Charlie Dark MBE, Honorary Doctor of the University

Charlie Dark MBE is a musician, DJ, teacher, mentor, speaker, poet, and inspirational founder of the alternative running club Run Dem Crew.

He started his journey with music, where he began DJing while still in school in South East London. Inspired by spoken word and hip-hop artists from America, he founded the Urban Poet's Society, reframing poetry gatherings in the context of young multicultural London.

Charlie's love for music led him to form the musical collective Attica Blues, and in the 90s, he established the Blacktronica club night at the Institute for Contemporary Art. Despite his success, the music industry's increased demand and pressure took a toll on his mental health. He turned to running, transforming his life beyond his own health and wellbeing.

In 2007, Charlie founded Run Dem Crew, a supportive, multi-generational group of runners from all walks of life who are passionate about running, music, and exchanging ideas while exploring the streets of London. The community was created for people who don't typically consider themselves 'runners' or that didn't fit in with traditional running club approaches. Today, Run Dem Crew has grown to include over five hundred members and is known for providing a safe, unique, positive, and supportive environment for all.

Charlie's contributions to the community have not gone unnoticed, and he was awarded an MBE this year for his dedication to helping young people.

Additionally, he serves as an ambassador for the sportswear brand Lululemon and operates a community radio station, Run Dem Radio, in Elephant Park. Every Friday, Charlie also spreads peace, positivity, and blessings through music on Gilles Peterson's radio station Worldwide FM.


Search stories

Popular stories