Promise Campbell: A promising future
A top class Cambridge graduate, who has done it all on her own terms.
As far as inspiring BME women go, Promise Campbell is arguably at the top of her class. At only 22 years of age, this young woman has literally fought against the odds to be where she is now. Currently Campbell works in the House of Lords as the Parliamentary Assistant of Baroness Young of Hornsey, a Crossbench Peer with a reputation for fighting strongly on equalities issues.
The scale of Campbell’s success is hard to believe considering she did not have any previous ambition of entering politics. It was a chance letter from her local MP, Dawn Butler, inviting her to help with campaign work that steered Promise onto this path. As she explains:
“This is where I wanted to be, this is where I was supposed to be”
Once having had a taste for politics, she decided to query David Miliband’s office during the politician’s Labour leadership campaign in 2010 and was offered an internship. After this, Campbell went on to intern for Rt. Hon Steven Timms and worked in an advisory capacity with Lord Mandelson on emerging markets at Global Counsel LLP before finally being offered her current position. Additionally Campbell is Membership Director of Junior Chambers International Ignite, which is a global network for young professionals with a membership exceeding 200,000. She also is a community organizer and money mentor at London Citizens. Her voluntary work in these two organizations has involved a focus on giving back to the south London community by helping people who have fallen short of cash.
Campbell in particular has huge drive and ambition, and it is apparent that this has been with her from the start. Her exposure to the world outside of her home in north west London began when she was taken to Namibia by the BBC at 12 years old for a programme called ‘Serious Desert’. It set the seeds and made her understand the importance of “another life…and…wanting to better myself”.
It was after this that she decided to apply to Cambridge University at the young age of 17 – without parental support as she was living by herself by that age. Despite the lack of family support Campbell graduated from Cambridge top of the class in English and won the University’s prestigious Thompson Award for her academic excellence. This achievement is all the more significant since Cambridge’s intake of new Black students was a mere 16 out 2624 in 2011.
“There was a hope and a belief that that there was something greater in me”
What Campbell is passionate about today is social justice and the eagerness to be a “voice for people”. This especially includes underrepresented people such as BME women. As she explains:
The best way to combat underrepresentation is representation; to be there and not shy away from public life for the fear that you will not be accepted or people will judge you…I push past my insecurities with the hope that I can pave a way – if I carve out that route, someone will follow behind…
At this point Campbell acknowledges the role of her employer in pushing doors open for people like herself. She is willing to continue the same tradition and learn from Baroness Young’s commitment to equality and bringing topics of debate outside of public discourse within the realms of Parliament.
As for Campbell’s aspirations for the future, she is keen to represent the voices of the people in Parliament and lead by influence. As she states:
“I take every day as it comes…and am excited about the future”