Meet the Team
Soukeyna Osei-Bonsu, CEO
Soukeyna is the founder of Black Muslim Forum. She is a student based in London and works on the facilitation of Black Muslim Forum’s projects and services. Soukeyna is of West and North African origin and has a degree in Social Anthropology and International Relations (BA, SOAS). Soukeyna strongly advocates for black rights especially in Maghrebi society, the Islamic teachings of racial equality, pan-African unity as well as the teachings of Malcolm X. Soukeyna started BMF to address a social need that wasn’t being met in the UK and to help advocate for and educate black Muslims across the globe.
Ikram Hirse, COO
Ikram joined Black Muslim Forum in 2021. Based in London, her core role is to secure funding for BMF projects and services. After graduating from Finance and Banking, Ikram pursed her Masters in Grant making, Philanthropy and Social Investment to further to understand making positive change in and though the sector. Ikram is Operations Manager in an Arts and Cultural not for profit organisation. She has brought her experience and expertise from the Grant givers ecosystem alongside operational management. Ikram is currently undertaking her CIPD Associate People Management Level 5. Ikram has recently joined The RSA as Fellow turning ideas into actions for social change into reality. Also, developing her own community-based organisation where faith-based institutions is driven by technology.
Almase Osei-Bonsu, Project worker
Almase is a psychology student based in London and focuses on the facilitation of local BMF projects.
Dr Yahya Barry, Peer Reviewer
Dr Yahya Barry is a Senior Visiting Researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre of African Studies with research interests in Black African Diasporas, Islamophobia, Right-wing Populism & Christian-Muslim Relations in West Africa. He is a certified Minister of Religion (BA Islamic Theology, Madinah 2009) and served as Imam of Edinburgh Central Mosque. He studied Religion in Peace & Conflict (MA, Uppsala, 2014) and the Religious Roots of Europe (MA, Copenhagen, 2013). His PhD (Edinburgh, 2019) researched Muslim responses to Right-wing Populism in the UK and Scandinavia. He is consulted by the BBC Religion & Ethics board from 2016 to present and is a regular contributor to BBC Scotland’s Sunday Morning With programme. He is the founding director of Olive Tree CIC.
Mareme Mufwoko, Researcher
Mareme is a Headteacher of Kenyan, Senegalese and English descent. Having worked as a research student whilst studying Psychology with Advertising at University, Mareme then took her skills to an African Children’s Charity working on various projects which affect the African diaspora, including: female genital mutilation, trafficking and child abuse. Mareme is passionate about issues of identity and belonging, particularly for people of mixed heritage.
Sophia Lara Staffiero, Researcher
Sophia Lara Staffiero is currently working as a BAME community engagement coordinator for NAZ, a BAME focused sexual health charity. Her work focuses on supporting Black women (in particular) with accessing services for their reproductive health. She has previously completed her Master’s in African Studies at SOAS, University of London in 2020 and her undergraduate degree in Italian and Latin at the University of St Andrews during 2014-2019. She is co-author of a series of poetry collection, including ‘the tender places of worn-out fibres’ (2019), ‘The Snake and the Cuttlefish’ (2018) and is author of ‘Conversations at Crossroads’. Sophia also coordinates a joint venture for her platform winter’s bloom (wintersbloom2019.wordpress.com), a space for candid conversations run by two women of mixed-heritage. She is passionate in learning about and celebrating her cultural roots as well as the beauty of cultures around her and is on the ongoing journey of living a more conscious, ethical, and sustainable lifestyle both personally and professionally
Rashid Rose, Writer
Rashid Rose was a Broadcast Journalist for Ahlebait TV Sky 745 from 2014 to 2018. He is a member of the following professional bodies: Former Chair of Wycombe MIND Mental Health, Founder and chair of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Health Care Foundation, Founder and chair of the Afro-Caribbean Mental Health Foundation. Rashid is a member of BME Bucks Minority Education Concerns and founder of The Forum, addressing the concerns of the BME communities nationwide. He is chair of the Caribbean Peoples Foundation, Co-Founder of the African Caribbean Muslin Alliance and Co-Founder of the African Caribbean Muslim Federation. Rashid is employed by the Buckinghamshire NHS as a mental health Project manager. He has received an NHS award for Mental Health and Well Being in the South Central Health and Social care in 2010 as well as an NHS award for Mental Health and Well being in the South Central Success in Partnership working in 2010. Rashid received his BA (Hons) in Community Management University of Luton in 1998.
Sadiyah Sabree, North American Representative
Sadiyah serves as the North American representative for Black Muslim Forum, providing stories and updates regarding the Black American Muslim experience. Sadiyah received her Masters degree in Urban Planning in 2018. Her academic research and personal interests revolve around community-led development initiatives in low-income communities of colour, in both the US and the UK.
Abu Kwanza, Correspondent
Abu Kwanza was born in Uganda, and is of Ugandan and Danish descent. He converted to Islam in 2017 and has a background in economics, Middle Eastern studies and holds a degree in the Arabic language. He is currently studying Information Technology and has formerly been a member of the pan-African organisation, African Empowerment Centre in Denmark.