Don John


Don John has been working in the field of Race & Diversity for over 40 years. Having spent 10 years in HM Treasury in Whitehall he then moved to Southampton to work as a Youth and Education officer for the Southampton Council for Race Equality; working with Black and Asian youth with specific reference to the criminal justice system and racism in the education services.

He then advanced to the position of the Director of the SCRE and oversaw the foundation of race policies that underpinned the city’s policies on race discrimination and racial harassment. He later secured a position as a the lead Race & Diversity officer for Southampton City Council and was involved in developing the city’s diversity policies.  

Don was also the founder of Black History Month in Southampton which has now been established as a core event in the city’s calendar and is seen as one of the most progressive in the UK.  He is  also co-author of a book called “The Black History of Southampton 16th Century to 21st Century which is a significant reference book charting the presence of Black people in the city for over 500 years. Don is also the Director of Don John Consultants and Positive Message Limited for over 30 years and has provided consulting services for other local authorities, police services, the army and navy throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. He has also been a consultant for ITV, BBC and independent film companies.

Don is also a filmmaker and has made a number of short documentaries all with a “race” dimension.  He has also been involved in the music industry having secured a contract with EMI for a group of Southampton young black people in the 80s called “Ebony Rockers” that included the father of Craig David. As well as being a Director of Voice FM Don  presents  local shows on Voice FM “Soul Train” & "Night Moves" Reggae show which is a mixture of music and social comment.  He has curated exhibitions on subject matters of "Afro-Futurism" and "The History of Blues Parties in Southampton” Don also  has a special interest in cultural Diversity in the Arts and has been the creator of photo exhibitions relating to Black communities and has worked with a number of Art galleries in the region.  He was recently awarded Honorary Doctor of Arts at Solent University.