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University celebrates Asian Heritage Month


The UK’s first British-Asian town mayor will be among the speakers at a University of Wolverhampton event to celebrate Asian Heritage Month.

Councillor Bishan Dass will talk about his life in politics at the event which is open to the public on Tuesday 23 May 2017.

The special day of events starts at 10.30am in room MC001 at City Campus Wulfruna and will include a series of talks, musical performances and workshops.

The Co-Chairs of the University of Wolverhampton’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network, Kunal Swani and Suneeta Patel, said: “May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to acknowledge the long and rich history of people of Asian ethnicity and their contribution to the United Kingdom. Britain’s ethnic diversity and inclusive culture strengthens it socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Celebrating Asian heritage reaffirms our resolve in being an inclusive and diverse organisation.” 

The full programme of events:

10.30am: Pride Vs Prejudice with Former Mayor Bishan Dass in MC Building, Room 001

A talk from Councillor Bishan Dass about his life in politics. Mr. Dass served as Mayor of Wolverhampton in 1986-87, becoming the first British-Asian to act as their town’s mayor anywhere in the UK. He emigrated from India in 1963, moving to Wolverhampton due to family links. Since ceasing to be Mayor he has continued to be heavily involved in politics and community relations, a key cause being the campaign against discrimination in the basis of caste. In 2015 he published an autobiography called Pride vs. Prejudice.

12pm: The Origins of the East India Company in MC Building, Room 001

A groundbreaking film project will explore Britain and India's 400 year relationship - from the first voyage of the East India Company to modern times. Victoria Anker has been examining stories that revolve around around the key moments of this defining exchange. This talk will focus on the Emergence of the East India Company in the 17th Century.

1pm: House of Verse Performs in MC Building, Room 001

An eclectic collective of live performers will dazzle your eyes and ears with music and dance from Leicester's House of Verse. This incredible line up of performances will share the rich and colourful history of India - from Bollywood dance, to classical tabla and modern urban influences of culture from the UK.

2pm: Peacock Feather Painting Workshop in MC Building, Room 201

Body art workshop creating peacock feathers on hands and arms, creating a strong image of India's independence captured through a symbolic gesture of freedom. Led by theatre company Enter Edem, this will be a chance to have some fun, get involved and produce stunning art work of India's national bird.

The BAME Staff Network will also be hosting a special exhibition titled “Survivors” that remembers the experiences of several families who survived the partition of India and built new lives in Britain.

Will Cooling, University of Wolverhampton Equality and Diversity Special Projects and Policy Manager, said. “At the heart of the University of Wolverhampton is our mission to educate people about the world around them. We are very excited to build on our long support for Wolverhampton Black History Month, to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. We aim to highlight Wolverhampton’s unique role in the British Asian community, explore the broader relationship between Britain and India, and celebrate Asian music and culture. We hope local residents will enjoy the event.”   

You do not need to register to attend, but to reserve your place please visit:

Further information

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Tuesday, 16 May 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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