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. She is 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. She also critiques outdated notions of educational "success" through focusing on the experiences & journeys of Black girls & women.
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 & she recently became a certified Mental Health First Aider.
She truly has faith in the transformative power of education & hopes that everyone will have the chance to be able to enjoy & thrive within the 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