Research and communities specialist appointed director of Manchester race archive

Dr Safina Islam has been appointed head of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust (AIUC).

Part of The University of Manchester, AIUC is an open access archive and library on race, identity and communities. It is located in the basement of Manchester Central Library and is part of the Archives+ partnership.

Safina succeeds director and education coordinator Jackie Ould, who had been involved in the organisation since its inception. Jackie worked closely with Professor Lou Kushnick, then a University of Manchester lecturer in Sociology and American Studies, to establish the Centre in 1998.

Safina joins the AIUC from the public programmes team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, where she was a communities and inclusion specialist. Prior to that, she spent two years as chief officer at Ananna, the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation, where she has recently been elected chair.

It is a privilege to join such a unique organisation; one that is pioneering in its mission to provide an inclusive space for BAME communities to collect their own stories, and shape how their own narrative is recorded. 

This is an interesting time to be joining the heritage and library sector and I am keen to build on the legacy left by Jackie and Lou to ensure we continue to listen, challenge and grow.
Dr Safina Islam

With a background in biomedicaI science, Safina obtained a PhD from the University of Manchester in 2000, and then moved into public health/health inequalities-focused research and policy development.

She was responsible for leading the first national review of race equality in health and social care as head of equality and human rights at the then Health Care Commission.

Safina is a trustee of BigLife Group and an independent member of the Our Manchester forum.

AIUC is named after Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, a 13-year-old pupil of Burnage High School in Manchester, who was murdered in his school playground in 1986.