Bend so you don’t break

Wednesday 21st June 2017

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Black Cultural Archives




Wellbeing and mental health is a concern for everyone, regardless of race, status, class, and power.  There are many positive steps being taking by businesses and local communities to break down the stigma and silence around mental health, but more needs to be done.


Bernard P. Achampong – Radio Producer & Digital Content Editor

Our host, Bernard P Achampong, is a corporate chameleon. He worked for six years as a problem solving engineer in Biotech and Aerospace companies. He joined the BBC in 2002 and was part of the team that launched BBC Radio 1Xtra. Since then, he has journeyed through contrasting cultures within the same organisation: from the street savvy youth brands of Radio 1 and BBC Introducing, to the more Oxbridge-friendly Today Programme on Radio 4 and BBC Proms. In 2016, he joined Coventry University’s Entrepreneurship faculty where the established culture of academia challenged everything he knew about organisations. Bernard also runs Ideas Genius Ltd.


Ama Afrifa-Kyei – Diversity & Wellbeing Consultant

Ama has over 10 years’ professional experience within diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and wellbeing (of which 2 years covers CSR experience). She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has in-depth knowledge of workplace culture, talent, diversity and health & wellbeing. She is currently the Global LifeWorks & Inclusion Manager at Discovery Communications where she leads the agenda for a balanced, flexible and healthy work environment in partnership with the Head of the International Division – focusing on establishing a culture of inclusion primarily for the UK and Nordic offices.

Shaaban Waziri Juma – Complex needs specialist at St Mungo’s | Co-Chair of BAME Network

Shaaban is an experienced complex needs specialist from St Mungo’s homeless charity. He is passionate about empowering others and focuses on supporting clients to navigate the interplay of their thoughts and feelings. He helps them to explore the influence of human behaviour and their actions.

His day job involves training people in workshops and 1:2:1 interventions across London to take ownership of their emotional wellbeing and general health. He has lived experience of addiction and multiple complex needs. .

He provides a diverse range of strength based approaches underpinned by theoretical and empirical evidence in professional practice.


Beverley East MGA, CDE, CAM, DPGA – Author, Graphologist, Forensic Document Examiner & Grief Counselor

After 14 years in the private and public sector in London she made an unusual career change to study Handwriting analysis. She established her company Strokes & Slants in the late 80’s. She has practiced the science of Forensic Document Examination for over 28 years becoming a leading expert. She is the only woman of colour worldwide court qualified expert, many government agencies retain her expertise in areas of fraud and Money Laundering matters.
She was appointed to the Ethics committee of the International Association of Document Examiners in 2015. She has contributed to many high profile cases that have been televised.

Her first book “Finding Mr. Write” (Random House) was an international best seller after appearing on “Good Morning America” with Diane Sawyer. She is a leading expert throughout the Caribbean region examining documents.

Beverley hosts accredited sold out seminars through the General Legal Counsel.
She provides profiling for recruitment selection for major corporations in the US, Brazil and Jamaica.
She has received many literary accolades and another fellowship from the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts VCCA, where she completed her third book “Bat Mitzvah Girl – Memories of a Jamaican child”.

I have worked as a grief counsellor for various organisations over 25 years globally.
1. worked with SIDS in the UK – grief counsellor for mothers of still born births
2. Set and ran a support group for Mothers of Murdered children in Washington DC when DC was the murder capital of the world.
3. I have had direct and personal experience with mental health issues with two members of my family
4. I have befriended and have counselled a young woman on death row in Texas for over twenty years when she was suicidal
5. I have been apart of many support groups and organisations as a speaker/facilitator on #wellness #health workshops

Keith Dube AKA Mr Exposed – Presenter, Writer, Blogger and Podcaster

In January 2015,  Keith Dube decided to finally share his struggles with mental health, in the simplest way people have used for the past decade.  He wrote about his depression, and coming to terms with his illness enough to face it head-on. But, unlike most people, within a year, his stream-of-consciousness blog ended up leading him towards making his first ever BBC Three documentary, ‘Being Black, Going Crazy’ airing in 2016 and 2017.  He has been praised nationally for putting the issue of black mental health on the map.


A huge part of breaking down the silence around mental health, making people feel comfortable sharing their experiences, and providing mental health care, is making sure mental health is seen as equally important to physical health.

We need action from big brands, the government, and people with influence to provide and advocate for mental health care.

But we also need a change in thinking on an individual level.

We need to start valuing our own mental health as equally important as our physical health.

That starts with the way we treat it.



More info:


Info: 07772 527 813 / 07545 156 111