Meena is a long-term advocate for ethnic minority women. She is the founder and Chair of the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association and Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare. (EMWWH). An honorary distinguished professor of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University, she directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory until her retirement in 2014. Meena has published over 200 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and edited 3 books. She received an OBE in 2016 for "services to medical genetics and the Welsh Asian community".
Prof Chris Weedon
Volunteer Project Co-Director
I have been involved with EMWWAA since 2013. When Meena told me that she wanted more people to know about the amazing contributions that the women shortlisted for awards have made to Welsh society, we decided that we needed to record and publicise their life stories and applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Outside of EMWWAA, I am professor emerita at Cardiff University and I was involved in Butetown History & Arts Centre for 26 years. I have worked on a range of community-based oral history projects since 1990 with people from various minority communities. Currently, I am also part of an AHRC-funded research project on refugees in Wales. For our HLF project we have an excellent team and always welcome new volunteers. Above all, we have 40 wonderful women willing to share their life stories with us.
Project Volunteer Coordinator
I am from a British Pakistani background and after studying law, I had a successful career as a solicitor working mostly with clients on legal aid. Alongside raising two children and working part-time for Third Sector organizations, I recently completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing and I start on a Ph.D. in Autumn 2020. I have been published by Wales Arts Review and in an anthology titled Just So You Know, essays of experience. For me, this project is a means of capturing an essential part of Welsh history. It is also a celebration of the contributions made by ethnic minority women in Wales.
Even though I have a background in Public Health, what I have always been truly interested in is people, being part of something bigger, a collective journey perhaps, which separates us but also brings us together. I moved to Wales from New Delhi, India in 2018. Being part of EMWWAA's Heritage Lottery funded project intertwined my life with the women whose stories we delved deep into. This metamorphic experience helped me become part of the fabric of society and feel at home here. Interacting with and getting to know some genuinely inspiring souls is a once in a lifetime occurrence which I know is going to shape my view of the world around for years to come.
Dr. Adeola Dewis
I am an artist and researcher resident in Wales since 2003. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, I have a keen interest in stories of diaspora and performances of identity and belonging. EMWWAA’s Heritage Lottery funded project provided an opportunity to be part of a much larger narrative of women who have moved from places of origin, made roots in Wales, and pushed boundaries of achievement. With the support of an amazing team, I facilitated a space for the women to be able to share aspects of their life story. It is humbling and a great privilege to be a part of the mechanism that brings these truly inspiring and moving stories to a wider public.
Kirsten Eve Lavine
Interview Editor and Transcriber
I am an oral historian, author, and teacher originally from Canada. Over the past 20 years, I have been involved with a variety of community-based oral history projects in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. It has been my great pleasure to have been a part of this EMWWAA oral history project, to transcribe the experiences and life stories of a variety of Welsh-based women from many different ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. I’ve discovered so much about the enormous contributions they’ve made to Welsh society, as well as the particular challenges many have faced along the way. Learning of the courage, determination, and dedication of these women in their chosen fields has been tremendously inspiring, and I’m sure as the project becomes more accessible to the public, that others too will be similarly enriched by such encounters.