Reena Jaisiah to be Honoured at BCU Graduation Ceremonies
A former Birmingham City University student who is committed to bringing together marginalised groups through the arts, is among the outstanding former students to be honoured at Birmingham City University’s forthcoming graduation ceremonies.
Reena Jaisiah graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sociology in 2003 and is being honoured as one of the University’s Alumni of the Year later this month, for the Community Engagement and Leadership category.
Reena is involved in a number of projects which help to bring diverse communities together, fitting the work around her full-time role as a curriculum support officer in an inner-city school in Coventry, where she regularly goes above and beyond her official role to run programmes that help to raise achievement and remove barriers to learning, such as helping fathers and sons to bond and work more effectively together, and helping to set up the school radio station. She also has a part-time role running drama sessions and doing one-to-one therapy as a sessional youth worker.
She joined Caste Watch UK in 2004 and is believed to have been the first person in the UK to speak out publically against caste discrimination, using her artistic talents to form theatre company, Caste Away Arts. She has also delivered arts to orphans and members of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, has supported war-affected young people through drama and is currently planning to deliver a series of drama taster sessions in a women’s prison with the support of Prison Link.
On receiving the award Reena said: “I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was an Alumni of the Year – it’s an honour to receive recognition 10 years on and I should give time to reflect on my achievements as I rarely do that, being on the go. University experience has inspired me to do so much – I never thought for a minute that I’d even get to university, let alone do all the things I’ve gone on to do, so I haven’t rested since!”
Reena will be receiving her Alumni of the Year Award at the University’s Graduation ceremony taking place on Friday 7th March at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.