Biography: April-Louise Then & Now
April-Louise (not to be shortened to April!) is a South-West London born, Cardiff-based, sociologist, free thinker, published writer, accomplished speaker & aspiring public intellectual.
She is proud of her dual Jamaican & Nigerian (Yoruba) roots that underpin her British identity & is a huge lover of documentaries, roots reggae, well-seasoned food, (solo) traveling & leaving a positive mark wherever she goes.
Her passion lies in exploring our world & educating others about the richness, the beauty, the power & the immense contributions of global Black art, cultures & communities, centring girls and women within these.
A nomad from a young age, April-Louise attended a total of five schools (two primary schools & three secondary schools) throughout her education. This provided her with wide & varied experiences, teaching her how to adapt within both the state & private sectors. She soon realised how a person’s background & identity could provide or restrict access to different educational quality & opportunities.
However, she is very appreciative of the support of her boldly courageous & determined mother for singlehandedly refusing to allow an anti-Black, classist, & sexist education system to restrict the potential of her two young Black British daughters. This support guided her navigation through the education system, ingraining a passion to help others, specifically Black girls & women, to navigate the education system, after doing so herself, with much difficulty.
April-Louise is an alumna of the Universities of Kent & Birmingham where she graduated in 2015 (undergraduate), 2016 (masters) & 2020 (PhD) respectively. She also spent a year studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. As the first person in her family to gain a PhD, she prays that there will be many more in future generations.
Through her educational experiences, April-Louise is working hard to cultivate an academic career where she offers alternative narratives about journeying through the (English) education system as well as the hidden histories & contributions of enslaved African people & their descendants. She also critiques outdated notions of educational "success" through focusing on the experiences & journeys of Black girls & women. Recently, this critique has expanded to focus on the British heritage sector.
She has developed an impressive professional reputation & a wide array of experience & expertise working with race equality, heritage & educational third sector organisations, as well as governments & universities, to name a few.
It is through the creation of knowledge which she employs to educate others, as well as her enjoyment for researching & consulting that makes April-Louise a critically constructive friend to her colleagues, collaborators & clients.
April-Louise is currently working at Cardiff University & is a Research Associate at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. Outside of work, she is a member of the Black History Cymru 365 management committee & the African Caribbean Research Collective. Mental health is also an area that is close to her heart & is a certified Mental Health First Aider.
Truly passionate about the transformative power of education, April-Louise hopes that everyone will have the chance to be able to enjoy & thrive within an intersectional, equitable system.
Ultimately, April-Louise seeks to create more nuanced understandings & accounts of areas that are often shrouded in whiteness, through spotlighting Blackness in its many forms.
Photo Credit: Fatima Halidou