Catch-up with After Essex talks from our inspiring alumni

  • Date

    Thu 3 Sep 20

Our After Essex talk series has allowed our community - including students and graduates - to hear from outstanding Essex graduates who are making a difference in the world and celebrates the journeys and accomplishments of our diverse and inspiring alumni around the globe.

The talks have attracted an online audience from many different countries - allowing us to maintain links with our global network.

More talks will be coming up in the year ahead, but you still have a chance to catch-up with the talks online.

Talk One: Sustainable fashion pioneer - Carry Somers

Kicking off the series, Carry Somers (MA Native American Studies, 1992) joined us to talk about her time at Essex and her career in sustainable fashion. After graduating from Essex in 1992, Carry set up her multi-award-winning fashion brand Pachacuti, supporting sustainable, rural livelihoods for women in the Andean region and was the world’s first Fair Trade Certified company. Carry, who was recognised as ‘Alumna of the Year’ in 2009, is also the founder and Global Operations Director of Fashion Revolution, the world’s largest fashion activism campaign. Host: Jo Rogers, Director of Advancement.

Talk Two: Writer and presenter - Dotun Adebayo

Dotun Adebayo MBE is a British radio presenter, writer, and publisher. He graduated from Essex with a BA in Philosophy in 1987 and was presented with the Alumnus of the Year Award in 2008. After graduating, Dotun became a music journalist for publications including NME, Melody Maker, Time Out and Echoes. Today, he presents on BBC Radio 5 Live and is an accomplished writer and publisher; he founded the publishing company X Press and is author of ‘Can I Have My Balls Back Please?”. Dotun also launched Britain's first general interest black internet television station,, to represent under-serviced or neglected minority viewers. Host: Tim Fenton, Director of Journalism.

Talk Three: Head of Policy and International Affairs - Lina Maria Olano Venegas

Lina Maria Olano Venegas graduated from the School of Government in 2016 with an MA in Conflict Resolution, and now works for the Colombian Navy as Head of Policy and International Affairs at the Colombian Ocean Commission. As well as being responsible for the National Policy for Oceanic and Coastal Spaces and sustainable development of the oceans, she coordinates the Colombian Antarctic Programme and manages relationships with different national and international bodies including UNESCO. Host: Dr Gina Reinhardt, Department of Government.

Talk Four: Human rights defender - Nicole Widdersheim

Nicole graduated with an MA Theory and Practice in Human Rights 2005 and has designed and managed human rights, justice and atrocity response programming for over 20 years. She is currently the senior policy advisor for the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide in the US. Previously she worked for Oxfam International and USAID, an NGO that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world, representing the agency on the Atrocity Prevention Board and assisting field missions/ Host: Dr Katya Al Khateeb, Essex Human Rights Centre.

Talk Five: Award-winning investigative journaliist - Simon Cox

Simon graduated from Essex in 1989 with a BA in English & European Literature. Since then, he has gone on to be an Award-Winning Investigations Editor at BBC Arabic, working on documentaries from the Middle East, Gulf and North Africa. Prior to this he was a senior investigative reporter at BBC Radio Current Affairs, presenting for File on 4, Crossing Continents and Assignment on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. His investigations have included an expose of match fixing in top level tennis; the far right in the UK and Europe and the hunt for the world’s most wanted female terrorist. He has also presented for Channel 4 Dispatches and written for The Sunday Times Magazine. Host: Tim Fenton, Director of Journalism.