Olive Morris was an anti-racist, anti-imperialist activist, community organiser and squatter. She was a member of the Black Panthers and co-founded the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent with Stella Dadzie.
She was tireless, helping to set up multiple other collectives and organisations, including the Manchester Black Women’s Cooperative, Manchester Black Women’s Mutual Aid Group, Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Brixton Law Centre.
Morris died of Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 27.
The Remembering Olive Morris Collective was established in 2008 to document and make public her story.
Stella Dadzie cofounded OWAAD – the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent – in 1978. She had been involved in the anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, anti-racist organising of the African Students’ Union at university, but had felt it did not take women’s liberation into account.
OWAAD campaigned on immigration and deportation, domestic violence, exclusion of kids from school, strikes by black women, policing and defence, and reproductive health. In 1985 she co-wrote The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain, which won the Martin Luther King Award for Literature. Nowadays she writes about anti-racist learning and strategies in schools, colleges and youth centres.