top of page

The histories of activism tend to ignore Black women. They have been taken for granted and assumed to have a passive role.  Women Of The Soil is a heritage project which focuses on the professional achievements of local Black women and their activism within the community from the 1980’s to the present day.

The active voices of Manchester Black Women will no longer be hidden

This project looks at the life and work of black women in Manchester who have contributed to extraordinary change. The silent warriors tell their ‘herstories,’ in their own words. 

Culture and Faith

Deanne Heron, Dawn Owen-Harris, Erica McInnis, Francia Messado and Kim Wasey discuss culture and faith

Julie Asumu, Erinma Bell, Wendy Henry and Zam Zam Mohammed focus on Women and Families 

Women and Families
Local Government and Equal Opportunities

Jackie Bailey, Maria Noble and Sonia Stewart talk about local government and equal opportunities

Health and Housing

Julie Asumu, Erinma Bell, Wendy Henry and Zam Zam Mohammed speak about women and families

Lorna Downer, Mumba Kafula, Betty Luckham, Jackie McNeish and Natalie Teniola talk about enterprise and employment 

Enterprise and Employment
Education and Training

Judy Craven, Marilyn Cuffy, Tony Harris and Diane Watt discuss education and training

DSC_0004 (2).jpg

Windrush Women: The backbone of the NHS

A dramatic re-enactment of the journey of one family and their invaluable contribution to the NHS.

Our impact

Through the Women of the Soil project we were able to:


  • Produce Windrush Women Backbone of the NHS stage performance at Z- Arts, Hulme to a sold-out audience of over 200 people. Comments from the audience included:

    • "Brought back memories of what I heard from parents and friends.

    • "Food for thought in this present time - what has changed."

    • "Such talent from our community."

  • Convert interviews into teaching and learning materials for the Open University Women and Migration Open Learn course accessible to all

MP for Communities and Faith

“ …I was very pleased to see the work which the Louise Da-Cocodia Education Trust is doing in communities in Manchester.  After seeing first hand the work that projects such as yours achieve, I was cheered to support the relaunch of the Windrush Day Grant for 2020. Thank you for also arranging such a spirited discussion with members of your community.  The Government vision for building strong integrated communities is one where people whatever their background –live, work, learn  and socialise together, based on shared rights, responsibilities  and opportunities.”

Meet the Women of the Soil 

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.

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.

Celebrating the activism of Windrush women

We are working with the Open University to share the stories from the Women of the Soil project so that future generations can be inspired by their activism.

bottom of page