I saw Anj Handa speak at Institute of Fundraising Yorkshire Conference in May this year. She was talking about the incredible Change.org campaign that she ran in a bid to keep her friend, Afusat Saliu in the UK, as there was a real concern that her children would be subjected to FGM. Anj is a fantastic speaker and I was chuffed when she flagged that she’d be interested in getting on Cracking Charity Chat.
Now based in her home city of Leeds, Anj’s career has seen her work across the private, public and voluntary sectors, all with a focus on making organisations more diverse. She is Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, Chair of Freedom Studios (a theatre organisation in Bradford) and Governor of Leeds Arts University. I know. Busy lady.
We chat about:
- The brilliant tactics that Freedom Studios has employed to engage more diverse audiences with theatre
- Afusat Saliu’s asylum case and the Change.org campaign
- Equality, diversity and inclusion – specifically lived experience, White Men, and ‘passing’
- Whataboutery, dealing with the trolls and emotional correctness
My key takeaways:
- Ikigai: the Japanese formula for happiness is worth checking out – it’s the point where passion, mission, vocation and profession come together
- Put the person back in the story: Anj’s campaign was so high profile for many reasons, but bringing a family to the forefront and giving a voice to someone who is part of a community of people who are regularly dehumanised by our media and politics was key to its success
- Equality, diversity, inclusion: it’s best to critique the systems and processes, not specific people
- On being inclusive: “just try to meet people on a human level and be decent”
- On whataboutery: don’t worry about it – you have a niche, and that’s fine
A quick heads-up – the file corrupted so the sound quality isn’t as good as it should be, but still fine IMO!
A few resources: