visit her website.

Consultancy and Research: Professor Cecile Wright is happy to explore opportunities to undertake consultancy and research work with external organisations. Cecile is also a community activist in both Derby and Nottingam and is currently seeking election as a Labour Councillor in Derby

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