Lewis Hamilton tops list of Britain's most influential black people
Lewis Hamilton and PHE professor Kevin Fenton top list of Britain’s most influential black people in year of BLM protests and Covid-19 pandemic
- Lewis Hamilton is named number 1 for seven world titles and BLM campaigning
- Black medics recognised for Covid work including PHE chief Prof Kevin Fenton
- Stormzy, broadcaster Afua Hirsch and journalist Edward Enninful make top ten
- Organisers say 2021 list celebrates those who have spoken out against racism
- Marcus Rashford misses out on top ten but makes long list for his campaigning
Lewis Hamilton has today been named Britain’s most influential black person in a list dominated by those who have campaigned to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Formula 1 star, 35, who won his seventh world title on Sunday, has encouraged drivers to take the knee before races, changed his Mercedes racing car from silver to black and set up a commission to get more black people into motor sport.
He has described topping the Powerlist 2021 as a ‘monumental moment’ but used the award to pledge he would not ‘stay silent’ on racism in F1 as Boris Johnson was urged to give him a knighthood.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London chief of Public Health England, was given second place by the Powerlist judges who said they wanted to celebrate black Britons who have helped fight Covid-19 and ‘spoken truth to power’ on how BAME communities have been disproportionately hit.
Grime star Stormzy, broadcaster Afua Hirsch, editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful, historian David Olusoga are also recognised for campaigning against racial injustice.
Footballer Marcus Rashford made the longer list but not the top ten, despite twice forcing the Government into U-turns on providing free school meals during school holidays and today launching a national book club to encourage disadvantaged youngsters to read.
Lewis Hamilton has been named Britain’s most influential black person for his sporting success and campaigning for the BLM movement
Professor Kevin Fenton, London chief of Public Health England, is second on the list followed by rapper Stormzy
Marcus Rashford has had an influential year on and off the pitch for his campaigning on child poverty and now literacy. He made the long list, but not the top ten
1 Lewis Hamilton
Racing driver Hamilton, from a Stevenage council estate, has re-written the Formula One record books and, in the process, staked his claim to be considered among the greatest British sportsmen who have ever lived. He is the the only black driver in F1 and is campaigning to encourage more BAME people into the sport.
2 Prof Kevin Fenton
Professor Fenton joined the Health Protection Agency (now PHE) in 1999 as director of the HIV and STI department. He is in charge of London’s response to Covid.
Grime artist Stormzy, 27, has taken the British music scene by storm. He has also pledged £10m to fight for racial equality by 2030.
4 Michaela Coel
Actress and screenwriter who wrote and starred in 2020 drama I May Destroy You
5 Edward Enninful
Editor-in-chief of British Vogue and campaigner for diversity in the fashion world.
6 Dame Donna Kinnair
Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing was inspired to become a nurse because of the care given to her severely asthmatic father. She has helped run several large London hospitals specialising in child protection and HIV services.
7 Jacqueline McKenzie
Director at Centre for Migration Advice and Research fighting forfor justice for victims of the Windrush Scandal
8 David Olusoga
9 Afua Hirsch
Journalist, author and broadcaster who recently made a documentary with Samuel L. Jackson exploring 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade.
10 Richard Iferenta
Accountant and vice-chair of KPMG and sponsor of the business’ African Caribbean network.
The annual list of the most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage in the UK is ranked by independent judges chaired by retired High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs, in partnership with law firm JP Morgan.
Michael Eboda, the chief executive of Powerful Media, has said the 2020 list, first published in 2007, is marked by the Black Lives Matter protests across the UK following the murder of George Floyd in the US in May.
Mr Eboda said: ‘The judges actually wanted to make it clear this year’s top 10 was quite deliberately different from years in the past.
‘I think in the past it has been a lot more corporate and business-focused, whereas this year it was about the two main issues that have affected black communities globally, which are Covid and Black Lives Matter’.
Lewis Hamilton is the first sports star in the list’s 14-year history to claim the top spot.
Reflecting on his legacy in the sport, Lewis Hamilton said he hoped his work outside of the car ultimately has a greater impact than his achievements behind the wheel.
He said: ‘I want to look back on Formula One in 10 years’ time and really see change because yes, we have this Black Lives Matter moment and there’s a mic and people are hearing it, but you’ve got to really do the work to activate change.’
Professor Fenton was ranked just behind the seven-time F1 world champion and ahead of Stormzy for leading the capital’s response to coronavirus, including minimising the impact on BAME communities.
His role at PHE involves working closely with the capital’s public health leaders and borough council chairs in how best to respond to coronavirus, alongside advising London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Professor Fenton, who was a leading practitioner tackling HIV and Aids issues for three decades prior to his appointment to becoming London’s regional director at PHE in April 2020, said he feels ‘truly honoured’ to be included in the Powerlist.
He said: ‘To play a small part in it has been a humbling experience and I feel extremely proud of the work we have carried out.
‘But it does not stop here. There is still a long way to go and we will continue working hard to stop the spread of this virus as we move through the winter and into the New Year.’
Actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel, who wrote and starred in 2020 drama I May Destroy You is in fourth.
She is followed by Edward Enninful – editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive, Royal College of Nursing is in sixth followed by Jacqueline McKenzie, who fought for justice for victims of the Windrush Scandal.
Actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel (left) , who wrote and starred in 2020 drama I May Destroy You is in fourth with Edward Enninful (right) – editor-in-chief of British Vogue, in fifth
Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive, Royal College of Nursing (left) is in sixth followed by Jacqueline McKenzie (right) , who fought for justice for victims of the Windrush Scandal
In eighth is historian and broadcaster David Olusoga , who was behind the shows Black and British: A Forgotten History and Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners. Journalist Afua Hirsch, who fronted the documentary series Enslaved with Pulp Fiction actor Samuel L Jackson is ninth
Richard Iferenta , vice-chair of KPMG was given the tenth spot
In eighth is historian and broadcaster David Olusoga, who was behind the shows Black and British: A Forgotten History and Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.
Journalist Afua Hirsch, who fronted the documentary series Enslaved with Pulp Fiction actor Samuel L Jackson is ninth, with Richard Iferenta, vice-chair of KPMG in tenth.
There is a longer unranked list of black people from the arts, business, education, health and sport including John Boyega, Idris Elba, Dame Sharon White, Sir Lenny Henry, David Lammy and Anthony Joshua.
The full Black Powerlist 2021
The arts, fashion and design (Unranked)
Chi-Chi Nwanoku, OBE – Founder, Artistic & Exec Director Chineke!;
Duro Olowu – Fashion Designer
Dr Shirley J Thompson, OBE – Composer, Artistic & Music Director, Writer, Educator, University of Westminster
Pat McGrath MBE – Founder, Pat McGrath Cosmetics
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye – Artist
Francesca Hayward – Principal Dancer, Royal Ballet
Grace Wales-Bonner – Founder and Creative Director at Wales Bonner
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith – Actor/Founding Member Act for Change
John Boyega – Actor
Idris Elba OBE – Actor, Producer
Alan Smith – Global Head of Risk Strategy and Chief of Staff, Global Risk, HSBC
Camille Drummond – Vice President, Global Business Services, BP
Eric Collins – CEO and Founding Member, Impact X Capital Partners
Jason Black – Co-founder of Crep Protect and Co-Owner of Crepe and Cones
Lindelwe Lesley Ndlovu – CEO, AXA Africa Specialty Risks, Lloyd’s of London
Netsai Mangwende – Head of Finance for Great Britain, Willis Towers Watson
Pamela Hutchinson – Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Bloomberg
Sandra Wallace – UK Managing Partner, DLA Piper
Tevin Tobun – Founder and CEO, GV Group (Gate Ventures)
Yvonne Ike – Managing Director and Head of Sub Saharan Africa region, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Paulette Rowe – CEO, Integrated and E-commerce Solutions, Paysafe Group
Nadja Bellan-White – Global Chief Marketing Officer at VICE Media Group, former Executive Partner, WPP Team Leader at Ogilvy
Roni Savage – Managing Director, Founder of Jomas Associates
Dean Forbes – President, The Access Group
Dame Sharon White – Chairman, John Lewis Partnership
Tara Lajumoke – Managing Director, Financial Times
Adrian Joseph – Managing Director, Group AI and Data Solutions, BT Group
Femi Bamisaiye – Chief Information Officer, HomeServe UK
Yemi Edun – Founder and CEO, Daniel Ford & Co and Daniel Ford International
Emeka Emembolu – Senior Vice President – North Sea at BP
Tunde Olanrewaju – Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
Media, Publishing and Entertainment (Unranked)
Akala – Educator, Rapper, Poet, Activist
Anne Mensah – Vice-president of Content UK, Netflix
Amma Asante MBE – Writer, Director
Charlene White – ITN News Anchor
Femi Oguns MBE – Agent, Founder and CEO of Identity Theatre
Gary Younge – Journalist; Author; Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester
Lorna Clarke – BBC Controller of Pop Music
Marcus Ryder – Executive Producer of Multimedia, Caixin Global
Paulette Simpson – Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy, Jamaica National Bank; Executive Director, The Voice Media Group
Reggie Yates – Writer; Director; Broadcaster
Reni Eddo-Lodge – Journalist, Author
Sir Lenny Henry – Actor, Writer, Campaigner
Vanessa Kingori MBE – Publisher, British Vogue
Bernadine Evaristo – Writer, Professor of Creative Writing, Brunel
Hugh Muir – Senior Assistant Editor, The Guardian
Annette Thomas – CEO Guardian Media Group PLC
Dorothy Koomson – Author
Kamal Ahmed – Editorial Director, BBC News
Politics, Law and Religion (Unranked)
David Lammy – Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Member of Parliament for Tottenham
Dr Sandie Okoro – Senior Vice President and Group General Counsel, World Bank
Joshua Siaw MBE – Partner, White & Case
Dr Kathryn Nwajiaku – Director, Politics and Governance, Overseas Development Institute
Martin Forde, QC- Barrister
Rose Hudson-Wilkin – Bishop of Dover
Segan Osuntokun – Managing Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Harry Matovu QC – Barrister
Marcia Willis Stewart QC – Director, Birnberg Peirce & Partners
Stephanie Boyce – Deputy Vice-President, Law Society of England and Wales
Patrick Vernon OBE -Political activist and social commentator
Public sector and politics
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon – MBE CEO and Co-Founder, STEMettes
Dr Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE – Chair, Shakespeare’s Globe; Chancellor, Coventry University; Non-Executive Director, Co-op Group
Marvin Rees – Mayor of Bristol
Dr Nira Chamberlain – President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
Professor Funmi Olonisakin – Professor of Security, Leadership and Development at King’s College London; Founding Director of African Leadership Centre
Lord Simon Woolley – Co-founder/Director, Operation Black Vote
Sonita Alleyne OBE – Master, Jesus College, Cambridge
Professor Patricia Daley – Vice Principal at Jesus College Oxford
Science, Medicine and Engineering (not ranked)
Dr Emeka Okaro- Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Ian Nnatu – Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Joy Odili – Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Dr Sylvia Bartley – Senior Global Director, Medtronic Foundation
Samantha Tross – Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Professor Laura Serrant OB – Head of Department and Professor of Community and Public Health Nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley Bent OBE – Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England
Martin Griffiths – Lead trauma surgeon, Royal London & National Clinical Director for Violence Reduction, NHS
Dr Paula Franklin – Chief Medical Officer at Bupa Global and UK
Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE – President, Mental Health Foundation
Anthony Joshua – World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Dina Asher-Smith – World champion sprinter
Raheem Sterling – Footballer
Marcus Rashford – Footballer and campaigner
Ebele Okobi – Public Policy Director Africa, the Middle East & Turkey, Facebook
Ije Nwokorie – Senior Director, Apple
Nneka Abulokwe OBE – Founder and CEO, MicroMax Consulting
Jacky Wright – Chief Digital Officer & Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, US
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