Black Voices in Conversation: Magistrate Sandra Gordon on being the change you want to see

"I've never been fazed by being the only black person in the room. For me, it's about showing we have a right to be in those places."

Black Voices In Conversation is a new series of interviews by ITV News to mark Black History Month 2020.

Across the UK and Northern Ireland we have spoken to groundbreaking individuals from the black community to learn about their life experiences and to hear their vision for the future.

ITV West Country journalist, Alpha Ceesay, sat down with Sandra Gordon - one of Bristol's few black magistrates - to talk about the importance of being a role model and working to be the change you want to see.

Sandra grew up in St Paul's in the Easton area of Bristol.

She began her professional career as a postal administrator at Royal Mail before eventually moving up the ranks into management roles by 2003 where the true importance of her success became clear.

She said: "I just took the opportunities that were given to me. It wasn't until perhaps other employees in lower positions than myself saw me in those higher positions they were like: 'Wow Sandra. We're proud that we've got someone like you in this position you know, this really gives us hope and aspirations that we can achieve something like this'."

Ten years later Sandra would co-found the RISE social enterprise to help other black people achieve the success she had.

This work gave her the platform to secure a spot on Bristol's Commission on Race Equality where her discovery of the lack of representation within the justice system led her to become a magistrate.

Now as an activist, magistrate, and radio presenter, and more all rolled into one, she uses her platforms to achieve one goal. To create a fairer and more equal society.

  • Read more about Sandra's story here.

Watch more interviews from our Black Voices in Conversation series here - or listen below: