• staff

    Saba Shafi

    Pronoun: she


    Saba has an MBA from Wharton and eight years of management consultancy experience. She kicked-off her career leading healthcare initiatives in refugee camps and diversity and inclusion programmes in graduate schools in the US. Saba is passionate about growing TAA. She would also like to go into space, if anyone has a ticket.

    Imane Maghrani

    Pronoun: she

    Associate Director Spark Programmes

    Imane is a social justice educator who loves creating spaces where young people are heard, seen and supported to thrive. Starting her career in academia, she took a winding path through the private and non-profit sectors to learn that she loves nothing more than spending time surrounded by passionate young people (admittedly more than spending time with adults). She reads, writes and sings for pleasure, and her most important love language is fruit.

    Darcey Williamson

    Pronoun: she

    Head of Cyclical Leadership

    Darcey is a youth worker and informal educator whose practice is informed by a radical youth work paradigm. She employs critical education methods and participatory action research, working with others to co-create projects that challenge epistemic and social injustices. As the Head of Cyclical Leadership, Darcey leads our Changemaker Apprenticeship programme, training and supporting our Alumni community to develop their leadership practice and social justice education methods to become Changemakers, who are central to our movement.

    Dhakshi Suriar

    Pronoun: she

    Head of Philanthropy

    Dhakshi is an accidental activist (her words), with a huge passion for social justice. After a couple of stints in the finance sector, she moved across to non-profits working predominantly in trusts and foundations. She now oversees philanthropy at The Advocacy Academy bringing a breadth of partnership management experience with her. Dhakshi enjoys all things social commentary which probably explains why she loves a bit of everything. Talk to her about books, music, TV, podcasts, art, food, fashion and she'll want to unpick the socio-political contexts behind them all.

    Fopé Ajanaku

    Pronoun: they

    Political Education Lead

    Fopé is an educator and writer, has a degree in politics, a short lived career in student politics and wealth of facilitation experience from Fearless Futures. They have travelled across the country delivering talks and workshops to universities and have only been stranded once. They are now the lead for Political Education and Campaigns at TAA which they are beyond excited to dig their teeth into as their work has always involved campaigning and critical thinking around education. Alongside this, Fopé is an avid buyer of books (and a more hesitant reader of said books). In their free time, they enjoy writing about identity, vulnerability, and intimacy.

    Amarah Khan

    Pronoun: she

    Community Administrator

    Amarah has a Masters Degree in Environmental Psychology. Starting her career in qualitative research, she uses evidence and insight to create fairer spaces. She is passionate about creating social and physical spaces that dare to have chutzpah and be unapologetically beautiful. You will often find Amarah naming every plant and giving them a detailed back story.

    Lydia Rye

    Pronouns: she/they

    Campaigns & Organising Director

    Lydia is an experienced Community Organiser and campaigner with more than a decade of experience in social purpose work. She is a former Senior Organiser for Citizens UK where she oversaw civil society alliances in West London, Nottingham & the Maun Valley and is proudest of her work with Nottingham Citizens to see misogyny recognised as a motivator for hate crime for the first time internationally - soon to be law (fingers crossed). Before joining us she worked for Lloyds Bank Foundation and still works freelance with funders interested in funding organising work. She is a host for The Dinner Party, a peer led grief support group based on food and collective care. She tries to paint, picks up a new craft almost every other week & regularly risks hypothermia at the local lido.

    Shiden Tekle

    Pronoun: he

    Community Organiser

    Shiden is an activist who graduated from the program in 2018. He has worked on campaigns such as Legally Black and The Halo Code and has won MTV EMA awards and a Marie Claire award from both campaigns. He studied Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London and loves to talk about the current political climate. He has been actively involved with the Advocacy Academy Changemakers program since 2018 and is passionate about community organising. He plays a couple of musical instruments, smiles a whole load and knows a lot about Marvel stuff!

    Stephanie Cohen

    Pronoun: she

    Community Organiser

    Stephanie has been a part of TAA for 6 years, graduating in 2015! Since, she has pursued her passions for changemaking, and social justice by gaining a Law and Masters of Laws in Legal and Political Theory from the University of York. In September 2020 she joined forces with some amazing alumni to form the Halo Collective, where she is the Legal and Political Organiser - solidifying her passion for racial justice and human rights! She likes to call herself a Legal academic having published her first article in June 2021 highlighting the importance of legally recognising hair discrimination as a form of racial discrimination. Outside of her passions for human rights and social justice, she plays a large, maybe unhealthy, amount of badminton. Some say she’s quite good, having played for her university's team for over 3 years.

    Vanessa Castro

    Pronoun: she

    Community Organiser

    Vanessa graduated from TAA in 2016, since then she has completed a BA in politics and international relations where she suffered the Canadian winters and ate lots of poutine during her year abroad. She has trained to become a young changemaker for the upcoming TAA fellowships with the amazing Darcey and participated in many fun, radical campaign actions whilst empowering and supporting the young advocates. She is co-organiser of Latinxcluded, a collective birthed from TAA who fight for the representation of the Latinx community in the UK. She has also had a taste of HR in the social care sector this past year. She is a proud pug mama and is always down for bubble tea.

    Betty Pearl

    Pronoun: she

    Movement Leader

    Betty is an alumni from the class of 2017 and has organised on campaigns such as Influuenzers and Education Not Exclusion. Through the latter campaign she was massively involved in the documentary Excluded, produced by human rights charity Each Other. She studied Politics and International Relations (the TAA alumni course) at the University of Nottingham, where she was the President of Feminists’ Society for a term. Over the past year she has been a part of the Involving Young People Collective for grant-making foundation Esmee Fairbairn. She is really excited to be continuing her love for justice work at The Advocacy Academy.

    Mel Pinto

    Pronoun: she

    Movement Leader

    Mel was born and raised in South London and recently completed her BA Hons in Politics and IR. She has campaigned with the academy for 4 years and was the leading liberation officer at university, where she quickly learned that she hates everything about our education system. She is incredibly passionate about a whole lot of things and could chat your ear off about how pretty much everything links to politics. She constantly leads with awareness around mental health because she went undiagnosed for a big part of her life and knows how it is to feel invisible. You will absolutely know she can sing, and if someone has a time-machine please hit her up because partying in the 80s sounds much better than now to Mel.

    Ilhan Yonis

    Pronoun: she

    Movement Leader

    Ilhan is one of the alumni from class of 2016/17. She has worked on the housing campaign, helping to secure funding and land to build affordable housing. She is also currently working as a lead organiser for the Halo Collective. Ilhan has had many media appearances including a feature on the cover of Dazed with Vivienne Westwood and her collaborative film 'Hijab and me,' which earned her a BAFTA nomination. Ilhan is a recent social anthropology graduate who spends her free time running around after her 6 younger siblings!

    Shoomi Chowdhury

    Pronouns: she/they

    Programmes Director

    Shoomi has extensive experience leading and creating transformative programmes in human rights, social justice and community spaces. She has a track record of disruption, agitation and getting things done, all whilst centring the lived experience of people and communities impacted by oppressive structures. At the heart of her work is the wellbeing of people, collective liberation and sharing joy. She has been challenging systems of power since school, where she was excluded three times, through to activism in her community and internal advocacy at work. She has always sought to be a part of the solution and as an educator, being radical and kind in taking people on journeys of learning and unlearning and shifting attitudes and mindsets is what gets her out of bed in the morning. Shoomi joins us after seven years working in human rights education at Amnesty International UK and later leading anti-oppression programmes in the arts and cultural sector.

    Hiba Ahmad

    Pronoun: she

    Community Director

    Hiba leads the Community Department at The Advocacy Academy. A Human Geography graduate & enthusiast, Hiba is passionate about building fair cities and creating lasting, inclusive spaces that bring people together.
    Prior to joining TAA, Hiba worked as a researcher in international development where she focused on just transitions across the globe, and built up a portfolio as a campaigner and organiser doing work on critical pedagogy, liberation work, anti-gentrification, and climate justice. In her spare time, Hiba likes to dabble at poetry, dance to Arabic music, and throw dinner parties for friends.

    Anshu Srivastava

    Pronoun: he/they

    Student Counsellor

    After 25 years working as an architect, Anshu is now training and working as a psychoanalytical psychotherapist. He is an active member of the Race & Culture Committee at the Guild of Psychotherapists and also the Black and Asian Therapist's Network. He is still hoping that Stevie Wonder will call him up one day and ask him to be in the band.


    Alex & molly

    Pronouns: she/they

    Transformative Culture Advisors

    Alex (she/they) and molly (she/they) are long time friends of TAA, having worked in various roles over the years. They are both students, researchers, and facilitators of transformative justice. molly’s background is in sexual violence support work and over the last five years she has focused her energies into transformative non-carceral approaches to harm. Alex specialised in RJ in schools, before moving to an explicit transformative and abolitionist framework for this work, they now collaborate with leaders in schools and non-profits to embed the values of transformative justice work at a structural level.

    Dola Akinniranye

    Pronouns: she

    People manager

    Dola is a HR professional with more than 5 years experience in generalist HR. She has worked across various sectors, including education, charity, management consulting, health care and real estate- to name a few! She is passionate about HR, travelling and learning a new language!


  • artist in residence

    Rhianna Kemi (pronoun: she) is a playwright, facilitator and researcher. She has been working with The Advocacy Academy in various roles for several years now - organising the 2019 & 2021 alumni residentials, and changemaking for the Fellowship and Spark programmes. She has now found her place at TAA as Artist-in-Residence, where she facilitates arts partnerships and supports alumni-led creative projects. Rhianna is also Associate Artist at Coney, an award-winning interactive theatre company. She has recently completed her first play, and spends a lot of her time over-analysing the scripts and plot devices of various TV shows.


    Eddie Pile (pronoun: they)


    Five Things I Wish I'd Learnt at School About Empire Zine

    They/Them Pronouns Zine


    Patron Helen Hayes MP




    Campaign Coaches (Class of 2021)

    CHOKED UP: Lucy Brisbane McKay & Nads Vogel

    BODY COUNT: Katie Spark & Molly Ackhurst

    HALO CODE: Kimberly McIntosh & Precious McCarthy

    NO FILTER: Sham Makhecha & Edi Whitehead


    Campaign Coaches (Class of 2020)

    ICONIQ: Katie Spark & Molly Ackhurst

    FILL IN THE BLANKS: Azmina Dhrodia, Zainab Asunramu & Nadia Vogel

    ICFREE: Kelsey Mohamed, Liv Wynter & Kennedy Walker

    NO PAPERS PLS: Paulina Tamborrel Signoret & Lucy Delaney


    Campaign Coaches (Class of 2019)

    RE:ROOTED: Nonhlanhla Makuyana

    FUCK YOUR FETISH: Sophie Yates Lu

    STRAIGHTJACKET: Molly Ackhurst

    LATINXCLUDED: Paulina Tamborrel Signoret

    CRAZYTALK: Max Wakefield

    NO LOST CAUSES: India Thorogood


    Campaign Coaches (Class of 2018)

    Ayeisha Thomas-Smith | Kennedy Walker | Babatunde Williams | Katharine Segal | Will McCallum | Danni Paffard | Ellie Mae O'Hagan


    Past Changemakers

    JJ Akinlade | Zahra Dalila | Josh Pugh | Gabriella Brent | Vanessa Faloye | Rachel Ellis | Saaqib Afzal


    Advisory Board [Education]

    Carole Kenrick | Inventor in Residence | Lab_13

    Debbie Danon | Director of Education | The Unreasonables

    Lily Eastwood | Director of Learning | Hackney Pirates

    Jess Town | Head of Faculty | St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College

    Michal Ish-Horowicz | Theatre Maker & Educator

    Madeleine Fresko-Brown | Teacher | London Academy


    Advisory Board [Advocacy]

    Jem Stein | Founder | The Bike Project

    Martha Mackenzie | Deputy Head of Government Relations | Save the Children

    Olivia O'Sullivan | Innovation and Results Analyst | Department for International Development

    Pete Jefferys | Senior Policy Officer | Shelter UK

    Rebecca Viney | Diplomat | Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    Dan Grabiner | Investor & Business Advisor

    Sarah Lewis | Strategy & Communications Specialist

    Ali Torabi | Brexit Lead | TUC


    Just Some Of Our Activists In Residence

    Abi Symons | Writer & Activist

    Adam Francies | Educator

    Adam Tyler | Videographer

    Afrida Nahian | The Orchid Project

    Alex Fergusson | Great Men

    Alex Holland | Brew

    Ama Josephine Budge | Editor & Curator

    Amina Gichinga | Activist Musician

    Amy Baron | Educator

    Andre Anderson | Author & Creative Facilitator

    Andy Ryan | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    Andy Kempster | Department of Health

    Andy Soar | The Children's Society

    Cllr Andy Wilson | Lambeth Council

    Angela Awuah | Mental Health; The Arts

    Cllr Anna Birley | Lambeth Council

    Anni Movsisyan | Artist

    Arkam Babar | Let Us Learn

    Aurora Arista | IRMO

    Ben DuPreez | Detention Action

    Ben Jewkes | Drum

    Ben Kirk | Henderson Global Investors

    Caleb Femi | Poet

    Camilla Stanger | Educator

    Catherine Miller | Doteveryone

    Ciaran Thapar | Hero's Journey & Journalist

    Charlotte Fischer | Citizens UK

    Charlotte Knowles | NewsPeeks

    Charley Fone | The Changing Face Collective

    Christopher Moore | The Clink

    Chloe Hamilton | The Independent

    Dalia Fleming | Keshet UK

    Daniel Costen | MWW

    Daniel Grabiner | Cloverhawk

    Daniel Reisel | NHS Ethics Centre

    Danni Paffard | 350.org

    Danny Rothberg | Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    David Brook | Theatre Maker

    David Gilbert | The Changing Face Collective

    David Rosenberg | East End Walks

    Ed Bracey | Medical Research Council

    Ettie Bailey King | School Consent Project

    Finley Lawson | Research Fellow in Science and Religion

    Francesca Albanese | Crisis

    Francesca Zanatta | UEL Lecturer

    Fredi Lorie | Women in Prison

    Gabriella Brent | Family Drug and Alcohol Court

    Gemma Maddock | Voice Coach

    Hannah Green | Bank of England

    Hanna Retallack | UCL Institute of Education

    Henna Shah | Progress

    Henri Imoreh | Theatre Director

    Hibo Wardere | FGM Survivor & Activist

    India Thorogood | Greenpeace

    Cllr Jack Hopkins | Lambeth Council

    Jacob Hajjar | Voice Coach

    Jake Felix Goldhill | Photographer

    James Asfa | Citizens UK

    James Snook | Cabinet Office

    Jamie Kelsey-Fry | Activist

    Jason Grant | The Forgiveness Project

    Jen Tyler | Theatre Maker

    Jess Thom | Touretteshero

    Jessica Tobert | Voice Coach

    Joel Trill | Voice Coach

    Jonathan Smith | Social Value Group

    Jordan Bickerton | Brunswick Group

    Josh Pugh | Educator

    Josh Solnick | Youth Arts Facilitator

    Joy Clark | Specialist Midwife

    Juliet Whitley | Department for International Development

    Kevin Smith | NEON

    Kajal Odedra | Change.org

    Karis Barnes | Educator

    Lateisha Hanson | Artist

    Lauren Davidson | The Telegraph

    Leethen Bartholomew | National FGM Centre

    Cllr Lib Peck | Leader of Lambeth Council

    Ligia Teixeira | Crisis UK

    Lisa Farron | The Organisation

    Lisa Nathan | Impactt Limited

    Lucy Curtis | The Changing Face Collective

    Luke Waterfield | Save The Children

    Luke Forsythe | Videographer

    Madeline Crowther | Waging Peace

    Madeline Fresko-Brown | Educator

    Cllr Malcolm Clark | Lambeth Council

    Mairi Hayes | Central School of Speech and Drama

    Cllr Mary Atkins | Lambeth Council

    Matt Bonner | Graphic Designer & Subvertiser

    Matt Cole | Drum

    Matt Hindle | Energy Networks Association

    Melanie Pope | Scope

    Michael Goode | Allied Bakeries

    Cllr Mo Seedat | Lambeth Council

    Molly Ackhurst | Birkbeck University/Hollaback

    Nathan Pierce | Greater London Authority

    Nick Arnold | Black Jeans Pictures

    Owen Jones | Author & Journalist

    Peter Bray | Voice Coach

    Peter Brownell | The Organisation

    Peter Dawson | Prison Reform Trust

    Poppy Terry | Shelter

    Rachel Ellis | Soul Focus Yoga

    Rachel Griffiths | Theatre Maker

    Cllr Rachel Heywood | Lambeth Council

    Rachel Pierce | Shelter

    Ralph Scott | Demos

    Rebecca Falcon | Save the Children

    Rebecca Livesey | Barrister

    Sam Grant | Liberty

    Sara Shahvisi | Fearless Futures

    Sarah Wayman | The Children's Society

    Sarian Kamara | FGM Survivor & Activist

    Scott Leonard | The Champion Agency

    Simon Bishop | Special Advisor to Justine Greening

    Simon Gentry | MWW

    Shadi Brazell | Helen Hayes MP

    Shelley Masters | Educator

    Cllr Stephen Canning | Essex County Council

    Susanna Davies-Crook | Artist & Writer

    Teju Adeleye | Journalist & Facilitator

    Thomas Dekeyser | Subvertiser

    Cllr Tim Briggs | Lambeth Council

    Tim Hughes | Berry Palmer & Lyle

    Tom Brookes | Team Up

    Tom Ross-Williams | Theatre Maker

    Tom Silverton | OMD

    Tracy Frazuel | Greenpeace

    Verna Rhodes | Central School of Speech and Drama

    Victoria Showunmi | Education Academic

    Will Heaven | Speechwriter to Michael Gove MP

    Yas Necati | Activist