The Women Of The Soil project focuses on the professional achievements of Manchester black women and their activism within the community. It also looks at the ways in which Louise Da-Cocodia has influenced their professional/political /cultural development.
Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund to work in partnership with First Cut Media and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust on the Women Of The Soil project to produce a documentary and resources.
The Women Of The Soil project is about the activist heritage of Manchester black women, from the 1980s to the present day. The focus of the project is on the legacy of Louise Da-Cocodia and the inter-related themes that encompass her community development work in Manchester: Health, Empowerment of Women and Families, Economics, Employment and Training, Education, Political Organization, Faith and Culture. The African proverb, “I am because we are” explains the project’s structure. Louise Da-Cocodia is the central figure of the project, but her work is only a reflection of the growth and development of a whole community and therefore the project is about Black women’s aspirations, achievements and activism.
The active voices of Manchester Black Women will no longer be hidden
The reason why the project focuses on the experience of African Caribbean women in Manchester is conveyed by the title of a book by Gloria Hull, Patricia Bell Scott and Barbara Smith (1982), “All the Women are White, All the Blacks are Men, But some of Us are Brave”. It means that the histories of activism tend to ignore black women. They have been taken for granted and assumed to have a passive role. This project will look beyond those assumptions, at the life and work of black women in Manchester, telling ‘herstories,’ often of women that can be described as ‘silent warriors’, living seemingly ordinary lives but who have contributed to extraordinary changes.
This project is aimed at inspiring the next generation(s), especially young women; to not only empower themselves but also think of the wider community. For example, Louise Da-Cocodia and the women that are linked to her professional and community circles, embody the qualities of courage, intellect, independence and an unwavering spirit to make things better for all. The Manchester black women that have participated in the Women Of The Soil project are amongst those who have built communities, been mothers to their own and others in their locality, and in most cases kept moving forward, even in times of social, political and professional hardships. The Women Of The Soil project is committed to ensuring that the voices of Black women and girls of all ages can be heard.
FINAL BOOKLET ABOUT THE WOMEN OF THE SOIL PROJECT:
Worth also checking out this series of articles: Suffrage 100: The black women who changed British history www.voice-online.co.uk/article/suffrage-100-black-women-who-changed-british-history .