Keeping That Door Open: In Conversation with Michelle Codrington-Rogers


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In this episode, Melina interviews Michelle Codrington-Rogers, the first (known) Black female president in British teacher trade union history. Michelle shares with us her journey from truly knowing herself thanks to Saturday schools, to getting hooked to activism as the Black Students Officer, and rising even higher in the teacher trade union ranks in the midst of a global pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Michelle is a Black British queer teacher of citizenship and PSHE at a large secondary school in Oxford. As a teacher, she first became a member of the NASUWT – the Teacher’s Union which is the only UK-wide union exclusively for teachers. In the NASUWT, Michelle started off as a school rep, then a local secretary and Oxfordshire Federation secretary. In 2011, she was elected to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Race Relations Committee and she chaired the annual TUC Black Workers’ Conference in 2018. Also in 2018, Michelle was elected as a national officer for the NASUWT and, in April 2020, she became the first Black President in the union’s 101-year history.

Some of those special people (that Michelle didn't want to embarrass!) who kept those doors open for Michelle and more to continue rising: NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT National Officer for Equality and Training Jennifer Moses, NASUWT Birmingham Local Association Secretary Ava Verrier, and many more...

References and staying in touch:

NASUWT - The Teacher's Union, and its annual Black Teachers' Conferences (UK-wide).

Political Blackness

Michelle Codrington-Rogers: @oxcityNASUWT and @MNasuwt on Twitter.

Decolonise the Curriculum for Education: @Dtc4Uk and recorded conference

Impact of Omission: @impactofomission

Jayaben Desai who led 100 mainly South Asian women in a dispute against the Grunwick photo processing factory in Willesden, North London, in 1976.

TUC Black Workers' Conferences

Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Heart of the Racist Empire

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