OBV Alumni Profile: Marsha de Cordova and Shade Adoh


In this year's general election, we are witnessing the highest proportion of female Parliamentary Candidates the UK has ever seen. Of these candidates, two are graduates from OBV's BME Women's Councillor Scheme, and are hoping to win over their constituents and make a difference as MP's.

Marsha de Cordova, currently serving as a Lambeth Councillor, is standing as the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Battersea, and hoping to win back the Conservative-held seat. Marsha's decision to transition from councillor to parliamentary candidate stems from her experiences as a disabled woman, as she is registered blind. She has spoken of her view that in order to make a difference and bring about real change, it is important to be a part of that process and get involved in politics. As a candidate, she feels that she can represent local people in parliament and 'be a voice to the voiceless.'

Marsha has previously commented on the challenges that she has faced as a disabled woman working in politics. One of her main aims if successful, is to break down barriers for people with disabilities and to give people more guidance on the kinds of adjustments that need to be made. She said,

'All I can do is keep pushing and keep fighting so that anyone coming behind me won't have to face the same barriers I have.'

With such an inspiring message, Marsha is sure to win over constituents in Battersea.

Shade Adoh, is another OBV graduate, and is standing as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Doncaster North. Currently serving as Wycombe District Councillor, Shade hopes to win back Doncaster North's previosuly held Labour seat. As councillor, Shade discussed that one of her biggest acheivements has been representing the needs of all her residents, regardless of race, faith, or class. Shade hopes to continue this triumph if appointed MP, and assist in ensuring that women, ethnic minorities and young people continue to become 'part of the political process'.

As a woman of African descent, Shade also disucssed one of the major challenges faced within the political realm, that there are 'no people like me in politics'. As MP, Shade hopes to overcome this obstacle by making the political realm more diverse, and in doing so, ensure that the needs of her constituents are better met. If appointed MP, Shade also hopes that her presence will motivate other women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds to become more politically active, so that they too can 'make the changes they desire'. With this inspring message, Shade will no doubt make an impact and win over her constituents in Doncaster North.

It would be a great honour for OBV to have two more of our incredible alumni serving as MP, and we wish them all the best in their journey.

Claire Christopher and Talia Robinson