This event was recorded as part of a live webinar on 15 May 2023.
In recent years, there has been an increased visibility of social justice movements as a result of social media and global connectivity. But, as the work of social change movements builds momentum, what role can it play in encouraging intercultural diversity. How do social justice actors build more interculturally diverse communities? And how can intercultural exchange between activist groups impact their advocacy work?
For this conversation, we will bring social justice actors from various groups into conversation with policymakers and state representatives to exchange perspectives and answer these questions.
The Aspen Institute UK, in partnership with the Khalili Foundation, explore these pertinent issues. It is part of the wider World Festival of Cultural Diversity which, in association with UNESCO, is bringing together various intellectual and creative initiatives in collective celebration of our world’s cultures.
Waqas Ahmed – Waqās is Executive Director of the Khalili Foundation, Editor of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (20th Anniversary book 2021), and Curator of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity. He was previously a diplomatic journalist and publisher, namely as editor of the Official Reports for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (2011-2015) and editor of Holy Makkah (FIRST 2017). He is now Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Visiting Fellow at the Open University Business School and Assistant Professor at the London Interdisciplinary School. Waqās is also author of the internationally acclaimed book The Polymath (Wiley 2019) and has either been published by or featured in the Times, the Financial Times, the BBC, Forbes, and The Lancet.
On the panel:
Jackie Driver OBE – Jackie is the Strategic Lead for equality, diversity, and inclusion at Greater Manchester Integrated Care. Jackie was previously a Programme Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Jackie chairs Sign Health, a national Deaf led organisation dedicated to making sure Deaf people get the same access as hearing people to health care and in-formation. In 2019, along with her board, she won the Charity Governance Award for Board Diversity and Inclusivity.
Jackie is the Chair of Breakthrough UK, a leading disability rights organisation providing policy, guidance, challenge, and exemplary practice in the field of employment and independent living. She sits on the advisory board at Result CIC – a community interest company who work with people who are marginalised or excluded from mainstream society or the workplace. Jackie was awarded an OBE in 2021 for her exceptional contribution towards equality, diversity and inclusion.
Nathan Law – Nathan is a young Hong Kong activist, currently in exile and based in London. During the Umbrella Movement in 2014, Nathan was one of the five representatives who took part in the dialogue with the government, debating political reform. Upholding non-violent civic actions, Nathan, Joshua Wong and other student leaders founded Demosistō in 2016 and ran for the Legislative Council election. Nathan was elected with 50,818 votes in the Hong Kong Island constituency and became the youngest Legislative Councilor in history. Yet his seat was overturned in July 2017 following Beijing’s constitutional reinterpretation, despite international criticism. Nathan was later jailed for his participation in the Umbrella Movement. The persecution sparked global concern over Beijing’s crackdown on human rights and democratic movement in Hong Kong.In 2018, Nathan and his fellow student activists Joshua Wong and Alex Chow are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by US congressmen and British parliament members. Due to the risk imposed by the National Security Law, Nathan left Hong Kong and continues to speak up for Hong Kong people on the international level. In 2020, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME.
Poku Osei – Poku is an award-winning social entrepreneur with a passion for levelling the playing field for low income and ethnic minority groups. He is the founder and CEO of Babbasa – the first black-led social enterprise to win the prestigious Queen’s Award For Enterprise (Social Mobility) in 2020, for transforming the lives of over 2,200 ethnic minority young people in the UK. As an African migrant with lived experience of race and class challenges, Poku advocates and advises on social mobility, equal opportunity and inclusion, through talks, consultancy work and on key strategic boards including Business West (Chambers of Commerce), University of Bristol Courts, WECA (People & Skills Board) and UWE Business School.