‘There was a gap on the cultural scene in Sheffield. The whole BAME community had been forgotten about.'
‘The motivation behind Our Mel is that representation matters, stories matter and history matters’. With name inspiration coming from melanin, a pigment found in everyone’s skin. And Yorkshire’s favourite term of endearment ‘our’. Our Mel is a social enterprise inspired by Annalisa’s and Gaby’s own journeys of self-love. Our Mel encourages honest conversations about race through events, workshops and one-on-one conversations. “Some people don’t know how to talk about race, some people shy away from it but Our Mel creates a safe space where people can speak without judgement.” In November 2016, Annalisa and the other half of Our Mel Gaby held the first Melanin Fest, a celebration of Black History Month which hosts events all year round to showcase talent, discover what it means to be Black and British, explore a rich and vibrant culture and start conversations about race and self-love.