THE MAN who founded black history month for Southampton has received an honorary degree.

Don Jon, a race and diversity consultant, who founded the awareness programme was awarded the degree of Doctor of Arts by Solent University on Monday (July 8).

His degree recognises his role in the development of Southampton City Council’s race and diversity policies as well as his work in creating a number of social issue projects for black and Asian communities in the city.

During his time with the Southampton Council, Don worked with black and Asian youth specifically relating to the criminal justice system and racism in education services.

He later secured a position as the first race and diversity officer for Southampton City Council.

In this role, he was involved in developing city-wide policies on racial harassment and forming The Multi Agency Group on Racial Harassment which challenges these issues in the region.

After receiving his honorary degree Don said: “Racial injustice remains an issue in our society, but I hope that through my work, we can create lasting change.

"I’m thrilled to be honoured with this honorary degree from Solent University – I hope to use this platform to continue to drive forward robust race and diversity policies across the region and bring an end to racial discrimination.”

Don currently working with Hampshire Constabulary on a number of issues in regard to racial discrimination and racial injustice.

Graduation ceremonies at Southampton Solent University have been taking place all week and will finish on July 12.

Actress Sarah Parish, who starred in the ITV drama Broadchurch, and Huw Jennings, former Saints academy coach, now with Fulham are also set to be honoured as a Doctor of Art and a Doctor of Sport this week.

Vice-Chancellor at Solent University, Professor Graham Baldwin says: “Graduation Week is the highlight of our academic year and is a huge event for our students, who have spent the past few years working hard so that they can follow their dreams. When you study at university, you make friends for life and I am delighted that our students can look forward to a memorable celebration of their achievements with their friends, family and tutors.

“I am extremely proud to lead such a dynamic, diverse and inspirational University that produces work-ready graduates; and of our excellent facilities and academic expertise that help give our talented students the opportunity to excel in their studies and their chosen careers.”