Nero Ughwujabo, a senior strategy adviser at the Prince’s Trust, has received an honorary doctorate in equality, diversity, and inclusion from the University of East London’s Royal Docks School of Business and Law. The award was presented to him during a ceremony held at the University’s Docklands campus.
Ughwujabo’s distinguished career has been marked by his leadership and expertise in matters related to race and inclusion. He previously served as a special adviser at the Number 10 policy unit during prime minister Theresa May’s tenure before joining The Prince’s Trust. Additionally, he dedicated 15 years to his role as the chief executive of Croydon’s Black and Minority Ethnic Forum, the university’s website informed.
Born in Nigeria, he relocated to London at the age of 14, confronting an array of new challenges, including adapting to an unfamiliar climate, and navigating racial prejudice.
These adversities fuelled his desire to delve into the experiences of Black and Asian communities in the UK, laying the foundation for his unwavering commitment to advancing equality.
During the doctorate ceremony, he imparted valuable advice to graduates from the Royal Docks School of Business and Law for a prosperous future. He said, “Stay learning. Follow your passion, celebrate your successes, and give back.”
After obtaining a BA in Film and Drama, he furthered his education with an MBA from the University of East London before embarking on his career in Croydon.
Reflecting on his time at UEL, he described it as a “transformative experience that wasn’t just a chapter in his life but a catalyst that ignited his potential and shaped his path in public service.
“I was privileged to learn alongside exceptional minds of all backgrounds and experiences,” he said.
During his tenure at the BME Forum, Ughwujabo provided support to numerous BME organisations, enhancing their capacity and assisting in securing vital funding for their initiatives. Additionally, he represented the forum at the strategic level, actively participating in Croydon’s Local Strategic Partnership.
His dedication and accomplishments led to his appointment as a special advisor on social justice, young people, and opportunity at Number 10.
While in government, he played a key role in the Race Disparity Audit, a project initiated by the prime minister to shed light on the impact of ethnicity on life opportunities.
Furthermore, he focused on stakeholder engagement, with an emphasis on reaching marginalized communities often excluded from democratic processes.
He took the lead in the government’s commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival and the establishment of June 22 as Windrush Day, recognising the significant contributions of the Windrush generation to Britain.
He also contributed to the creation of April 22 as Stephen Lawrence Day, dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of the murdered teenager.
A prominent advocate for social justice, young people, equality, diversity, and inclusion, Ughwujabo is a sought-after speaker who has addressed a diverse array of national and international events.
He has served as a guest speaker at US President Barack Obama’s MBK Rising event, participated in sessions at the United States Congress in Washington, and presented at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington.
He has also made visits to prominent institutions, including the European Union in Brussels, to discuss and promote these critical societal issues on a global scale.