A civil servant at the Department for Transport (DfT) was thrilled to be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this month.
Christine Dadd-Bytyci, who until recently had lived in Radlett for 10 years, was awarded a BEM for her services to diversity.
Growing up in Jamacia, Christine was surrounded by many “Black leaders”, and when she moved to the UK 18 years ago, she realised she was “ignorant of the many contributions Black people have made here”.
Christine wanted to address this issue and has led the celebration of the DfT’s Black history by organising sessions to educate other civil servants.
Christine has also worked with David Olusoga, a British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and filmmaker, as well as having discussions about race with Patrick Vernon, Alex Scott, June Sarpong, and Ben Hunte.
Christine said: “Receiving the BEM for services to diversity makes me feel like we have been heard, that speaking truth to power and looking to our leaders for accountability is vindicated.
“It’s ongoing work; some days it feels like we have made a small move towards victory and so many more days makes me feel like evil will win. I am reminded by moments in history that we have to go through pain to change the world.”
Christine added that her two sons, Alexander and Nicholi, are her driving force.
She continued: “The young lady that moved here from Jamaica is beaming with pride with being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. My mama back home is smiling wide.”