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Breaking through despite the odds

Tuesday 3 October 2017, 6.15PM to 8.00pm

Speaker(s): Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu

Many people will be extremely surprised to read that she spent her first nine years of life in Birmingham Children's Homes, run by Catholic nuns. Her parents met as students at Cambridge University but never married. Elizabeth's mother Mary was studying Classics at Newnham College when she became pregnant. Her devoutly Catholic family were horrified and this was compounded when it became clear that the baby was mixed-race.

Dame Elizabeth will explore the factors that led her to overturn this difficult start in life and achieve the many successes in her career. This will include the motivation behind campaigning for improved sickle cell services within the NHS and for a statue of Mary Seacole. She has always strived to combine a community development approach within her academic work. In 2001 she was proud to have co-authored The Politics of Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia with Professor Karl Atkin AcSS, our Head of the Department.

Refreshments are available from 5.30pm, the lecture will start at 6.15pm.

To book a place please visit

Location: P/X001, Physics, University of York

Admission: Free, but ticket required.