Inspiring environmental campaigner Afsheen Rashid receives honorary degree

  • Date

    Fri 21 Jul 17

Afsheen Rashid MBE

Founding director of Repowering London Afsheen Rashid MBE has received an honorary degree from the University of Essex in recognition of her work.

The Essex graduate is a former Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and current Chair of Community Energy England. She was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to renewable energy projects in deprived communities and is also the founder of Tower Hamlets Muslim Women’s Collective.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony Afsheen, who completed a Masters in Environment, Science and Society at Essex, said: “The University of Essex was my first home when I came to the UK to study and was a life-changing experience.”

Afsheen, who moved to study in Essex after completing a Masters in Geography in India, has spent 10 years working in environment and climate change with Repowering London looking to use “social energy” to make change happen.

She added: “We can only address the issues of climate change by integrating the environment, business, society and culture. We cannot treat them in silos. I encourage you as graduates and postgraduates to follow your passion, your interest and listen to your inner voice and your instinct. Let it lead you to achieve your dreams and more. But most importantly, while you are on this journey do remember to respect yourself and equally those around you.”

Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean for Science and Health at Essex, praised the Essex graduate for her vision and determination to make a difference.

He said: “Championing our environment, and improving people’s lives. Putting into place real, practical programmes to pioneer sustainable energy. She has, simply, become a role model for her cause that future generations will want to emulate.

“As a committed environmental campaigner, Afsheen has taken her education and bonded it with her passion for environmental sustainability, plus a strong entrepreneurial vision – to pioneer new, and exciting developments to benefit others.”