Councillor Afolasade Bright is Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Aspiration in Barking and Dagenham, working closely with businesses, schools and colleges, higher education providers, charities and community groups in this role. She has been a member of the Labour Party for over 22 years.
Previously Councillor Bright was the very first Cabinet Member for Equalities and Cohesion where she developed important borough events such as Women’s Empowerment Month and Black History Month, implemented the borough’s Gender Equality Charter and worked with faith organisations and community groups across the borough to promote inclusiveness and diversity.
Cllr Bright was first elected to represent Chadwell Heath Ward in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018 and has held public office for over 21 years. She is trustee of many local organisations in Barking and Dagenham, and governor of two schools. She also sits on the board and chairs trustee boards of national organisations. Councillor Bright was previously a councillor in Hackney, where she became Civic Mayor in 2006, the first African and certainly the first Nigerian in the borough to hold the office, and that of deputy civic Mayor respectfully.
Prior to becoming the Mayor she was elected as the Chair of Hackney Labour Group and non-executive Director of Hackney Homes. Amongst many commitments, in Hackney she chaired meetings of the full council, served as School Governor and Honorary President of Age Concern UK. She is a member of the prestigious London Mayors’ and London Labour Mayors’ Associations.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD), Cllr Bright holds an LLB (Hons) and Masters in Employment and Human Resources Management. She worked in local authority for over 20 years in various senior HR /Management & Leadership roles before leaving to start an Education/HR consultancy - Bright Academy with her husband Pastor Gbolahan Bright MBE.
Cllr Bright is a sought after speaker at corporate, women and equality awareness conferences and events in UK and abroad. She is the Founder and President of The Sapphirez women’s organisation and The Pennu Charity(1168247) for older people. She supports and fundraises for many nominated charities including Age UK, St Joseph’s Hospice Hackney, Richards House Children’s Charity and The RCCG TMS ‘Free’ Maths Community Project. She founded Extraordinaire, a project geared to mentoring young women and girls through her Political and Leadership Mentoring Academy, training and empowering young people to take up leadership roles in the community.
There are currently over 100 young people benefitting from this project and six of her mentees became Councillors at the May 2018 local election including her daughter – Cllr Princess Bright – youngest in the borough of Barking and Dagenham and at the May 2021 local elections three of her mentees became Councillors and more lined up to hold public offices in the regional and National Parliamentary elections. She has received several awards both in the UK and abroad and was voted as “Councillor of The Year” at the Gathering of Africa’s Best - GAP Awards UK.
In 2017, Councillor Bright was shortlisted for Diversity Champion Award for Public Sector in the Excellence in Diversity Awards, she has won several Leadership Awards (102 in total) and recently “RARE GEMS award for contribution towards Good Governance” in Abuja Nigeria alongside the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Cllr Sade Bright is an award-winning Author of bestseller books entitled, ‘Dream Big: Stretch Your Boundaries’ , The Beauty of Marriage, The Power of Unceasing Prayers, Woman The Heart of the Home, 35 Lessons Learnt in my 30 years of Marriage and other empowering books. She is happily married with three children and a grandchild.