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Race, Identity Politics and the New Conformity.

March 18 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm GMT

Race, identity politics and the new conformity 

DATE: Monday 18th March 

VENUE: The Hall, The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT 

TIME: Event starts 7.30pm (doors open 7pm, please arrive by 7.15pm). 


IN-PERSON TICKETS: FSU members £10. Non-FSU Members £16. Aged 25 and under £12. Discount tickets for Equiano Project Supporters (check emails for details). Ticket plus donation to the FSU £25. 


ZOOM OPTION: Free to FSU members and Equiano Project Supporters (check emails for details).  Otherwise, £10, please register here.

For free and discounted tickets to FSU events, consider joining the Free Speech Union today. 


The accusation ‘that’s racist’ has become one of the most powerful silencing tools in recent years, yet we have never been so confused about what racism is. It has been thrown even at those avowedly opposed to racism and at people of colour, insulted as ‘coconuts’, ‘Uncle Toms’ or worse. Often, the targets of the ‘racist’ slur are individuals who take issue with the new and bewildering orthodoxies of the new ‘anti-racist activism’ shaped by identity politics and ‘critical race theory’. 

It can sometimes seem as though contemporary ‘anti-racism’ has morphed into its opposite: from a movement for equal treatment and the transcendence of ‘race’ as a distorting prism through which to view the world, to the formation of new hierarchies along the lines of racialised identities, life experiences or even opinion. 

The launch of a new book, Black Success: The Surprising Truth, by Lord Tony Sewell, a long-standing independent thinker on the subject of race, provides us with an opportunity to discuss these developments. Lord Sewell’s book weaves together memoir and polemic to challenge the shibboleths of contemporary racialised thinking. He argues in favour of rejecting victimhood and low expectations and embracing high ambitions, pushing towards a collective humanity. The book is the perfect riposte to the storm of criticism that met the Sewell Report on racial disparities. 

The book will be on sale on the night and Lord Sewell will be signing copies. 

Lord Sewell will be joined in discussion by journalist, commentator and Equiano Project founder, Inaya Folarin Iman and musician and champion of free speech and genuine equality, Sean Corby. 



Born in Brixton, Lord Tony Sewell CBE has been a journalist, teacher and education expert. He was part of the team responsible for driving the transformation of Hackney’s education outcomes in the early 2000s, and his charity Generating Genius has helped hundreds of young black people into STEM in business and academia. He was recently chair of the UK’s government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the recommendations of which are now the foundations of the government’s policy on tackling racial inequalities. He was awarded a CBE for his work on education and was elevated to the House of Lords in 2022. In 2022 he began his latest project, a farming enterprise in Jamaica. 


Inaya Folarin Iman is a broadcast journalist and contributing editor at the Daily Mail. She is a regular commentator across leading political and cultural radio and TV programmes. She is the Founder and Director of The Equiano Project, a forum to promote freedom of speech and open dialogue on the subjects of race, identity and culture. She co-programmed and co-designed the historic Towards the Common Good: Rethinking Race in the 21st Century at the University of Cambridge in 2023. 


Sean Corby is a musician who has recorded and performed with the likes of Jah Wobble, Gregory Isaacs, Manic St Preachers, Mica Paris, and Jazz Warriors. Sean also worked as a conciliator for ACAS, but, after he posted articles and quotes on the staff intranet which challenged what he saw as the divisive racial politics of critical race theory, some of his colleagues vilified him and his employer asked him to delete his contributions. Sean refused, on principle, and succeeded in establishing through a 2023 Employment Tribunal that a universalist, colour-blind approach to anti-racism is a protected ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act, an important ruling for the protection of diversity of thought. You can read about Sean’s case here and subscribe to his blog here. 


Dr Jan Macvarish, Education and Events Director of the Free Speech Union. 

The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members. Find out more here. 


The Art Workers’ Guild
6 Queen Square
London, WC1N 3AT United Kingdom
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