Maria Gbeleyi is a black British female with a history in performing arts who is fuelled by her faith and her passion for black interests. Maria has a background in social media marketing and branding, another outlet for her creativity. Her need for expression furthered when she attended Roehampton University to study Drama, Theatre and Performance and that is when her interest in the black experience developed and she learned more about race representation. Since then she has made it her mission to do her part in ensuring that the Black British experience is given a voice; one of her goals is to have a Black British history added to the curriculum in primary schools so that from a young age Black British children know more about themselves and where they come from so they can be better rooted.

Initially Maria came on to Brown Sugar to help in any capacity to get the movement started off the ground and as best friends for over 10 years Olivia and Maria had always talked about building something together for people like them. When Olivia shared her idea with Maria they worked together with a small team to accomplish it. Overtime Maria’s involvements would increase and the capacity in which she contributed multiplied as the movement grew, she went from Cordinator to Project Manager and now as Cheif Operations Officer (COO) and joint business partner with Olivia Fraser, they have big plans to take the movement even further.


Olivia Fraser is a young woman trying to make changes in society for young black British women.

Olivia has always had a passion for the arts and throughout her education years studied drama and theatre. Moving to London from Manchester for university she quickly realised that nothing was going to be given to her on a plate. That triggered her interest and need to start writing and directing. She then created various short films and web-series to give herself and those around her (especially black girls) opportunities to shine.

In 2017 she decided it was time to create something even bigger and so Brown Sugar Movement was birthed. She wanted to create a platform that would inspire, empower and celebrate young black British women. She started off by having a team of ladies that set up a website that featured everything from blogs, black businesses to hair care tips. Taking it to another level, her and the team decided to do events also. Though there a huge plans in talks Brown Sugar Movement has become a go to for many young women who appreciate the content and opportunities it creates. With so many plans ahead there’s no limit where Brown Sugar Movement is going to next! Keep your eyes peeled.

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