Dr Shola Apena Rogers
Dr Shola Apena Rogers is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, and an experienced practitioner and researcher. She has worked within various contexts, including the criminal justice system, Children’s Social Care, the NHS, and the voluntary sector. Shola has extensive experience employing evaluation methodology and project management approaches to advise and work alongside statutory and voluntary agencies. Shola is also a Consultant Trainer delivering Motivational Interviewing, Adolescent Mental Health, and Trauma Informed Practice training programmes.
Shola previously held the position of school governor in a primary school on the curriculum committee.
Shola heads research and the 11+ preparation school.
Aisha Sanusi has a background in marketing and communications, with a particular focus on communication and content strategies for organisations operating in diverse/cross-cultural spaces.
Similar to the work she does with ACEN, at present, she also works on the design of initiatives and events leading to actionable, institutional, and generational change in higher education and corporate spaces.
In the past, she has worked with a handful of political and charitable organisations operating in the areas of race inequality/equity.
In addition, Aisha runs a handful of educational extracurricular initiatives.
Aisha heads communications, partnerships, and organisational strategy.
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MANAGER
Leah Morris is a highly experienced recruitment and talent management professional with 15+ years of experience gained in marketing, digital, financial services, technical and support sectors from junior to board level roles.
Leah brings a range of skills which include temporary and permanent recruitment, talent management, HR administration, interview training, staff inductions and onboarding and appraisals. She is able to identify areas/practices that are prohibitive or restrictive to Ethnic Minorities, and bring them to the attention of the Senior Leadership Teams to make them aware of the issues faced by current and potential employees as well as facilitate discussions, make recommendations and plan roadmaps for future change. Leah has a passion for creating inclusive environments for all which translates to better employee fit.
Leah heads independent school charter and consultancy services.
GRAMMAR SCHOOLS MANAGER
Lola Bejide is the founder of a training and career strategy consultancy, established to equip the younger generations with tools and strategies for success via confidence building, soft skills training, and career trajectory planning so that they are equipped to not only achieve their full potential but empowered to challenge and remove societal/self-imposed blockers.
Lola has long been a vocal advocate for racial equity in both the corporate space (particularly during her 18-years as Senior Business Manager within the Investment Banking industry) and more recently within the educational sector. Presently, she is advising the Anti-racist, Diversity & Inclusion committees for a Primary school and a Grammar school.
Lola is currently a Governor at a London primary school and chairs the Personnel & Finance Committee.
Lola heads Grammar school charter and consultancy services.
Amber Wager is a former IT business consultant with expertise in process re-engineering, data analysis and project management within the financial industry. As an active member of the primary and secondary school community, Amber has a solid, hands-on understanding of both the National and (Grammar) 11+ curriculums, with demonstrable experience of successfully supporting children and advising other parents through the journey. In addition, Amber ardently encourages kidpreneurship and has personal experience of actively promoting these initiatives. Amber is also a core member of a charitable group that has been raising money for children suffering withcancer.
Amber has a love for bringing people and communities together and a passion for providing Black children with opportunities to fulfil their potential, with a focus on developing the ‘growth mindset’. She wholeheartedly subscribes to the notion that it really does ‘take a village to raise a child’. With the belief that leveraging the incredibly diverse and talented network within the black community is the key to rapid and sustained academic growth and prosperity, Amber is keen to build strong, mutually beneficial, member relationships within the ACEN collective.
Amber heads management of the network, data and systems.
SAFEGUARDING MANAGER & ADVISOR
Serena is member of the ACEN Committee with responsibility for safeguarding and policy, bringing a breadth of knowledge about the independent school sector from both a parent and teacher perspective.
Serena is a qualified teacher, who now runs her own education and consultancy business offering consultancy services, tuition and small group classes. She also regularly produces educational content for Cocoa Magazine.
As a former Head of Inclusion and Enrichment at an independent school, Serena was responsible for managing the provision for children requiring additional academic ‘stretch’ and also for those children with barriers to their learning due to special educational needs.
Before joining the education sector, Serena enjoyed a decade working in not-for-profit organisations, championing children’s rights and racial equality.
She is currently working on her first middle-grade children’s novel
Serena heads safeguarding.
Kelly Iyare is an entrepreneur and currently runs a family business specialising in logistics. She is a business professional with a creative edge, and has several years of experience in developing business projects in both the UK and Africa.
Kelly has a passion for empowering our future generations and co-founded Y.E.S charity between 2005 – 2012. The charity worked with some of London’s most vulnerable and marginalised young people and helped to tackle, first-hand, issues synonymous with poverty. Her first-hand experience of these youth groups has lead Kelly to education, and she strongly believes that equality of access and educational opportunity are some of the biggest interventions that can directly impact outcomes for all children.
Kelly heads member events.
ACEN GOVERNANCE & LOCAL MANAGER
Desna has decades of experience delivering change to organisations as a strategic and regulatory change specialist.
She designs and delivers new business operating models to achieve strategic business goals. Managing people, process and technology transformation.
As a business consultant, she has worked across varying sectors including Finance, Public Sector, Regulatory and Aviation
Most importantly Desna is a mother of two teenage boys and is passionate about acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges that come with raising black children, and particularly boys, in our current society.
Desna heads ACEN’s organisational structure, governance and local factions – Launching January 2022.