"My name is Renée Landell, I am the founder of Beyond Margins. For two academic years I held the position of BAME officer at Royal Holloway, University of London's Student's Union, by students' recommendation. I had an extremely rewarding experience making an impact by designing and voting on policies, creating strategies for diversity with BAME staff and the college, and representing thousands of ethnic minority students on campus. But I soon realised that there is room and an inherent responsibility to do more. So, I created Beyond Margins, a not-for-profit organisation which provides services to schools, colleges and universities across London and the South East. Beyond Margins seeks to highlight the phenomenal achievements of BAME students, staff and alumni across various stages of education, through social activism, training and development, school outreach and advertising/publicity initiatives. If ever there was a time to celebrate and elevate the truly staggering diverse talent the UK has to offer, it is now.
Celebrating BAME Leadership and Talent;
Beyond Margins aims to contribute to the ever-changing discourse around social inclusion and diversity, to help move it beyond the tokenism and into a space of purposeful intervention/structural reform. We deliver school outreach sessions with focus and attention on young BAME future leaders and talent; it designs strategies to encourage diversity and inclusion for staff and faculty; it organises events which serve to inspire and motivate BAME individuals; and promotes the current contributions of BAME people to their communities. This project is not only designed to uplift those who have already made, and are still making, great contributions to shape and serve the communities around them, it is designed to inspire those who wish to help in the future, by giving advice, demonstrating how their skills and talents can be useful to numerous causes and by giving them opportunities to put their skills to great use. Our approach is to eradicate ignorance, stereotypes and internalised beliefs (which encourage low-self esteem and anxiety). For far too long, society has held up barriers for BAME people in education— that’s why the attainment gap exists, that’s why our curriculum is mono-cultural and why we don’t see representative figures teaching in the classroom. We aim to remedy this through positive engagement and by creating a platform for hyper-visibility."
Campaign to raise awareness for important causes such as BAME mental Health & Sickle Cell Disease
Run events and projects to reverence historical and celebratory months and days such as Black History Month, International Women's Day etc.
Work to be a hyper-visible platform by creating promotional/publicity initiatives to showcase the wonderful talent and successes of BAME people in education and industry.
“Beyond Margins is doing exactly what it says on the tin (and at times, much more)! Renée has done an amazing job of uniting and bolstering a network of people who aren’t afraid, and are constantly seeking ways to go ‘beyond [the] margins’ that society has set out for us. In being part of this project, I have not only gone beyond margins, I’ve also widened them by interacting with such a diverse and talented network of people. An amazing project pioneered by an amazing person!”
"For me, ‘Beyond Margins’ is more than a catchphrase, it’s an embodiment of what I strive to break beyond each and every day. Renee is more than a ‘leader’, she’s quickly become a mentor and an inspiration for me and several other individuals across different races and creeds of all ages. Moving beyond the margins and into prominence and prosperity is the way forward for us all. Mind over matter, each move closer towards our ultimate goal."
BME Intern and Student in the Department of History
“I thoroughly enjoy working with Beyond Margins, from being invited to speak at schools to participating on a Careers panel at my former university to BAME students, the journey so far has been filled with opportunity. It is wonderful to be able to be apart of such commendable and respectable initiatives”
"Beyond margins to me is more of a community where you can share your success and failures, where you always feel celebrated and empowered. I am inspired by the incredible people on this platform."
BAME Ambassador & Student in Economics and Management
Check out our B(l)ackstage stories blogs:
This series aims to showcase amazing and talented Black Royal Holloway students and alumni in the hope of inspiring the next generation of Black students. Over the next few days I will be sharing their stories of ‘becoming’, overcoming and succeeding.