EMMA DABIRI IS AN IRISH-NIGERIAN BROADCASTER, HISTORIAN AND BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Emma’s latest documentary Hair Power: Me and My Afro (Channel 4) asked some of the most important questions facing the Black British population – and how it is that hair became one of the most misunderstood, celebrated and debated aspects of the black experience. The documentary went on to win a Cannes Lion Silver award in the Entertainment Category.

Emma co-presents Britain’s Lost Masterpieces on BBC 4. She presented Virtually History on YouTube Originals, Back in Time for Brixton and the Back in Time Confectioners series (BBC Two), Is Love Racist? (Channel 4) and has made several social history films for The One Show (BBC). She’s appeared on Newsnight (BBC2), Have I Got News for You (BBC2), Jeremy Vine (Channel 5), Book Tube (YouTube) and Mel B’s special edition of Steph’s Packed Lunch for C4’s Black to Front day.

On radio she has hosted BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Front Row. Emma has authored a landmark Radio 4 documentary, Journeys in Afrofuturism as well as EXPOSED: Young Female Photographers which explores the work of three exciting emerging photographers.

Emma’s latest book ‘What White People Can Do Next. From Allyship to Coalition’ released in 2021 was an immediate Times and Sunday Times bestseller. WWPCDN?is a clever deconstruction of the mainstream conversation around anti-racism. This is not a ‘how to’ guide. Rather, this collection of essays urges us to root our understanding of race in the multiple and complex histories of class, capitalism, and colonialism. It follows on from her debut work ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ which was an Irish Times Bestseller. DTMH also inspired a national conversation about race and hair and has led to changing regulations in schools and in the British army. Both are available now, published by Penguin, Allen Lane.

Emma was on the judging panel for the Merky Books New Writers’ Prize 2020-2021 founded by Stormzy which aims to discover unpublished, under-represented writers aged 16-30 from the UK and Ireland.  She is a trustee of Hugh Lane Gallery and a member of the British Council’s New Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group.

During lockdown in spring 2020 Emma founded Disobedient Bodies, a virtual space and book club that celebrates and encourages disobedience. She has interviewed women like Booker Prize nominee Kiley Reid and American Irish Dance sensation Morgan Bullock.

Emma’s interdisciplinary work crosses African Studies, art, sociology, history, film, literature, theatre, popular culture and music. She is a teaching fellow in the Africa department at SOAS and a Visual Sociology PhD researcher at Goldsmiths. Emma is also a seasoned public speaker and has been invited to present her work at a wide range of cultural institutions from Tate Britain, to the British Museum, to Oxford University, St Andrews and Yale.

Emma gives regular talks and takes part on panels at festivals and arts venues, and hosts a range of live events.

Instagram: @emmadabiri

Twitter @EmmaDabiri

 

The talk was really good, illuminating and the audience seemed really engaged.

Festival of Home 2021 - Museum of Home 2021


The session went very well – naturally Emma’s insight and expertise was thought provoking, highly informative and led to invaluable discussions between herself and the lead interviewer. Her comprehensive description of the genesis of race codification was eye-opening.

Moderated Q&A on Race Relations, Allyship, Coalition and Everday Actions Colleagues can Implement for Mail Metro Media, 2021


Please pass on our huge thanks to Emma – it was a really fun conversation and we had so many messages from the team during and after saying how insightful they found the session. People learnt a lot and really enjoyed it.

Q&A on Race and Equality for Snap Inc, 2021


The launch went very well, Emma was really great. Please pass on our sincere thanks.

Launch of Arthur Cox Internal Network on Race and Ethnicity, 2021


We wanted to express our appreciation for having Emma on our Multicultural Leadership Programme this morning. It went phenomenally and having Emma as our guest speaker made it that much more impactful and inspiring to listen to her stories which resonated with our audience and even ourselves. We’ve had such positive feedback from everyone part-taking.

Accelerate Multicultural Leadership Programme, Online Q&A 2021


Emma is such a charismatic and thoughtful speaker and we were definitely inspired by her journey and experience. The discussion flowed naturally among our panellists and the stories they shared with us were truly motivational. We’ve had an amazing response from everyone who attended. I could listen to her talk all day!

Guardian Black Women in Power Online Panel 2021


I wanted to write to thank you for being part of the Being Mixed Race panel during WOW. The debate and discussion highlighted so much and it felt like we covered a lot of ground. {…] You’ll be really pleased to hear that we had marvellous feedback from the session.

Jude Kelly (founder of WOW and former artistic director of Southbank Centre)


On behalf of us all at Blackstone we wanted to thank Emma for her time earlier and for the brilliant Q&A session. We’ve received some wonderful feedback following the session.

Blackstone 2020


Just a note to say thank you so much for all your support in organising yesterday – Emma was so brilliant and engaging and we had an audience of more than one hundred, with such great feedback. Please do pass on a massive thank you to Emma and hopefully we can work together again soon.

Revlon Diversity and Inclusion Initiative 2020 via Beauty SEEN Ltd


The event went really well overall and students seemed super engaged. Please pass our thanks again to Emma for joining us – the conversation was extremely thought-provoking and rich.

STAND Student Festival 2020


At Science Gallery, we place great emphasis on accessible and informal events and I think Emma and Felicia really demonstrated that value well. The conversation was really casual and enjoyable yet informative and thought-provoking, so we’re delighted with how it went.

Science Gallery Dublin Book Club 2020


It went so well, so much engagement and positive feedback, Emma was an absolute star.

Nando’s Grocery Q&A 2020


We had a great time with Emma. Super thoughtful and fascinating perspectives!

Adyen Virtual Staff Lunch 2020


Please pass on our thanks to Emma for bringing such a wonderful conversation to our event. We really appreciate her perspective and willingness to speak on the topics we had planned. Already we have had great feedback and Emma was a huge part of that, she has gained a number of new fans today.

VM Inclusion Ireland VMware’s Diversity and Inclusion committee 2020


Emma was wonderful! It was a great conversation and a lovely dynamic between her, the host and the other guests.

BT Pass The Mic - Diversity & Inclusion Employee Initiative 2021


EMMA WAS JUST AWESOME

Sky Unity Programme 2021


Thank you so much for everything, I think we’re all still very much left in awe

Race Equality Week 2022 - Totaljobs group


Politics of Natural Hair Politics of Natural Hair Internationality Internationality Beautiful Beautiful