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Magid Magid joins forces with the University of York to support asylum seekers, refugees, and human rights defenders

Posted on 22 March 2024

Somali-British Activist, Dr Magid Magid, joins the York Sanctuary Fund development board with the aim of making the university a place of empowerment for those seeking sanctuary.

Magid Magid is smiling and wearing a black t shirt and a yellow cap

Dr Magid Magid is a Somali-British Activist championing racial and climate justice, and also an Honorary Graduate of the University of York. He is also an author and former politician, previously serving as the Member of European Parliament for Yorkshire as well as the youngest Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

Magid was born in Somalia and arrived in Sheffield as a refugee. His journey from displacement to prominence resonates deeply with the ethos of The York Sanctuary Fund, which provides vital support to those asylum seeking students, human rights defenders and academics at risk. 

Donations to the fund are channelled towards transformative Equal Access scholarships and protective fellowships, with the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to access the education they need to realise their potential.

Joining the York Sanctuary Fund Development Board, Magid will accompany Elke Versmessen, Chair, Phil Harding, Journalist and Broadcaster, and Jerry Lockspeiser, Chair Of North South Wines and Director of Positive News.

Magid recently hosted a reception in London for friends and alumni of the University of York to support the York Sanctuary Fund, where he spoke about his hopes for the future of the Sanctuary Fund:

“I invite you to join us in this glorious quest to change the world, one life, one story, and one scholarship at a time. Together, we can craft a narrative that future generations will marvel at, possibly in rooms just like this one, wondering, “How did they do it?” And we’ll say, “With a little bit of humour, a lot of determination, and an unwavering belief in the power of education and sanctuary.”

The University of York and the Office of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni look forward to working with Magid to shape the strategy of the fund, reach new audiences, and make a tangible difference in the lives of asylum seekers, human rights defenders, and academics at risk.

If you have any further questions about the York Sanctuary Fund please get in touch with Kalli Keramari,