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Podcast | Covid Conversations

Over six episodes, broadcaster and journalist Nikki Tapper speaks to people living and working in Black Communities across the West Midlands to understand how Covid 19 has affected their lives.

Episode 1: Mental Health

Nikki is joined by special guests Alicia Spence, the Chair of the African and Caribbean Community Association (ACCI) in Wolverhampton and Birmingham based mental health campaigner and activist Tippa Naphtali from Catalyst 4 Change to explore how Covid, the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement have impacted on the wellbeing of black communities across the West Midlands.

Episode 2: Pregnancy During Covid

There were 5000 births in Birmingham during lockdown and national figures state that Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts. During episode 2, Nikki asks Doula and Birth and Wellbeing expert Amanda Smith and mum to be Sophia Griffin how maternity services can best support Black mums in the coming months. Amanda is the founder of Maternity Engagement Action an organisation offering perinatal support to Black and Brown women across the Midlands. She also works as a birth educator with  #bestbeginnings supporting new families right here in Birmingham.

Episode 3: Black Women Experiences & Reflections

Nikki is joined by Director of Planet Arts, Birmingham Playwright and Actress, Viv Manjaro. Viv wrote 'Close to the Edge' a play exploring mental health and wellbeing of Black Women, that showed earlier this year.  Also joining Nikki is PhD Student Anna Jieman, who is exploring the mental health experience of Black women and Jade Laurie-Hart, Mental Health Advocate and former actress.

Episode 4: Black Men Experiences, Covid and Black Lives Matter

Birmingham artist Son of VIrgo is one of our special guests on this episode of Covid Conversations. Nikki is also joined by filmmaker, writer, actor and long-time Red Earth collaborator Daniel Anderson, Creative Director of Rites of Passage Productions and mental health support worker and PhD student Emachi Eneje.

Episode 5: Bereavement and Loss

A special guest on this episode of Covid Conversations is Reverend Eve Pitt from Holy Trinity Church in Birchfield. Eve has officiated at 33 funerals since April and she speaks to host Nikki about bereavement and grief and the impacts of Covid-19 on black communities in Birmingham. Nikki also speaks to Veronica Brown from Wolverhampton, who sadly lost her sister to the virus earlier this year and her experiences of loss under lockdown.

Episode 6: Young and Black

This episode explores the experiences of young black people. Speaking to Nikki this week are Nubia Shayaam-Smith and Joshua Williams. Nubia has written an anthology of poems entitled 'Silent Screams', to address mental health and well-being in young black communities. Joshua is a Birmingham based campaigner and former President of the Guild of Students President at the University of Birmingham. He is passionate about tackling inequality whilst championing the voices of minority groups.

You can also listen to these podcasts on Spotify - and most other places -

These podcasts are created by The Red Earth Collective with the support of Heart of England Foundation.


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