Representation, Diversity & Racial Justice With Dr Mena Fombo
Play • 47 min

In this episode, I have the honor of speaking with the amazing Dr Mena Fombo (hon), a visionary based in Bristol who wears many hats as a founder, film director, facilitator, and global speaker. Mena is a highly respected advocate for equality and diversity, and the creator of Black Girl Convention, a movement dedicated to providing a sense of community for African and Caribbean women by promoting, shaping, and embracing the black girl experience.


In our enlightening conversation, Mena shares her journey from playing semi-professional American football to becoming a champion for racial justice and social change. She emphasizes the significance of black-led spaces, self-acceptance, and the impact of her widely-acclaimed TEDx Talk, "No. You Cannot Touch My Hair." We also delve into the importance of teamwork, strong relationships, and building a supportive network.




“Just by doing the TEDTalk, hair was an easy way to talk about racism, microaggressions, and unconscious bias, and all the different strands of racism we see today that are quite commonplace.” – 11:15


“It’s been part of my lived experience from childhood to always be the person flying the flag against racism.” – 12:22


“Even within that wider Team GB network at that time, sexism and racism were still prevalent…and I’m still having to bite my tongue because my coach is sexist and I want to be picked for the team.” – 13:08


“I think probably being black and being female meant nothing was handed to me on a plate. I had to go out and make things happen.“ – 21:20


“Sometimes you can find motivation by showing up for others if that’s all you’ve got in the tank. And that comes from playing sport – you can’t let the team down.” – 24:53


“The most meaningful transformation was coming into wearing my natural hair. My hair was such a big thing for me; it dictated so much of my life."– 42:20



Time stamps

01:30 – Introduction to Mena and her businesses

03:25 – The events that sparked Mena’s coaching journey

06:00 – Addressing representation 

08:10 – The launch of the Black Girl Convention 

11:30 – Mena’s TEDx Talk and campaign, “No. You Cannot Touch My Hair”

12:45 – Mena’s experience playing semi-professional American Football

14:45 – Exploring the philosophy of “one door closes, another door opens”

16:09 – Mena’s mindset

16:47 – Shifting from sports to entrepreneurship

20:37 – Mena’s belief that she needed to do everything alone

22:00 – What drives Mena’s competitive nature 

24:15 – Traits of people who played team sports

26:05 – Mena’s love for filmmaking and storytelling

30:00 – Accepting or rejecting labels 

33:40 – Reflections on being her authentic self as a child

36:00 – Mena’s advice for embracing your truth

40:25 – The importance of good friendships 

42:20 – Mena’s most meaningful transformation

44:50 – How to connect with Mena

45:10 – Gillian’s reflections on the episode



Mena Socials

Gillian Socials

Full Circle Global Socials

Order my book, “Coming Home: A Guide To Being Your True Self”



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