AfOx Insaka with Dr Machilu Zimba and Dr. José Lingna Nafafé

Dr Machilu Zimba : Addressing Barriers to the Progression and Success of Graduate Students in UK Higher Education: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Practice

It is unsurprising that graduate students entering UK higher education face barriers to their progression and success. These obstacles are different depending on individual factors such as nationality, one’s gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or religious beliefs. Universities aiming to attract and develop talented students cannot and should not shy away from addressing these barriers through evidence-based interventions. This presentation and discussion will focus on the barriers international graduate students face and outline how universities are using equality, diversity and inclusion interventions to overcome them.

Dr. José Lingna Nafafé : The Black Atlantic Abolitionist Movement: Lourenço da Silva Mendonça’s 17 Century Case Against Atlantic Slavery

Africans’ involvement in the abolition of slavery is often confined to cases of ‘shipboard revolts’, ‘maroon communities’ and ‘individual fugitive slaves”. In this paper, I examine the highly-organised, international-scale legal case for liberation headed by Angolan nobleman Lourenço da Silva Mendonça. I argue that a movement for the abolition of slavery led by an African in solidarity with other marginalised groups pre-dates European abolitionists. The court case presented in the Vatican on the 6th of March 1684 by Mendonça argued for the abolition of slavery and included groups of African descent in Spain, Portugal, Brazil as well as constituencies of New Christians and Native Americans. This scale of this international initiative calling for abolition of slavery in the Atlantic led by Africans themselves has hitherto not been part of the history of abolitionist movements. In his address to the Vatican Mendonça questioned the institution of Atlantic slavery, using four core principles to bolster his argument: Human, Natural, Divine, and Civil Laws. I argue that Mendonça’s relationship with New Christians, Native Brazilians and other Africans was central to a distinct case for universal human rights, liberty and humanity.