Grime superstar Stormzy won the coveted prize of Person of the Year at an annual event celebrating the black community.
The Annual Access Conference, founded by the Oxford African and Caribbean society, welcomed the Gang Signs & Prayer artist and awarded him the accolade last Tuesday.
Now in its fourth year, the conference hosts young people from state schools across London and addresses the underrepresentation of students of African and Caribbean heritage at Oxford and other higher education institutions.
The prize was awarded to the star because of his ‘engagement with social issues’ and his ability to push boundaries with his work.
A representative said: “We felt that Stormzy truly deserved it.
“His engagement with social issues within the community, and his willingness to push the boundaries of grime by experimenting with new sounds in his music, challenges the idea that being faithful to our roots and engaging with new spaces are mutually exclusive.
“This is a powerful message we share with the students the Oxford ACS engage with in our Access and Outreach initiatives – that they too can do the same, whether in the studio or in the classroom.”
The artists was on hand to receive his award at a packed conference in London. Later he tweeted: “Today I received the Person Of The Year Award from Oxford University ACS. Standing proud in a room full of young black Kings & Queens.” Earlier this year, Stormzy donated £9,000 to an Oxford student to help her realise her dream of attending a Masters course at Harvard University in America.
Oxford student Fiona Asiedu launched the campaign after she was offered a place on a Master’s course in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
She needed to raise £12,000 to cover the cost of the course and travel expenses. She is due to start the course next month.