A HIV activist at Middlesex University who has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness about the virus has recognised for his incredible efforts by a leading LGBTQi+ charity.
Ant Babajee, a CRM Manager and co-chair of the LGBT+ Network at the University, has been named a Change Maker of the Year in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.
The Change Maker of the Year recognition goes to individuals who are doing inspiring work within their institutions and beyond to ensure there are inclusive working environments and a welcoming community for us all.
Ant, a former BBC journalist, was diagnosed with HIV in 2007.
Over the past decade, Ant has collaborated with institutions and charities to raise awareness about HIV as well as volunteering in numerous roles, including as a peer mentor at Positively UK.
Ant has recently joined the NHS England LGBTI+ Sounding Board and the London HIV Clinical Forum as a community representative.
Trained as an MDX Mental Health First Aider, Ant has played a significant role in supporting our community ever since joining the University in 2016. Throughout the pandemic, he continued to facilitate regular online events for the LGBT+ Network and contributed substantially to a more comprehensive presence for the LGBT+ Network across our staff intranet.
Ant said the following about this prestigious achievement:
“First and foremost, I am proud of myself for bringing all of the parts of my identity to work. I have not always felt able to be so open at work, but I am so glad to have got to a place in my own journey where I can be unashamedly and unapologetically myself.
"A lot of what I do as a Change Maker happens outside of my workplace, and I am incredibly thankful to Middlesex for supporting all of my LGBT+ and HIV advocacy and activism.
"When I joined Middlesex in 2016, I was so heartened that there was an active and thriving LGBT+ Network for staff, which had been set up by two colleagues: John Soper – our Director of Inclusion and Wellbeing – and David Williams – our former Director of Corporate Engagement.
"In my subsequent four years as co-chair of the LGBT+ Network, I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from colleagues – right from the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor and throughout the University.
"We have grown and shaped our understanding of what we need to do as a network and in our University inclusion work more generally. We need to continue to highlight and stand alongside the more marginalised members of our community, both inside and outside Middlesex University in London as well as around the world.
"It might take one person to stand up and start change, but ultimately all of my colleagues who have been supportive have played their part. Thank you so much for your support.”
This well-deserved recognition follows recent news that Middlesex University has been awarded Gold and has secured a place in the Top 100 list for leading LGBTQ+ inclusive employers in this year’s national Index recognising institutions that do significant work towards supporting their LGBTQ+ employees.
If you would like to find out more about our LGBT+ Network please email firstname.lastname@example.org.