The Diversity Programme has been developed by Naz Legacy Foundation. The sessions in the National Portrait Gallery on 30 April looked into the lives and experiences of positive role models from diverse backgrounds who have made an impact in the UK, for example: Mary Seacole (voted in 2004 as the greatest black Briton) and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, a Muslim man who became a victim of the Atlantic slave trade, only to be bought out of slavery by public subscription in England.
Despite a rise in numbers of visitors to museums and galleries there hasn’t been a significant impact on visitors from ‘socially excluded’ communities. A Mori study in 2000 found that people with a degree are almost four times as likely to visit a gallery as those with no formal qualification.
Hina Bokhari, daughter of Naz and Chair, Naz Legacy Foundation said: ‘From a young age my father would take my brother and I to visit galleries, museums and the theatre. This was an alien concept to most ethnic minority communities in those days and it helped broaden our horizons and enrich our education outside of the classroom. We hope the Diversity Programme enables young people who have never visited a cultural institution feel that everyone can make a positive contribution to society.’