RARE  RISINGSTARS - The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 4


Momin Mohamed

MA Law with LPC
BPP University
Charity and Social Activism

Timothy Armoo

Momin is an activist, anti-FGM campaigner, and aspiring lawyer.

The youngest of four siblings, Momin spent the early part of his life in Sudan. Aged nine, Momin fled the civil war in South Sudan with his family and moved to the UK to pursue a better life. Initially based in the Hounslow area, this was a particularly testing period for Momin’s parents, who had lost many family members to the civil war, and the emotional strain led to his parents’ separation almost immediately afterwards.

After the separation, Momin moved to Bristol with his mother and three siblings, where he attended a local comprehensive secondary school. Unfortunately, Momin’s school was in an area known for racial tensions, and he recalls troubled relationships with teachers and students. Despite this, Momin was an active member of the student body, and frequently put himself forward for leadership roles on the student council.

At 15, Momin became one of the founding members of Integrate UK, a youth-led charity that campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other gender-based issues such as violence against women and girls, child sexual exploitation and grooming. In addition to gender equality, the charity aims to promote racial equality, through educating on topics such as Islamophobia, extremism and radicalisation and microaggressions. Momin explains that it all started in 2009, when a friend from a neighbouring school learnt of a rise in FGM amongst girls within the school. Alarmed by these events, Momin and his friend decided to research FGM further and discovered that it was affecting many people within their communities. Momin and friends began meeting up after school to brainstorm how they might tackle this issue.

At first, it was incredibly difficult discussing such sensitive subject matter, and many people within the community questioned why he wanted to concern himself with such “women’s issues”. However, Momin persisted, retorting that these were issues which should concern everyone, and put together various media projects educating people on FGM.

One video in particular, ‘#MyClitoris’, attracted over 100,000 views on YouTube. Momin later received a letter from then Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove MP, asking him to compile a research report on FGM. After Momin had shared his findings with the government, Gove went on to write an open letter to every teacher in England and Wales explaining that FGM was on the rise and outlining the signs to watch out for as members of an educational body. Momin’s work was pivotal in the decision to introduce safeguarding leads into every school (for issues such as FGM and child protection), and Gove later made FGM a mandatory part of the PSHE curriculum. Over the years, Momin has taken on increasingly challenging roles at Integrate UK and progressed to Lead Outreach Worker, training and supporting young people to deliver a wide range of peer-education workshops. Momin also personally delivers training to frontline professionals including nurses, doctors and lawyers. The organisation currently engages around 150 young people annually in a range of educational and creative activities, and through media resources and lesson plans, the young Outreach team has touched a wider audience of over 7,000 people. To date, Momin has provided consultation to two Prime Ministers (David Cameron and Theresa May), participated in meetings at the Home Office, and was a key member of the European Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). He did much of this before the age of 17.

When asked what keeps him motivated, Momin replies: “Seeing the damage that was caused by both men and my community, both things of course that I align myself heavily to and form part of my identity; so I thought if I’m not the one that’s speaking up, then who will?” He attributes this passion for gender equality to witnessing the dynamics played out in his own household between his mother and father.

After completing his A Levels, Momin studied Law at the University of the West of England (UWE), further pursuing his interest in social justice. During his undergraduate studies, he founded UWE’s Diversity in Law Committee and the Bristol Homelessness Project 2018, distributing clothes from over 150 respondents to Help the Homeless and Shelter UK. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Law with the LPC at BPP Law School, Bristol, where he is Lead Student Voice Representative and Lead Diversity and Inclusion Co-Ordinator. BPP featured Momin in their special edition magazine for his work around Integrate UK, advising the United Nations and diversifying the legal industry.

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