A Tribute our beloved, respected, wise Arike (aka Stan Grant) who recently passed
Photographer: Aida Silvestri.
Arike died on the 12th June after a tragic accident. Our condolences go out to his daughter and son Tara and Saul, his granddaughter Lili, his siblings Linda and Shade and his partner Leah.
Please scroll down to add you personal tributes and commemorative messages of Arike below.
From Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga
A friend described how Arike counselled her first child when he was inside her belly, 28 years ago. He was recently counselling the same child as a young adult. Arike was a psychological and spiritual father, brother and uncle in many ways. We were initiated into Reiki together and shared ancestral ceremonies with Malidome Some` and other diviners.
I first met Arike at the Association of black counsellors. I had taken my youngest child who was then age eight months and Arike offered to feed him. This was indicative of his gentle connecting, openly supportive manner. In the early 90s, I had the privilege of teaching with Arike at City University, working with him at the African Caribbean Mental Health Association and then passing the baton to him at Broadmoor hospital. We have since experienced 30 years colleagueship, friendship and leading in the Re-evaluation co-counselling community.
That tragic accident that took his life on the 12th of June was a twist of fate as he was emerging as an active leader in local black lives matter events. I have been told that he spoke about not being afraid to die, but he was afraid of pain. It is a blessing that he did not suffer too long. Arike was a gentle wise caring therapist, colleague and friend. He was a talented musician and artist. Spiritually refined with integrity, calm and wisdom. May the heart that helped heal other hearts rest in peace. It is fitting that he has become one of our iconic ancestors.
From Eugene Ellis
I met Arike when I was beginning to explore co-counselling and he was one of the black men who became very important for me at that time. There are many types of black men, and I was working through the type a black man I was, and trying to reconcile the parts of me that I didn’t think fit the profile of the black man I thought I should be. Arike offered me a model of someone I could find myself through. You were someone with similar values to me and a similar outlook on how life could be lived. He became a kind of role model for me. A model of the type of a black man that I already was in many ways, but hadn’t fully accepted and validated.
Arike was someone who inspired me and kept me connected with who I want to be. I felt proud and privileged to be doing the Trainers forums with him and so appreciated his ability to thoughtfully get to a clear thinking space within the midst of emotional storms. I want to thank Arike for his invaluable contribution to BAATN and for looking out for me when I took on too much my shoulder.
You are still alive in my mind and I wish you a peaceful journey to be with the ancestors.
Much love to a dear Friend
Aileen Alleyne, Arike, Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga
Listen and watch recordings of Arike
- Colonialism, Violence, Father and Me: A Young Black Man’s Initiation Into Manhood In Mid 20th Century. A Spoken word performance. A story of violence within the home to toughen up a young boy for a tough world. Watch here
- Arike speaks to Rotimi Akinsete about his reflections on all that’s been happening around black deaths under Covid and George Floyd’s murder. Part of the Black Men on the Couch series, recording 11th June 20. [add link]
- BAATN podcast: Creating partnerships with training organisations: Let’s talk about race – Episode 18 – Listen here
Post your own commemorative note below.
Click on “Write a new entry’ button below.
I am so thankful for meeting Arike. As an Art Psychotherapy student on Placement, I was lucky enough to experience Arike's training 'Having a conversation on Race'. This was such a powerful workshop. Being one of the very few Art Therapy trainees of colour I was so inspired to finally experience speaking up. I will always be grateful for this experience which gave me a voice and the encouragement to make this my area of research for my final dissertation. I am forever grateful for planting that seed that led me on my journey.
Rest in Peace x
And that’s Arike – bringing light and warmth, just as he did every time he guided my journey through a BAATN trainer or therapist forum. Along with Eugene, he held the space with such love, integrity and skill that each time it became safer to go deeper into feeling the layers of intergenerational guilt, shame, privilege, violence and trauma that so need to be felt.
I lost both my parents in the weeks after Arike’s passing, hence the struggle to find these words sooner. Now that I do so, I find a kind of poetry in the intertwining of these losses, helping me appreciate just how beautifully Arike’s way of being embodies both the paternal and the maternal.
The last time I saw him in March, he cut through the rising fear and confusion of that time to give me the most beautiful, defiantly unsocially-distanced hug, as ever embodying warmth and positivity. Peace and power to you always, dear Arike – I aspire to do justice to your memory.
Arike was truly a wonderful person – full of warmth, love and highly inspirational. His support and encouragement were the driving force behind the Men’s Group I subsequently set up.
Although we did not have frequent contact over the last few years, his influences and my recollections of the social meetups we used to have continued to be a source of very fond memories.
He was a wonderful human being and will be sadly missed. My condolences go out to Leah, Tara and Saul, and of course those members of his family that I had not met.
It has taken me a bit of time to work out what to say - I have had many conversations with you in my head - having been in your presence for years as part of the Leadership Team, hearing about your death was hard, really hard...
It feels surreal to have attended your funeral by remote camera, listened to the pain of your passing vocalized by your beautiful children and your life partner by remote video, watched a ceremony on the beach held in honor of your life, and to mourn your passing - by video on my camera sent to me from the beach, witness to Libations poured, dancing danced, drumming drummed, songs sung, tears shed...a life lived and a life lost.
You were a Very Important Person to so many of us in BAATN...seeing you today at the BAATN Conference as a face on a Zoom screen made me sad so very sad.
The loss of you in this time of Covid and BLM feels starkly two dimensional compared to the larger than life 3D memories I have of you as a fully human being when you were alive. I hope you knew that it was, for me, an honor to have known you and worked with you and then some... I hope you knew how important you were to us all...
I will miss your grounded presence, your quiet consideration, your wisdom, your incisiveness, your humor, your honesty, and your playfulness, so many memories I am glad to be able to recall and hold close to my mind whilst they also are now tinged with the sadness of your passing...I am truly glad to have known you, to have worked with you, to have met you...to have journeyed part of the way with you...
Rest in Power Dear Arike - with Love and Peace and Honor you remain forever in my heart and the hearts and minds of all those whose lives you Truly touched.
Rest in Peace Dear Arike...Gone but you will Truly Never Be Forgotten...❤
Arike, you had a big impact on this earth and touched many lives with your kindness and wisdom, and I like to think that continues wherever you are now. In your words..."big hugs 👋🏽👋🏽👋🏽🧡" My deepest condolences to Arike's loved ones.
Years later when I was looking for a new supervisor, I immediately knew that I wanted to work with him. His extensive knowledge would add a specificity to my practice with Black, and African clients and supervisees.
Working with him was enlightening as he supported my growth through modelling a sense of fidelity to sit in the space of the unknown.
He imbued a quality of seasoned wisdom that was a soothing balm when I felt frustrated and wobbly, it was transformative.
I will remember his aliveness and steady presence. He will forever be eternal in my heart and in our collective memory.
Arike, an African pearl.
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you gets fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence.
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.
(For Grief John O'Donohue)
The opening words of this poem speak to me this day as Arike joins the ancestors. I remember him fondly as a supervisor. He was also a poet of the soul. To his family...my deepest sympathy.
Asante Arike. Mungu akubariki. (Thank you Arike. God bless you)
It seems like only yesterday we spent time chopping wood, cooking, laughing, joking and skipping through the field in the New Forest. How I appreciated your sharing of your struggles, your honesty, your openness...can’t quite believe you’re no longer with us to share your deep wisdom. Have not seen you in years but you often came to me when in need of wisdom or humility. Rest in power my friend and condolences to Leah and the rest of the family.
Arike's guidance was patient, kind, resilient, warm, supportive, humoured, and ultimately well resourced. He read a lot and stayed current with many books articles and media sources. Going to him as my supervisor was one of the best decisions I have made in my career as a counsellor/psychotherapist. He inspired me to be more.
I am sorry that I will no longer sit at his humbling presence to soak up his learning. My clients benefited from the learned support he offered. As a mentor, supervisor, friend he fitted a space that not many others have ever held and for that I feel honoured to have known him as a supervisee.
My wish is that all of his family, friends colleagues, clients, supervisees, know that he would want for us to carry his hopes for humanity forward in all that we do.
Arike be well wherever you may are now.
I am forever thankful for all the time spent together.
I love myself so much
So I can love you so much
So you can love you so much
So you can keep loving me.
On behalf of all the child counselling students at IATE, thank you Arike and we're sending our condolences to your family.
And on a more personal note, he always greeted me with a big, welcoming hug and was so generous. At one of the BAATN forums, where shame overwhelmed me and I wanted to crawl away into a hole, he was there with open arms and compassion. I will really miss him.
I first met Arike in the early days of the BAATN Trainer forums. He seemed to me to be a man who had made a promise to change the world, one person, at a time if necessary. He kept that promise in mountains. His perseverance and tenacity was incredible. How come he just never gave up? It must have been exhausting and dispiriting so much of the time to facilitate the same fractious and uncomfortable conversation over and over again. He had a huge heart, massive energy and a gift for humanising rather than demonising racism. He challenged robustly but with compassion. He along with Eugene helped white people like me to own their history and hurtful actions and listen properly. He really did change the world and is leaving a massive hole.
Arike, like thousands of others, will seriously miss you.
Arike was my mentor for years and I was in total disbelief when I heard about his passing. He understood me at times when I was misunderstood by others and gave me encouragement when it was lacking in my life. I will miss his wise words and the enthusiasm for the direction my life was going in. I feel so lucky to have had such a great mentor. I will miss him a lot.
My Dear Soul Brother Arike,
I had only met you several times and in those meetings, what truly illuminated from within you, was your humility, compassion, kindness, understanding and your in-depth wisdom and knowledge. On reading the tributes from both your colleagues and dear friends, you have truly allowed others to stand on your shoulders.
Much blessings to your Soul's journey and much love to those you have left in this physical world.
7 years ago I attended my first BAATN event, a trainers forum. During the lunch break, I sat with Arike in a cafe. I had never before heard a black man talk so openly about their emotions and experiences - a gifted storyteller. In that hour’s conversation, I learnt that my story, in all its complicated belonging-unbelongingness was valid. I felt validated and seen. I would always look forward to Arike’s presence at BAATN events. He brought a sense of soothing and grounding. I am so glad to have met him.
Dear Arike, you were such a special soul. I feel so sad at your passing and will miss your presence in the world. You have left far too soon, but your spirit will always be here with us all.
I met Arike in the 80s in London when things were heady, exciting and also polarised around peace, politics and psychotherapy. I met a person who was calm, open and caring...met him years later, 4 years ago, enjoyed the conversation we had, saw his partner, Leah, after so many years...enjoyed, promised to meet up again. I was shocked and saddened by the news of his death. My thoughts are with his family and friends. A good human being is missed.
To ALL who are left behind whose lives were touched by Arike, I have read that he was a great man. Your hearts will be heavy, some for a while and others for a much longer time.
I did not know him personally, but a picture always paints a thousand words for me and Arike says to me that he was a caring and humble gentle man who's spirit remains in many people's hearts and minds.
I am very saddened with the loss of Arike. I only knew him briefly when our paths crossed at conferences or meetings but what always struck me was his warmth and thoughtfulness.
He will be missed in our professional community.
My tribute to you dear Arike.
You were so emotionally literate, aware of your emotions speaking through your body; wise; articulate at expressing how people saw the colour of your skin and the painful effects this had on you; courageous in seeking to untangle the different Black cultural effects upon your psyche; and brave at acknowledging your personal experiences of domestic violence. You learnt how to honour your angry feelings and channel them to create change. You exemplified the importance of personal work/therapy.
In meetings, I loved your calm gentleness, depth of strength, and the way you used your beautiful, big, Black, body to support yourself and to both emotionally and physically support others. I, for one will miss your firm, warm, respectful hugs, hello and goodbye.
I will miss your presence in the BAATN Leadership group, the work you undertook for BAATN and the wider therapeutic work you did for the Black and white communities seeking to transcend the suffering of racism.
I, along with no doubt many others, appreciated and delighted in your artist and musical talents which you shared generously, some of your talents were making pottery, painting, playing the harmonica and the guitar. These were other ways you processed and expressed your experiences. I also loved how you were connected to nature and you love of your garden.
May your spirit live on in all of us who knew you and may we continue to honour the spirit of your life’s work in our work with BAATN.
The tributes here speak to Arike's quality as I saw it of soulful, kind wisdom. He was a great role model for men and true friend for women. I wish I could have had more time with him. But the time I did have has been important in helping me see what depth and compassion can achieve - even when things are difficult. I will miss him.
I’ve been in complete shock and utter disbelief after recently being told the very sad news about Arike’s passing. Despite this terrible news, I firmly believe that Arike is resting with angles because he was a living angel on this earth, in my world, the wider BAATN community & beyond.
I first met Arike 15 years ago at a staff Diversity & Equality training course he and his partner Leah delivered for a LGBT mental health charity I worked for at the time. I remember being totally blown away and inspired by their passion, gravitas, huge empathy, vast expertise and forensic thinking.
A couple of years after the training I decided to approach Arike for ’supervision’ and I will always remember Arike's encouragement, wisdom, guidance & extremely warm presence. I know I would be a much lesser man today without Arike's unequivocal support, guidance and humility.
I will forever remain inspired by Arike’s vision and leadership within BAATN. Arike was a true pioneer, forcing the counselling profession to sit up & take notice about the unmistakable truth; Black lives do matter. Continue to rest well with angels, Arike.
I first met Arike during my first time at a BAATN Leadership meeting. As a tactile person, I’m always wanting to hug people though I thought best on this occasion to try and make a good impression by adopting a more formal stance. As I approached Arike I held out my hand and he looked at it, looked back at me and said “come here” and held me and said, “this is how I want to welcome you”. With that embrace, it told me what a person he was. Honest, open and above all, himself, his true self. He had the natural ability to express exactly how he is, feelings, emotions and thoughts. To me, this was exceptionally deep and brave but to Arike it was just his natural gift to be this authentic and regardless of the audience Arike was always Arike, inspiring, sensitive and unassuming. One thing that I will always hold on to was Arike’s presentation/talk during the 2017 London Conference. I’m unable to put into words what and how Arike did but it was one of those once in a lifetime moments you’re just grateful to bear witness to.
Arike, I love you, it was so easy to love you because you made it so easy to do so. I take great comfort in that I had the honour of meeting you and embraced you and I hope you know that your friendship meant so much to me, disappointed that I never told you specifically but I’m sure you’ll know that already. You are the epitome of love, strength and courage. Take care and until next time.
It was the early 1980's, I was responsible for creating training programmes for managers on counselling skills in the workplace. Arike was facilitating other courses with his life partner for the organisation as external trainers. I met him in a break, his warmth and welcome to just chat together as Black folk was typical, as if he had known me forever, with no sense of wanting anything but to connect. We grew into being friends from that point onwards.
When I asked him to run the counselling skills training he responded I'll run it if we do it together and I'll train you as we go along. We also started co-counselling, this was to become an important support for me as I started training as a psychotherapist. I remember saying at my intake interview that I would not join the training if they asked me to give up my black co-counselling relationship. They never did ask for this, even my body psychotherapist accepted that her client needed both. I think that was a blessing. Arike and I shared some important times together counteracting the difficulties of being a black person on a Eurocentric training.
Equally, I got to experience his gentle and robust kindness, his tolerance and patience, his clarity about the absolute need to be discharging our internalised racism and not allowing it to prevent us fulfilling our potential. As I remember him now - the depth, breadth and quality of his compassion and his erudite wisdom impacted me most. We became colleagues teaching together on a counselling training. There I learned more about his integrity and professionalism. and also mine through working with him. He was a beautiful man inside and out in so many ways, he was my friend, my brother, and one of the wisest men I have known. He deepened my appreciation of jazz and other music and the arts. Put simply I miss my friend, my colleague, my occasional mentor and my brother in BAATN.
Love to you dear Arike and I hope you are jamming with the angels!
My memory isn’t so good these days but I remember meeting Arike for the first time in 1985 or 1986. He was part of some personal development collective and was the only black, male alongside a group of five or six women.
He stood out for me in many ways, and not just because he was the only man, the only black person amongst a collective of training consultants fronting the importance of personal self-development or such like. I was in my early twenties at the time and in many ways, I was still very much a child, finding my place in the world and this was probably the first time that I had witnessed a black man in real life naturally and confidently holding his own space as if he was unconsciously making a point to all of us predominantly black, working-class participants that he himself was good enough, that he had the inner strength, intelligence and wherewithal to naturally be part of a groundbreaking initiative at the time. No surprise then when Arike and I met again several years later as members of the BAATN Leadership Group.
During the last 10 years or so that we have worked together (Arike was instrumental in forming the BAATN Black Men’s Group along with Eugene Ellis and I) it then began to form in my mind the notion that this tall, handsome, cool and gentle brother-man was playing an important role as someone who was influencing and contributing to my own personal growth and development yet again. What strikes me most now that I’m remembering and writing about him is that I don’t remember Arike as ever being in-your-face or brash - that was just not his style. I remember him best as just being there, in the background, like a calm presence, doing his thing.
Feels really uncanny, odd, strange to me that Arike and I spoke the night before he died. His brief interview with me as part of the Black Men on the Couch: Conversations During Lockdown was ever so typical of him; he was typically gracious, giving and gifted.
Missing you loads, bruh. Thank you for being there and at the right time in my life.
Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility honour the enormous contribution of Arike (Stan Grant).
It was with shock and great sorrow that we heard the news on 19th June 2020 that Arike had died.
Our world still needs him.
He spent his life supporting people to empower themselves: as a youth worker, teacher, college tutor, group facilitator, trainer, coach, counsellor, supervisor, mentor and elder. He was particularly concerned to support Black men and it feels poignant that he should leave this life at a time when the toxic conditions under which Black men, and all people of colour, are struggling to survive, are finally receiving attention from the whole world. He has played a significant part in the struggle to get to this point.
He has also played a more significant part than he would probably realise in the development of PCSR. One of the activities of PCSR that has attracted a great deal of interest and attention over the past 3 years is the Examining Whiteness group which, before lockdown, was taking place every 3 months with 50 people (plus 50 on a waiting list) from a wide range of heritages and backgrounds meeting together to deconstruct racism and White identity. We’ve had some challenging, stimulating, life-changing conversations there. We both learned so much about being in mixed groups where the trauma of racism can be addressed, from attending the Trainers and Therapists Forums run by BAATN and facilitated by Arike and Eugene Ellis.
We have both attended these groups intermittently for several years and Bea remembers clearly the occasion when Arike told her that White people needed to be doing their work together. At the time she was very overloaded and exhausted and said she didn’t know how she would find the time to do that. He gently but firmly pointed out that we make time for what is important, and thus the seed of a project Examining Whiteness was planted, which was then fertilised by conversations with Suzanne where we shared similar experiences and aspirations.
Bea experienced that combination of firmness, not letting her off the hook, and gentleness as really powerful. She experienced him as wise and kind, committed and playful. At the last Forum she attended in January he played his guitar and sang 2 songs that he had written, which was deeply moving.
On behalf of PCSR we would like to acknowledge and express our gratitude for all the gifts he brought to us and the world, which have left a lasting imprint and will continue to inspire us to action. He will be missed.
Bea Millar Suzanne Keys