The Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton, south London, has appointed Arike Oke as its new managing director.
The appointment comes after the BCA received a cash injection of £200,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to secure its immediate future in December last year.
Paul Reid, the director of the BCA since 2006, will step down on 28 February.
Oke will take up her new role on 4 March. Oke has previous experience in leading complex, multiple-stakeholder initiatives. She is a standing board member of the National Archives’ programme to transform the UK archives sector, Unlocking Archives, and a Bafta Heritage Board member. She previously played an integral role in redeveloping the Wellcome Collection’s approach to archives.
Her other achievements include chairing Hull’s first Black History Month committee, securing significant funding for, as well as programming and managing, a national cross-sector multi-platform programme to commemorate the Ballet Rambert’s 90th, and helping to create the current UK Strategic Vision for Archives.
Oke said: “I am delighted to become the new managing director of BCA, building on the achievements of Paul Reid and his team. I am a passionate advocate of communities and heritage, and I take pride in working with people and on projects who share the ethos of creating a positive future for all. I'm excited to lead BCA to fulfil its potential as innovative, dynamic, and at the heart of our national conversation.”
Paul Reid, the current director, said: "Through the lens of African and African-Caribbean history and heritage, BCA’s founders set out to establish a lasting legacy to our ancestors. I’m pleased with what we achieved during my time as director and that we now have a greater commitment to changing the teaching and understanding of British history.”
The BCA is the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.