Paul Reid

Director of Black Cultural Archives, Black heritage, community-led regeneration, youth and community.

Paul is the Director of Black Cultural Archives.

He holds a Masters Degree in Multicultural Urban Education. Certificate in Youth & Community Work, Diploma in Independent Studies and Certificate & Diploma in Management.

With over 25 years experience in community development work, he joined Black Cultural Archives in October 2006 to capacity-build the organisation and drive forward the successful £7million fundraising campaign to establish the first national Black heritage centre in the UK, which opened in July 2014.

Prior to this he was the Capacity-building Third Sector Manager for Lambeth Council and in earlier years was the Brixton Town Centre Manager, where he was responsible for engaging local people and empowering communities, influencing Council policies and operations, leading and managing public consultation events and promoting democratic community–led regeneration.

The most high profile project was to work with the Brixton Area Forum (residents and businesses), senior officers and elected members for the redevelopment of Windrush Square - to produce a safe and high-quality public space in the heart of the town center, which was opened by Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London at the time.

Public consultation and democratic decision-making processes was key to this role and included working on such local initiatives as the redevelopment of Brixton Windmill, working with Brixton market traders for improvements to Brixton Market, delivering environmental improvements, crime prevention initiatives and community safety campaigns. This work facilitated inter-departmental, cross-directorate and multi-agency workings at the local level.

Paul was also the Team Leader for a Borough-wise Specialist Youth Work Team that delivered a range of targeted programmes (gender specific, Black young people, refugee and asylum seekers) for young adults.

He has a comprehensive track record in working with young people. At the local community level he worked with others to secure special provision for work with Black young people under Section 35 of the Race Relation Act and established numerous partnerships, programmes, schemes and conferences including international cultural exchange work. An example of this was being a member of the Phoenix Consortium that aimed to work with the 50 most prolific offenders in the London Borough of Lambeth. He was also Vice Chair for Lambeth’s Commission into Gang and Gun Crime.

In 1999 Paul was a Founder Member of New Initiatives Youth and Community Association, a Charity that specialises in delivering African-Centred rites of passage programmes that engage young people and their families in transition processes, supporting young people to journey from childhood to adulthood, ensuring community acknowledgement and involvement.

In 2000, he founded the ORIGIN Rites of Passage Programme that works with young men (13-17 years) and their parents. Paul is passionate about this important work, where men of African decent supports families to raise Son’s.

“In considering the value of heritage there are fascinating narratives to discover and enjoy but heritage is much more than… interesting. Heritage is the ground we stand on that connects us to our distant past, without which we are left floating in the world. Heritage is a source of strength with the power to change lives and shape the future.”

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