I had the honour and privilege of being supported by inspirational intersectional feminists from across the student movement throughout my candidacy to be the next NUS Black Students’ Officer. It is incredibly humbling having the support of such incredible activists especially those whom you look up to because it categorically means that who are, what you stand for and what you’re doing is something that people are taking note of; it makes you a change maker.
My team consisted of an array of activists, some new to NUS, many who had been around a while but ultimately, all had a passion in student politics and activism. The culmination of old and new students meant that my campaign was not only lively one but more importantly, relevant to everyone.
I want to thank all those who were involved with my campaign from simply liking my Facebook ‘Vote Maryam…’ page, to those who changed their profile photos on Twitter and Facebook to include my Twibbon. I also want to thank those who wore my t-shirts and campaigned like crazy throughout conference! I am indebted to you all.
The biggest thank you ever to the most amazing friend and campaign manager ever, Roshni without whom, I probably would never have considered running in the BSO elections in the first place! Also, all the wonderful campaign materials (manifesto, badges, t-shirts, Twibbons and Twitter and Facebook banners) were all designed by Roshni. I thought they were incredible… Seriously, if I was a theme that would be it!
Thinking of campaign materials, thank you to Louise, Roshni, Wandia, Subi and Susuana for staying up until an ungodly hour in the morning the day before conference to help get the t-shirts and badges made! I appreciate the help and you all not laughing too much at my dire attempts of making badges…
A special thank you to Louise for being a wonderful friend and my enabler at conference; if it wasn’t for Louise I simply would not have been able to get through conference with my sanity and mental health (somewhat) intact. I don’t think she’ll quite realise just how important it was for her to be there as my friend and my enabler. I am eternally grateful to her for being so incredibly supportive throughout this lengthy process.
I also wish to extend my thanks to all the people who supported, encouraged, believed and voted for me. This election was never about me; it was in fact so much bigger than me. It was about bringing a fundamental collective change to the Campaign in terms of moving away from factional politics and control and actually fighting for an agenda of Black students put forward by Black students.
While this may no longer be the case, I am comforted in knowing that the brilliant intersectional activists around the UK who supported me are either still involved with the Campaign, the other Liberation Campaigns, NUS and our communities in general to continue bringing Black intersectional liberation to the heart of everything we do personally, in our campaigns and also in terms of our lives as a whole.
Let our message be clear. This is not the end but rather a beginning of a new journey, where we must come together and continue to defend and champion our Campaign. In the words of a good friend of mine (Dom), ‘let’s not get down; let’s get organised.’ I’ll tell you one thing now; it will be the women in our movement who will save our Campaign.