Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE

Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE

Actor, playwright, director & broadcaster

KEYNOTE: Kwame Kwei-Armah – Theatre is a platform for structural change
PANEL DISCUSSION: How do we respond to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement?

Session Overview

This panel discussion, chaired by Matthew Taylor, aims to provide practical ideas and insights to HR and business leaders about what they and their organisations need to be doing to make change happen. The tragic death of George Floyd on the 25th May 2020 was an awakening for everyone and provided hope to the Black community that change was coming. But the narrative must continue. The term ‘D&I’ is more palatable than racism: we need substantive and honest conversations about racism if we are going to see true and meaningful change. This is an opportunity to learn from one another about what can be done, as well as what can be learnt from putting equity into practice.


Speaker's biography

Kwame Kwei-Armah is a British actor, playwright, director and broadcaster. In 2018 he was made Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre, where he has directed Twelfth Night and Tree. From 2011 to 2018 he was the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage.

Kwame was Artistic Director for the Festival of Black arts and Culture, Senegal, in 2010. He was an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse and has served on the boards of the National Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group. Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010 to 2015, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.

In 2019 he was the Chair of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Kwame is a patron of Ballet Black and a visiting fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

Keynote overview:

Theatre is a platform for structural change

The job of an artistic leader is to listen, is to hear, and is to act in accordance with what you’re hearing and feeling in your soul. Kwame will discuss why the theatre matters, particularly at this time of crisis, as a mechanism for helping audiences to create meaning, for themselves and for society, and can be a mechanism for cultural change.