In Conversation with Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Professor Dame Anionwu will be in discussion with Ian Cameron to discuss Mary Seacole and her own long and illustrious career in nursing.


Professor Dame Anionwu will be in discussion with Ian Cameron; who will, by the time of this event, be President of the Society. This event was born when the Social Philosophy committee decided it would like to hear about Mary Seacole, the remarkable British / Jamaican healer and businesswoman who pioneered battlefield nursing during the Crimean War. A building on the University of Salford campus is now named after her. Dame Elizabeth has had a long and illustrious career in nursing, specialising in the nurse-led treatment of sickle cell thalassaemia. She helped lead the campaign to raise a statue of Mary Seacole, which became the first named memorial to a black woman in the UK. It stands outside St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

The discussion will cover the lives, struggles and achievements of both women. They grew up over a century apart, but as mixed-race girls they both had to overcome the obstacles and frustrations of white, male-dominated society. It will be interesting to hear how their experiences compare and what lessons we can draw for the future.

About the speaker

Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu is an Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London. In 1979 she became the first ever UK sickle cell/thalassaemia nurse counsellor based in Brent. Her memoirs, originally self-published in 2016, are due to be republished in 2021 by Orion entitled Dreams From My Mother.

Dame Anionwu is Life Patron of the Mary Seacole Trust and Patron of the Sickle Cell Society. In 2020 she was included in the top 100 Greatest Black Britons. In November 2020 Professor Anionwu was included in the BBC 100 Women 2020 list.

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