Honourable Woman of Praise of the year 2018 – Councillor Afolasade Bright
Councillor Afolasade Bright is Cabinet Member for Equalities and Cohesion in Barking and Dagenham – the first for the borough. Cllr Bright’s portfolio has seen her develop important borough events such as Women’s Empowerment Month and Black History Month, and work with organisations across the borough to promote inclusiveness and promote diversity.
Barking and Dagenham became the first council in the country to adopt a Gender Equality Charter in March 2016. Cllr Bright works to ensure steps are taken to achieve the objectives laid out in this pioneering charter.
Cllr Bright was elected to represent Chadwell Heath Ward in 2014. She is trustee of many local organisations in Barking and Dagenham, and a school governor.
Councillor Bright was previously a councillor in Hackney, where she became Civic Mayor in 2006, the first African and certainly the first Nigerian in the borough to hold the office, and that of deputy Mayor respectfully. Prior to becoming Mayor she was elected as the Chair of Hackney Labour Group and Director of Hackney Homes. Amongst many commitments, in Hackney she chaired meetings of the full council, served as School Governor and Honorary President of Age Concern UK. She is a member of the prestigious London Mayor’s and London Labour Mayor’s Associations.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Cllr Bright holds an LLB (Hons) and Masters in Employment and Human Resources Management. She worked in local authority for over 18 years in various senior management roles before leaving to start an Education/HR consultancy, Bright Futurez with her husband Pastor Gbolahan Bright MBE. Cllr Bright is a co-Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God – The Master’s Sanctuary and a sought after speaker at corporate and church conferences and events.
She is the Founder and President of The Sapphirez women’s organisation and The Pennu Charity for older people. She supports and fundraises for many nominated charities including Age Concern UK, St Joseph’s Hospice Hackney, Richards House Children’s Charity and The Bright Free Maths Project. She founded Extraordinaire, a project geared to mentoring young women and girls through her Political and Leadership Mentoring Academy, training and empowering young people to take up leadership roles in the community. There are currently over 100 young people benefitting from this project.
She has received several awards both in the UK and abroad and was voted as “Councillor of The Year 2006” at the Gathering of Africa’s Best – GAP Awards UK.
Cllr Sade Bright is an award winning Author of a book entitled, ‘Dream Big: Stretch Your Boundaries’.