Words of Colour
The Immersive Change Agency

Our Approach
Our Objective
What we inspire in others and ourselves

Words of Colour, The Immersive Change Agency, creates alternative pathways and sustainable opportunities for writers, creatives, entrepreneurs and communities of colour to thrive, for unheard stories to be told and underrepresented talent to shine.

Launched in 2006, we originate, curate, produce, collaborate and lead on projects that straddle literature, creative industries, academia, research, digital entrepreneurship and creative wellbeing to generate meaningful change.

We have extensive UK-wide partnerships in these industries, from the National Centre for Social Research, Manchester Poetry Library, Waterstones, Canongate and Kiln Theatre, to The Bookseller, the Royal Society of Literature, National Centre of Writing, Spread the Word and Museum of Colour, among others.


Despite the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns, we increased our ability to be creative, impactful and innovative based on strong and compassionate partnerships.

In 2020, we co-curated the successful Bristol Literary Takeover with Bernardine Evaristo, Penguin Random House, Waterstones, Bristol Libraries and Bristol Old Vic, and launched a curated list of 20 top Black British writers.

We partnered with Jacaranda Books on its acclaimed Twenty in 2020 national initiative and co-developed and project managed Take Flight Hub, a virtual creative and professional development programme with Spread the Word and UCL Publishing, featuring masterclasses, panels and training led by award-winning agents, playwrights, journalists and publishers, such as Emma Paterson, Gary Younge, Mary Jean Chan and Inua Ellams.

In 2022, we co-designed Uplift, a development programme for literature leaders of colour with the Irish Writers Centre and co-curated My Words, the UK’s first hybrid exhibition covering 250 years of poets of colour with Museum of Colour and Renaissance One.


Words of Colour has a production arm that produces films, documentaries, podcasts, photography, branding design, event management and digital engagement. A hybrid documentary on mental health and ethnic inequalities, we directed and co-produced with Synergi-Leeds, will be screened at Seven Arts on 22nd March 2023.


Among our awards is the NESTA/Observer ‘New Radicals’ Award 2018 for the Synergi Collaborative Centre, a national initiative we co-founded with Professor Kamaldeep Bhui (University of Oxford) and Professor James Nazroo (University of Manchester), and the Legacy Awards 2022 (Health and Wellbeing Category) as part of Synergi-Leeds.

Contact us

If you’d like to find out how to potentially collaborate with or commission us, get in touch.

Our Purpose

  • To co-produce, co-curate and co-create for authentic inclusion to take root.

  • To develop British creative talent of colour – in the UK and internationally.
  • To ensure that the intersectional reality of our lives is mirrored on TV, stage, in books, research and policy.

  • To create alternative forms of media and publishing to diversify the creative, literature, publishing and arts landscape.
  • To foster narratives, opportunities and holistic spaces for people of colour to be their authentic selves, realise their potential and own their creativity.
  • To leave a positive legacy for the next generation of creatives, artists, entrepreneurs and disruptors of colour to build upon and/or transform.


  • The Covid Race and Ethnic Inequalities Research Programme

    Having people who understood race in the UK was critical to our work. Words of Colour worked closely and collaboratively with us on a tight schedule with a very involved piece of work, producing nine short films, branding, tailored consultancy, social media management, high impact virtual events, wide media coverage and an overall strategy for strategic and digital communications for a project with 10 university partners and 36 researchers. 

    They were always a pleasure to work with – challenging us and rising to the challenge. They were flexible and resourceful in responding to the urgency of the work and the new conditions required by the pandemic.

    Professor Bridget Byrne
    Director | Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
  • Synergi Collaborative Centre | Creative Spaces

    Some of our co-curated Creative Spaces events during the pandemic have included working with people with lived experience or community representatives, alongside system leaders. Joy Francis has ensured that there is an equal power dynamic within the planning team, which has made our contributors feel respected, valued and equally included in the facilitation of the well-attended virtual events.

    I also had the pleasure of working with both Joy and Adrianne McKenzie on the Synergi-Leeds documentary in 2021-2022. I found Adrianne had the right note of professionalism and personability, making the interviews and photoshoots seamless, timely and very easy. You know you have the right dynamic of people around when you feel comfortable and challenged at the same time. I can honestly say that working with both Joy and Adrianne over the past year has been a rewarding experience.

    Delvina Saunders
    Mental Health Ethnic Inequalities Lead (Adults) Leeds City Council | Public Health
  • Literature and theatre collaboration

    Theatre Peckham and Words of Colour found each other through the close alignment of our values and mission. Both organisations believe in the beauty of collaboration and a commitment to inclusive practice. We joined forces to bring the literary world and theatreland together, linking black writers with black creatives to platform an authentic voice. Our journey continues as we move between paper, theatre and film to find the hidden real life stories that can enrich all our lives.

    Suzann McLean
    CEO/Artistic Director, Theatre Peckham