Maxie Hayles MBE is a Jamaican born, veteran community activist who came to the UK in 1960. In 2015, Maxie hosted Patrisse Cullors, one of the three founding members of Black Lives Matter, when she visited the UK for speaking engagements, and he has been active with the Black Lives Matter movement long before it came to mainstream attention.
You can find out more about Maxie by following these links:
“Taking it To The Max” is Maxie's autobiography. It also serves as a sociological, political and historical memoir chronicling over 40 years of fighting for human rights as well as Maxie's experiences of racism in Britain. It documents his work as a community activist at grass roots level as well as nationally and internationally, and the Black Lives Matter movement features throughout the book.
The overall project aims to fund the dramatisation of “Taking it To The Max” through a multimedia programme of works, split into three distinct elements:
- a short film based on the book;
- diversity and inclusion training workshops, based on the book;
- a series of theatrical pieces, based on the book.
These will serve to help individuals of all communities and age groups to better understand racial issues and, hopefully, empower us to be more tolerant and inclusive by valuing, promoting, managing and respecting equity, equality and diversity.
This fundraising activity aims to cover at least the first of these elements, with further activities to follow. However, any excess funds raised at this stage will be used to support the later elements.
Unequivocal that discrimination and hatred can never be accepted, Maxie’s voice has important lessons for today.
"Maxie is someone who has argued for the right to exist as a human being, and has refused to accept any form of subordination. Taking it to the Max is a welcome addition to a community that at times fears expressing itself for fear of not being heard." Dr. Martin Glynn, Writer, Criminologist and Lecturer, City of Birmingham University.
Renowned for being at the forefront of challenging the Establishment, Maxie Hayles was presented with a lifetime achievement award by Reverend Jesse Jackson in 2008 in recognition of outstanding work defending human rights and race equality. He also won the Prime Minister's Regional and National Active Community Award in 2000 for building a fair and just community. Maxie was awarded MBE in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours list.
If you suffer, or have ever suffered discrimination due to your ethnicity or heritage, then this project might interest you in being part of helping Maxie’s story to educate and inspire.
Launched at The House of Commons, London, UK, in October 2016 during Britain's Black History Month, “Taking it to the Max” has also been accepted by Hon. Olivia “Babsie" Grange, Minister of Sports, Culture, Entertainment and Gender Affairs in Jamaica, into The National Library of Jamaica.