image of Arike Oke, BCA

Black Cultural Archives appoints new Managing Director

Black Cultural Archives (BCA) has appointed Arike Oke as its new Managing Director.

Her role will be to drive BCA’s mission to use its unique collection to promote the teaching, learning and understanding of African and Caribbean people’s history and heritage in Britain, as well as leading the strategic development of BCA, delivering against a Business Plan and fundraising strategy for the long-term sustainability for the organisation.

Arike has extensive experience in the heritage and cultural sector and a long track record in leading large and complex, multiple-stakeholder initiatives. She is a standing board member of the National Archives’ programme to transform the UK archives sector, Unlocking Archives, is a BAFTA Heritage Board member, and previously had an integral role in redeveloping Wellcome Collection’s approach to archives.


Arike said: “I am delighted to become the new Managing Director of BCA, building on the achievements of Paul Reid and his team. I am a passionate advocate of communities and heritage, and I take pride in working with people and on projects who share the ethos of creating a positive future for all.  Black Cultural Archives is the home of Black British history and is the conduit for telling our new, and old, stories. I’m excited to lead BCA to fulfil its potential as innovative, dynamic, and at the heart of our national conversation.”

Arike’s achievements include chairing Hull’s first Black History Month committee, securing significant funding for, as well as programming and managing, a national cross-sector multi-platform programme to commemorate Rambert’s 90th and helping to create the current UK Strategic Vision for Archives.

Founded in 1981, BCA is the first of its kind and its unique collection includes rare historical documents, photographs, ephemera, oral history testimonies and an eclectic range of objects dating from the second century to the present day.

Dawn Hill, Chair, BCA said: “Arike is the perfect person to join BCA as Managing Director and we are thrilled to have her become part of the team. She shares our vision for the future of BCA and is bringing a wealth of experience, energy and creativity to the role.”




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