2017 has been a pivotal year for me. I have seen myself develop and play a part in positive action. I have been challenged, I have overcome and I am continuing to grow through my actions grabbing opportunities along the way.

Positive Action

The Women’s March 21st January 2017 was the first March of the year. We protested about Trump and his views on women and we protested about the current negative climate of racism. The March started me on a path of taking more of a stand for what I believed in. I have been active in the area of Equality and Diversity but my voice has never truly been heard until now. I have written many articles on this platform addressing issues of inequality, bias and the need for straight talking and effective action to make organisations accountable when they choose not to hire people of colour and those with disabilities. The Women’s March allowed me to synergise my day to day actions and play a part in a March about Equality and Respect.

Grenfell Tower Silent March 14th September 2017. Every 14th of Every month there is a March for those who died and for those who survived Grenfell Tower disaster. 71 people died that day needlessly and painfully. I like many others was moved by this human tragedy and felt I need to do something. Before going to the March on 14th September I went to Grenfell 3 weeks after the tragedy to pay my personal respects. It was heart breaking and painful. I made a commitment to myself to attend the March to show solidarity to those affected. I will continue when possible to do this as it is important that Grenfell is not forgotten.

Anti-Slavery March 9th December 2017. I often wondered what I would do if I was around in the 50s and 60s would I have joined the Civil Rights movement, would I have Marched? I got my answer when I saw the videos and read the articles about black people being enslaved and sold like cattle. It so outraged me I new I had do something. I went to the March to raise my voice about the disgraceful behaviour that has been allowed to be perpetrated on black people. Cries of “We Are Not For Sale” echoed round and tears streamed down my face as I too chanted these words. I couldn’t believe that in the 21st Century Human Rights are being violated in such a way.

Challenges, Overcoming and Growing

Challenges are not always bad, you might thing they are at the time because you are nervous and fearful but in fact they can be the making of you. This year I took on two specific challenges becoming a public speaker and running workshops. No big deal to some people but I never have been one to ever entertain public speaking I suppose it was because it made me anxious. Workshops came about by chance from conversations that spiralled into opportunities to create and deliver workshops. I had never run a workshop before but I knew I was capable of doing so.

Overcoming and growing are almost two sides of the same coin because when you overcome you grow. I overcame the discomfort of public speaking, I overcame the challenge of starting something new and I allowed myself to take centre stage when being interviewed twice about my career journey all scary things to me but I overcame.

My growth has allowed me to think bigger and do more. In September of this year I launched my conference which will take place on 26th March 2018 at City Hall. The RISE Conference is an inclusive conference for people who want to be empowered, inspired and uplifted. The speakers at this event have supported and inspired me in my journey I know they will inspire you too.

Use your Voice to give support albeit in the workplace, community or on the world stage. Don’t be afraid to call out those who do not do the right thing to enable change to happen. We need to raise our Voices particularly Black and Disabled people for positive action in the workplace and we must take of our blinds and see the injustice that are happening around us and support those that need our help.

The Voice is a powerful tool that can make great changes for you personally and to others. It enables growth, strength of character and allows you to develop connection with others.

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