LJMU launches pioneering scheme with senior Black leaders from across the Liverpool City Region

The Reciprocal Mentoring Programme will see LJMU’s Executive Leadership team paired with Black Liverpool city leaders to share their lived experiences, to inform policy and decision making at the university and beyond.

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The launch of the programme, yesterday evening at Liverpool John Moores University, saw the 26 leaders finding out who they had been paired with.  

Liverpool City leaders taking part in the scheme include Mayor Joanne Anderson, MP Kim Johnson, Paul Amann, Simone Roche, Tracey Gore, Monica Mwanje, Irene Afful, Ngunan Adamu, Lorna Rogers, Emeka Onuora, Ayo Barley, Shazney Spence, Garth Dallas and Hodan Elmi.  

The purpose of the two-way mentoring relationship is to create open and honest conversations about race and equality, building relationships across the city, that results in positive change, which will benefit students and staff at LJMU, and the whole Liverpool community.  

The partnerships are:  

  • Mark Power, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive with Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool and Riverside  

  • Tina Purkis, Executive Director of Human Resources with Lorna Rogers, Assistant Director of Mayoral Programmes at LCR Combined Authority    

  • Clare Milsom, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer with Tracey Gore, Chief Executive of Steve Biko Housing and Chair of Liverpool’s Race Equality Task Force 

  • Phil Vickerman, Pro Vice Chancellor of Student Experience with Shazney Spence, Founder of EQuanimity Lifestyle & Success Coaching Ltd 

  • Laura Bishop, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Science with Monica Mwanje, Founder and MD of MM Creative Solutions 

  • Joe Yates, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies with Paul Amann, Principal Officer, Employment and Skills at Liverpool City Region & Founder of Kop Out and Irene Afful, Ametrine Coaching and Consultancy Ltd. 

  • Tim Nichol, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Business and Law with Ngunan Adamu, BBC Radio Merseyside Presenter and Producer and Founder and CEO of iWoman 

  • Ndy Ekere, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Engineering and Technology with Simone Roche, Founder and CEO of Northern Power Women 

  • Keith George, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange with Emeka Onuora, Race Equality Project Manager and Journalist 

  • Raphaela Kane, Pro Vice Chancellor Faculty of Health with Ayo Barley, Managing Director, Bakare Barley Ltd     

  • Maria Burquest, University Secretary and General Counsel with Hodan Elmi, Member of MP Kim Johnson’s Team (Liverpool) 

  • Hannah Argo, Finance Director with Garth Dallas, Chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association, Director of Dallas Consultancy 


Those taking part in the scheme will be encouraged to meet at least once a month over the next six months. There will also be a midpoint and closing session at the end of the scheme, for leaders to reflect on their key learning from the experience and discuss how they can continue to support each other, beyond the programme.  

The Reciprocal Mentoring Launch amongst Liverpool leaders follows the success of LJMU’s own Reciprocal Mentoring Programme, which launched back in 2020. The scheme saw the university pair Black students with White LJMU leaders, in a two-way mentoring relationship, to discuss race equality and how it really feels to be Black in a British university. 
Given the success of the programme, the university has extended the scheme to link key leaders from Liverpool’s Black community and LJMU’s Executive Leadership Team in a reciprocal mentoring arrangement that will directly impact the university’s strategic decision-making regarding diversity and inclusion and its community engagement.   
Professor Laura Serrant OBE, one of the few Black professors in the UK, author, and named as the 8th most influential Black person in Britain by the Powerlist 2018, also made a keynote speech at the event focusing on ‘Meaningful Community Engagement.’  

LJMU Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Mark Power, said:  
“The launch of the programme amongst Liverpool City leaders is in recognition of the diverse cultures and communities that make up our student and staff population and we are keen to build upon our work with community leaders, to continue to create a more inclusive environment. 

“I gained so much valuable insight into the lived experiences of our Black students through the initiative in 2020 and the scheme has helped shape our decision making since. I’m confident that the leader’s programme will have a similarly positive impact on a wider scale, across the Liverpool City Region.  We all have a shared vision of a vibrant, inclusive university and city region. By harnessing our diverse perspectives and experiences we can bring about positive change and be a place where everyone feels they belong.” 

Mark Power is partnered with Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson and MP Kim Johnson: 

Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool and Riverside, said:  

""I am delighted to be taking part in the Leaders' Reciprocal Mentoring Programme.  As a Black woman who has faced racism throughout her life, I am grateful to Liverpool John Moores University for having the honesty and the courage to acknowledge how this permeates universities as much as other institutions. 

"I am looking forward to engaging in an honest and constructive mentoring exchange with senior leaders in the University in the expectation and the hope that this will lead to changes in how the University ensures its own teaching is free from racial bias, its attitude to Black students is inclusive, and it develops positive reciprocal relationships of value with the local communities. 

"I am extremely pleased that it is a university in Liverpool, in my constituency, that has taken a lead on this issue, and I hope the LJMU programme is copied across Universities across the country. I am excited to be part of this and looking forward to the programme commencing." 

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said:  

“I am extremely pleased to see Liverpool John Moores University launch this reciprocal mentoring scheme, linking leaders across the city to have open and honest conversations about race equality with a view to creating actionable change within the university and within our communities. This scheme recognises the richness of cultures in our communities, which we are keen to further uplift, celebrate and support. 

I have been paired with Mark Power, Vice-Chancellor at LJMU, and I am looking forward to our mentoring conversations over the next six months as I foresee space for much further collaboration between the City Region and Liverpool John Moores University in the months and years to come. “ 

The Reciprocal Mentoring Programme has been developed by the LJMU Equality Diversity and Inclusion Team in partnership with Liverpool Commonwealth Association.  

For further details contact: equality@ljmu.ac.uk



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