Awards will commemorate Olive Morris’ commitment to radical activism

The Remembering Olive Collective announces five £500 Olive Morris Memorial Awards for 2021

Olive Morris at 121 Railton Road | Photo © Neil Kenlock

The annual remembrance of community leader and activist Olive Morris, whose birthday falls on 26 June, has become known as Olive Morris Day.

The Remembering Olive Collective (ROC) is delighted to announce that they will be re-establishing the Olive Morris Memorial Awards.

The awards were created as an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Olive as it lives on in the work of a new generation of young women activists.

The first Olive Morris Memorial Awards were made in 2008; we celebrated her legacy at the Karibu Centre, Brixton.

We believe that it is important to support, celebrate and amplify the voices of young women of African and Asian descent, who are working in the same spirit and radical tradition of Olive’s grassroots activism.

In commemoration of Olive Morris Day 2021, we are opening nominations for five awards for the amount of £500 each.

Brixton resident Olive Morris, who died in 1979 at the young age of 27, left behind a significant legacy that we, alongside the Morris family, seek to honour.

Olive was a member of the British Black Panthers, a founding member of the Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD).

The breadth of her political work included her pioneering role as a housing activist in local squatter campaigns in South London, organising with Black women and the student movement in London and Manchester, organising against the SUS laws and police brutality, and supporting international liberation movements.

She saw anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism as the only way to ensure irreversible liberation.

We encourage all those who meet the criteria to nominate themselves or others to receive an award.

The criteria for nomination for the Olive Morris Memorial Award 2021 are as follows:

  • Nominees must be engaged in radical grassroots political work. For example, as organisers, advocates, activists, artists, or be themselves victims of repression for their political activities.
  • the Olive Morris Memorial Awards are open to all women between 16 and 27 years of age, who are of African or Asian descent (and this is meant in a broad geopolitical sense that can include for example Palestinian), currently living in the UK, regardless of nationality and immigration status.

Please complete the nomination form at

The deadline for nominations is 27 August 2021.

Anyone can nominate a woman for an award, provided they complete all the information requested in the nomination form.

The awards will be announced in October and an awards ceremony held in November.

Memorialisation through action

To celebrate and remember Olive’s spirit and political commitment, ROC believes in memorialisation through action and recognising her legacy as it lives on in new generations. 

In 2008 the five awardees were:

BRENDA MAY GOODCHILD, an artist creating powerful art for the campaigns against the criminalisation of squatting in England and Wales

MIRELLA, who was working with So We Stand, a UK-wide popular education collective focusing on struggles for environmental and social justice issues.

NIM RALPH, a founding member of So We Stand, a UK-wide popular education collective focusing on struggles for environmental and social justice issues.

RUKAYA SARUMI, who organised lectures on Black feminism and the history of the women’s movement in Britain and was active in the Streatham Labour Party.

Each of these award winners received a cheque for £300 in recognition of their political activism.

A further award of £100 was presented to IMAN HUSSEIN for her work in the Guides Movement, challenging its lack of diversity, and to ROOTS, a self-education Black History collective of sixth form college students.

About the Remembering Olive Collective 2.0

We are ROC 2.0, the second iteration of the Remembering Olive Collective, founded in London in 2008.

The awards are part of the ROC’s current activity that includes a new book, following on from Do You Remember Olive Morris?, published in 2010.

Do You Remember Olive Morris? has now been reissued online as a free ebook by the 2010 publication editors and ROC founding members Ana Laura López de la Torre and Dr Kimberly Springer.

A commemorative cornerstone will be installed at 18 Brixton Hill, the former site of Olive Morris House, which stood from 1986 to 2020.

building site
The former site of Olive Morris House

These activities have been funded and made possible through a Section 106 grant awarded to the group based on discussions that began in 2015 with Lambeth council and the site developers, Muse.

Don’t erase Olive’s memory 

With the demolition of Olive Morris House at 18 Brixton Hill, we mourn the loss of a building named after a local Black woman.

We urge Lambeth council to rename the new civic centre after Olive Morris to ensure that Olive’s memory is not erased from history and continues to be part of the fabric of Brixton.

We support the call to Lambeth council to rename the civic centre after Olive Morris.

To be kept up to date with ROC 2.0 activities join our mailing list by emailing us at

ROC 2.0 website