As the only Black woman on her course at university, Cairo Aibangbee created Black Girls Brunch – an event committed to amplifying and empowering Black women in the UK. Now, two years later, she’s successfully fundraised over £3,000 to give more Black women a seat at the table. Here, she tells Stylist’s Lauren Geallabout how the event has grown over the years, and what it means to her to create a space dedicated to the celebration and growth of Black women.
I first had the idea for Black Girls Brunch in 2018, when I was a theatre and performance student at the University of Plymouth. I absolutely love Plymouth, but it is predominantly white, and I was also the only Black girl on my course, so it was very difficult and isolating at times. I did have a great group of friends around me, but obviously there are some lived experiences that they just didn’t share with me.
The idea came to me when I said to one of my friends: “I really want to have a brunch event – I want to have a room full of Black girls, and we’ll just talk.” It was purely selfish, to be honest – I just wanted to be in a room where I could talk to other women about what it’s like to be Black in Plymouth, but there was nothing like that for me to go to. So, as cliché as it is to say, I just had to do it myself.