Our Mel was born in November 2016 after the Black Lives Matter protests in July 2016, and has since grown into a community of people on a mission to support, encourage, teach and build the community through music, film, arts and education.
Rooted in South Yorkshire, Our Mel is a not-for-profit group dedicated to exploring cultural identity, Black history and what it means to be a person of colour in Britain today.
As part of our work, Our Mel has successfully planned and executed 70 events between 2017 and 2019, with plans to resume events again in Spring 2021.
This includes the renowned MELANINFEST®, Sheffield’s first Black History Month festival. Launched in October 2017 across Sheffield and London, MELANINFEST® came to Leeds in October 2018.
Our Mel’s mission is to support, encourage, teach and build the community through music, film, arts and education. We aim to create a safe space for all age groups and ethnicities where exploring culture is encouraged, talent is showcased and an embracement of heritage is welcomed.Contact
Our Mel organises community events, empowering & inspiring people to make positive, sustainable change as well as workshops for businesses around equality, specifically supporting businesses to combat structural racism & bias embedded in their working cultures.
If you are interested in collaborating or booking Our Mel to host a workshop, please click here to send us an email. We would love to hear from you!Workshops
MelaninFest® is a celebration of Black excellence throughout Sheffield, London & Leeds during the entire month of October, which is Black History Month in the UK.
The aim of MelaninFest® is to promote Black talent and those inspired by people of colour by bringing Black History to the forefront whilst collaborating with local businesses, venues and raising awareness of specific charities.
Having run twice, MelaninFest® is a platform to showcase both local and national talent, and to educate attendees on the rich and important history of Black people through exhibitions, seminars, music events, workshops, film, fashion and theatre.
Whilst Our Mel recognises that Sheffield as a city itself currently hosts events for Black History month, our aim is to bring all these events together under the banner of MelaninFest® creating a large scale cultural event throughout not only October, but year round.
In previous years, our Black History month campaigns ran across the city, working with various local venues and organisations such as Showroom Cinema, O2 Academy Sheffield, Frog & Parrot pub, Sheffield Museums, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield University Students' Union, Theatre Deli, Andro and Eve, and Broomhall Centre.
London affiliates include The Voice Newspaper, Colourful Radio, ABN Radio, University of Westminster ACS, and the University of Westminster ACS Hub
MelaninFest® has been written about in several publications, including The Voice, Sheffield Live, PechaKucha, RCM Media, and Sheffield Telegraph.
Comments from those who attended include:
“Definitely special, needed and progressive”
“Powerful and beautiful”
“A moving experience - exudes love”
Our Mel is run entirely by volunteers and relies on limited funding and the generosity of people like you. Support our work by getting involved with fundraising on our GoFundMe page!
Our Mel’s website design and build is supported and sponsored by WebBoss. If you are interested in sponsoring Our Mel, please click here to contact us.