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Speaker Biography

Carlene Firmin MBE

 Carlene Firmin MBE
Carlene Firmin MBE is Head of the MsUnderstood Partnership and Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, running a three year project on peer-on-peer abuse in young people’s relationships and peer groups. For two years Carlene was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, and continues to act as an advisor to them on sexual exploitation and gangs’ policy.

Carlene writes a monthly column in Society Guardian, and has had a number of papers published in academic books and journals.Carlene authored the Female Voice in Violence reports and for five years researched the impact of criminal gangs on women and girls, at the charity Race on the Agenda. Following this Carlene took up the post of Assistant Director of Policy and Research at children’s charity Barnardo’s with responsibility for youth justice and child sexual exploitation. In 2010 she founded ‘The GAG Project’ to train young women to influence policy on gangs and serious youth violence.

Carlene was featured in Glamour Magazines 35 most powerful women under 35 in 2011, the Black Powerlist 2013, was awarded a London Peace Award in 2008, and in 2011 she was awarded an MBE for services to Women and Girls Issues in the News Years Honours list.


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