The Royal College of Art Association of Black Students, Alumni & Friends started as a grassroots organisation and community group in 2020. 

Since its inception RCA BLK has evolved after a successful tenure of partnerships and involvement. We’re happy to be the first association in the country to action incremental change within an institutional ecosystem. Thus far, we are the proud initiators of the Sir Frank Bowling Scholarship, the RCA BLK x Yinka Shonibare Residency, BLACK STAR Time Capsule and the proud recipients of the Black British Artist Grant 2023.

Our core objectives are to promote, improve and advance education by encouraging and supporting the practice of contemporary visual arts for artists who identify as Black and or of African heritage within the RCA community. We aim to do so by fostering relationships with pre-enrolled students, current students as well as alumni. RCA BLK has positively impacted the Black student experience and has built upon the rich legacies of the RCA Student and Alumni body.

Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili


RCA BLK’s founding members are Emily Moore, Roxanne Simone, Melanie Issaka, Andy Hart, Josh Woolford, Jerome Ince-Mitchell, Ibrahim Cissé, Michael Forbes, Sheran Forbes, Mary Adeturinmo and Timi Oyedeji. The group currently has over 200 active members made up of current students and alumni with many friends and supporters from the wider RCA community. Through ongoing conversations and feedback from members of the RCA BLK organisation, it was evident that the legacy and achievements of black students and alumni of African and Caribbean heritage lacked acknowledgement, documentation and publication within and around the RCA archives and amongst the wider international community. However, this is not a new thought. Historically, RCA students have created groups that have provided a platform and a much-needed area of support for Black and PoC students. Exhibitions such as RCA Blackco-created by Ekua McMorris and the PoC Link-up Collective by Jerome Ince-Mitchell have paved the way and created a network within and beyond the walls of the college. Nevertheless, the (in)visibility and (un)sustainability of Black alumni within the RCA remained prevalent as each year went by, and as a consequence, feelings of isolation, lack of diversity in student numbers, encounters of microaggressions and racial prejudice arose. To combat this and forge a new model, Emily Moore and Roxanne Simone began the conversation to create an association that would remain central to the Black student during and after their time at the RCA. This, we believe, does not end with us. RCA BLK is a reflection of all the visionaries that came before and will come after us.

We are proud of our journey thus far and look forward to forging and actioning new initiatives and partnerships for the next generation.

Lubiana Himid
Lubaina Himid