I have known Valerie Bernard-Allan for over 20 years in a personal and professional capacity. She is an excellent and effective lecturer, motivational speaker and academic. She has presented and run inspirational workshops and seminars to various community groups in London and the Home Counties. Drawing on her research and extensive sociological knowledge she has demonstrated significant impact through empowering women, especially Black women, addressing the issue of masculinities within the Black community and mentored and motivated Black young people. She is passionate about the development of individuals and communities and is skilled in making research and theoretical concepts accessible to wider audiences.
I recall sitting in a room at Aston University Birmingham, filled with academics and researchers listening to a highly condensed version of a talk I had witnessed a few weeks earlier delivered by Valerie Bernard Allan to a very different audience made up of non-specialist but enthusiastic black women. Then as now, the members of the audience were deeply interested, keen to hear every word and equally motivated to engage, question and share.Valerie Bernard Allan my friend and colleague for over 20 years was sharing and making accessible the findings of her PhD research on Black single Seventh-day Adventist women. Sharing is a big part of what Valerie does. As a sociologist, educator and excellent communicator she can and frequently will, make sociology exciting and accessible to diverse audiences. Add to this her commitment to working with the black community and a passion for women; it becomes easy to understand why she has been involved in several initiatives. We have collaborated to create and deliver workshops and run ‘Black Women in Conversation’ sessions. I have benefitted from her knowledge and professionalism while being inspired by her rich mix of humility, compassion and drive.
I met Dr. Valerie Bernard-Allan over a decade ago not realizing that she would go on to forever change my life. Her tutelage, analytical perceptions, intellect and willingness to be God-led make her in my eyes, hands down the most renowned and esteemed intellectual I have had the privilege of to work with. Dr. Valerie Bernard-Allan’s lectures and seminars are thought provoking, well researched, well presented and always left me seeking more from myself and from the world. She sheds light in the areas, very light bearers would never go. Ralf Waldo Emerson once said that a mind once stretched by an original idea never returns to its original dimensions. Dr. Valerie Bernard-Allan will forever be an academic I regard as having the masterful skill to stretch minds, leaving them forever transformed. Dr. Valerie Bernard-Allan was pivotal in shaping and guiding me, in my undergraduate degree and dissertation. However her pedigree as an esteemed academic was distinctively evident when I approached her for help with my Masters dissertation, with a very small window of time to work with, she challenged, shaped and inspired my thinking in my dissertation on Third Culture Kids, in which I was awarded a distinction. I share this accolade with her as time and time again she has invested in me, pouring her time, knowledge and expertise. Dr. Bernard-Allan facilitated a plethora of roles in my life; personal tutor, mentor, lecturer, head of department and supervisor but the roles appropriately paramount in my mind are that of revered visionary and legendary leader.