We are delighted to offer our congratulations to CDH Associate, Malik Al Nasir, who has been awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Global Social Impact based on his work on the Sandbach Tinne Project. Malik was among 16 students from the University of Cambridge recognised for exceptional achievement at the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Awards ceremony on 4 May 2023. This prestigious award was presented by Dr Anthony Freeling, Acting Vice-Chancellor.
Malik Al Nasir is a third-year History PhD candidate whose research, entitled Kinship Networks and Mercantile Hegemony in the Latter Days of British Slavery – The Case of Sandbach Tinne, c. 1790–1840, is derived from a longstanding desire to trace his own mixed ancestry back through his paternal line, to slavery and colonialism in British Guiana and the Caribbean. His research has received widespread public acclaim and has spawned a number of projects looking at the slaveholding dynasty known as Sandbach Tinne, which had been hitherto lost in the annals of the history of the Atlantic World.
Reflecting on the impact of his research since he was first invited by Sir Hilary Beckles, Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, to present a paper in Antigua on Western banking’s links to slavery, Malik said:
“My research caught the attention of many academics and CARICOM asked me to go back to the UK and help to start a conversation in the public domain on reparations and reparative justice. I took that mandate very seriously and I reached millions when my research was covered by global media outlets, just weeks before starting a PhD in history at St Catharine’s. I sustained this impact through keynotes and panel discussions for organisations such as The Museums Association, Research Libraries UK and The Federation of Human Rights Museums, as well as numerous universities in the UK and around the world.”
“Most recently, I convened a consortium of universities and cultural institutions to consider how to decolonise their collections relating to the multi-national slavery conglomerate that enslaved my ancestors, known as Sandbach Tinne & Co. The Sandbach Tinne project is now developing plans for a centre for colonial research, a positive action doctoral training partnership and a series of physical and interactive exhibits to tell an epic story of the British empire through the lens of this one family. A pilot project with the Walker Art Gallery was a Museums Association ‘Museum Changes Lives’ award runner-up in 2022, while a BBC documentary that was underpinned by my research won a Royal Television Society Scotland award in 2022.”
Youtube videos of Malik’s work.
Dr. Hank Gonzalez, University Assistant Professor in Caribbean History and Malik’s supervisor, has high praise for Malik. He commented:
“Malik came to our faculty with the most prestigious possible endorsement – he was the protégé of Gil Scott-Heron, and he continues to do honour to Gil’s legacy. Malik is a remarkable student and a very special presence. He is a public intellectual unlike anyone else I have met. His latest book ‘Letters to Gil’ is winning well-deserved recognition and demonstrates why he is such a leading voice on the Black human rights predicament, both in the UK specifically, but also around the world.”
“His research engagements have reached very far and wide in his hometown Liverpool, and well beyond. He is also a major innovator in the digital humanities field and a multidimensional media innovator. I have never had a student like him and this award is fitting recognition for his ground-breaking research agenda, which has turned the gargantuan Sandbach Tinne sugar dynasty from an ignored topic into a major new field in its own right.”
Organised by Cambridge Hub, the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Awards are in their fifth year of recognising and celebrating students’ achievements in social impact. Nominations are assessed by a panel of judges who are champions in the sector, ranging from student leaders, senior leaders at the University and the CEO of Student Hubs.
Keep up to date with Malik on Social Media: