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Statue to Cymru's first black headteacher, Betty Campbell, unveiled in Caerdydd city centre

Betty Campbell Statue (Image: Caerdydd Council)

A statue to honour Betty Campbell MBE, Cymru's first black headteacher and champion of equality and diversity has been unveiled in Caerdydd city centre today.

This will be the first ever statue of a named, non-fictionalised woman to be erected in an outdoor public space in Cymru.

It has been designed and created by renowned figurative sculptor Eve Shepherd.

The sculpture was commissioned following the Hidden Heroines campaign organised by Monumental Welsh Women, broadcast on BBC Cymru Wales.

Betty Campbell topped a public vote to decide who would be the first ever statue of a named, non-fictionalised woman in Cymru.

Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council said: "It is a fitting tribute to Betty - such an important woman in Welsh and Cardiff history - to be honoured and commemorated in this incredible way in the city centre.

"The prominent position of Betty's monument will inspire Cardiffians and visitors who will be reminded of her story and the massive contribution that she made to education and community life."

"People of all ages will learn of Betty's legacy. This is a fantastic start to the prominent Black Welsh figures who will be publically celebrated and commemorated in the coming year".

Chair of the Race Equality Taskforce and Councillor for Butetown, Cllr Saeed Ebrahim, said: "I grew up in Butetown and was lucky enough to know Betty personally as she taught many of my friends and family. This is a very special moment for the Butetown community.

"We're thrilled to support the installation of Betty's monument in partnership with Cardiff Stories and Monumental Welsh Women in a continued celebration of Black Welsh and Cardiff History."

"After years of hard work by Monumental Welsh Women, Betty's monument in the city centre is a proud moment for the community of Cardiff."

Betty Campbell

Born in Butetown in 1934, and raised in Tiger Bay, Betty Campbell's mother struggled to make ends meet after her father was killed in the Second World War.

She won a scholarship to Lady Margaret High School for Girls in Cardiff, but was told by her teacher that a working-class black girl could never achieve the academic heights she aspired to.

Betty Campbell influenced Welsh life through a series of public appointments, serving as an independent councillor for Butetown, a board member for BBC Cymru Wales, a member of the Home Office's race advisory committee and a member of the Commission for Racial Equality.

She also helped to create Black History Month, and in 2003 was awarded an MBE for her services to education and community life.

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