Black History Month summit speaker: the Rt Hon Dawn Butler MP
Labour MP for Brent South since 2005, the Rt Hon Dawn Butler commits her time in parliament to representing groups and people in society that are often underrepresented. Dawn served as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities between 2017-2020.
Dawn, one of six children, was born and raised in East London to expats from Jamaica. At a young age she worked on a market stall as well as helping out at her family owned bakery before starting her adult career as a computer programmer/systems analyst.
Elected as the Member of Parliament for Brent South on 5 May 2005 Dawn’s maiden speech described her constituency as a “shining example of integration at its best”.
Dawn later became the first elected African-Caribbean woman to become a Government Minister in the UK. Based in the Cabinet Office the Minister’s role was to coordinate government work to help young people engage with politics which involved working with ministers in relevant Government departments including the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and other relevant bodies.
The recommendations of the Youth Citizenship Commission report were published in June 2009 and sought ways to help increase young people’s participation in their local communities as well as in local and national politics.
Dawn continues to commit her time in parliament to representing groups and people in society that are often underrepresented. In 2017 Dawn became the first MP in its history to sign a question in the House of Commons using British Sign Language. Dawn used sign language in her question to highlight the need to give the language full legal status. Dawn served as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities between 2017-2020.