Dawn Hill awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours

| January 29, 2018

Dawn Hill, Chairman of Black Cultural Archives has been awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for services to Culture. 

The award was made in recognition of Dawn’s resolute commitment and dedication to Culture, along with other complimentary achievements. 

Since 1988, Dawn has been a Trustee for Black Cultural Archives (BCA), becoming the Vice Chair in 2001 and Chairman from 2012 to the present.  

BCA highlights and celebrates the lives of people of African and Caribbean descent in the United Kingdom. On the 24th July 2014 the organisation launched the first national Black Heritage Centre in Windrush Square in Brixton. Under Dawn’s diligent chairmanship and after securing £6.9m of project funding, BCA launched the Black heritage centre, immediately adjacent to Windrush Square in the heart of Brixton.  

The purpose-built facility provides access to a captivating and growing collection of archive material and artefacts and engages audiences and learners through exhibitions, culturally-centred public programmes and work with education and heritage providers. 

The Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP awarded Dawn a Points of Light Award on the 18th October 2017, at a special Black History Month reception at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister commented, “At the ‘Black Cultural Archives’ you have been fundamental in creating a vitally important national resource that is a shining light on the achievements of individuals of African and African Caribbean descent in British society…”.  

Dawn Hill. Photo courtesy http://dlfrom.com

Paul Reid, BCA Director added, “For approximately three decades, Dawn has been a leading light in the development and delivery of this award-winning facility and inserting largely unknown Black history into British and global history”.  

Dawn tirelessly chaired the construction project to ensure that the facility achieved the quality standards required to hold such valuable archive material in perpetuity; such standards in many cases are essential to receive objects on loan from other national and international institutions. 

Now engaging 50,000 learners and visitors per annum, BCA champions Black history within the British cultural and heritage landscape. Since its’ opening, the organisation has seen a demonstrable increase of interest, participation and dialogue within the community and also a greater acknowledgement, recognition and involvement of Britain’s Black history within the heritage sector as a whole.  

Dawn believes in an inclusive approach to the study of Black history that is accessible to all – from school children to senior citizens and from local residents to tourists visiting the country.   

Receiving the award, Dawn commented, “I am delighted to have been awarded a CBE and feel thrilled to have received it. I hope that the award helps to advance our cause to appropriately recognise the tremendous contributions that African and African-Caribbean people have made to these shores, and as importantly, how we can all perform a role to ensure that we learn from each other and fully appreciate what we continuously contribute to British cultural life.” 

Dawn’s other complimentary achievements span education and health. Examples of her contributions include: 

  • Trustee, Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal (MSMSA), 2011 and now President Mary Seacole (legacy) Trust to present 
  • Governor (elected patient representative) at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) (from 2009-2015 ) and was a Non-Executive Director (1999 –2007)  
  • Governor at Evelina Children’s Hospital School, St Thomas’ Hospital (2001 to present) (Chair of Governors to 2011)
  • Panel member, Lambeth Education Appeals – Admissions, Exclusions and Employee Dismissals, 2007 to present
  • Member of the Lambeth Library Commission, 2011
  • Chair of Management Board, Blackliners HIV & AIDS and Sexual Health Services 1991- 2002
  • Chair of Governors, Norwood Girls School, Lambeth, 1992 -2000
  • Board Member, African and Caribbean Family Mediation Service, 1996 – 2002
  • Founder (1972) and Management Advisor, Rainbow Community Nursery, Hackney


  • Written 18 Academy schools consultation reports for DofE and United Learning Trust, for academies located in various multi-faith and ethnically diverse areas of the UK, 2002 – 2009
  • Survey to Identify the Community Care Needs of the Black and Minority Ethnic Communities, Southwark Social Services, Focus Consultancy, 1996: report published April 1996 
  • Improving Access to Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services by Members of the Black and Ethnic Minority Communities, for The National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services (1993-4, Project Co-ordinator): report published as Occasional Paper 7, January 1995

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society, UK Caribbean Diaspora News

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