Peninah Wangari-Jones is an anti-racist activist, organiser and Director at the Racial Justice Network with a focus on Coloniality, social justice, race equality &equity and marginalised communities. Interests include migration, intersections, building power and movements. She is also undertaking a PhD at University of Manchester on how coloniality shapes Black activism.
(Operations & Administration Officer)
Mbuuaraa is a highly motivated aspiring forensic psychologist with a master’s degree in forensic psychology, who embodies RJN’s values by applying psychology within the legal system to help individuals who have been minoritised find pathways that work for them and create safer communities, As a case support worker, clinical support worker,committee member and spokesperson, Mbuuaraa brings her diverse skills and experience to The Racial Justice Network as an operation and administration officer.
She is deeply committed to addressing eliminating racial and ethnic inequalities, raising awareness about racial injustice by listening and working with disempowered communites and challenging institutional and individual imbalances of power. Mbuuaraa is passionate about building solidarity with individuals who share the same commitments to collective and intersecting liberation.
Sarai Pinney (Communications Worker)
Sarai is a Leeds-based creative director and fashion stylist who is heavily influenced by knowledge of Black history and academia to creatively produce their work. Alongside being a creative, Sarai has previous experience in creating spaces for Black queer people, discussing issues in the Black community, and also pushing for equality and diversity within the creative and beauty industry.’
Melany Zarate (Project Worker)
My name is Melany Zarate, I am currently 24 years old. I was born in Colombia, a magical country with a lot of ancestral wisdom hidden in between the flowers and forests. Here in Leeds, I am a Neuroscience student, but also a Reiki Master. My wish is to always be able to share kind moments and help empower communities with the aim of dismantling the ignorance we inherited so that we may create a brighter and fairer future for all.
Maia Kelly (Unlearning Racism Collective Coordinator)
Maia is a Leeds-based trainer-organiser with Serbian and Irish heritage who supports climate and racial justice movemnts, They are an active member of The Racial Justice Network’s Unlearning Racism Course working as a coordinator, the course offers to help white-identifying groups unlearn racism and support Black and Brown-led movements for racial justice.
With a background in International Development, Maia turned to informal political education due to the lack of intersectionality in their field. They’ve since worked with various organisations and Leeds Tidal before joining RJN. With intersecting identites, Maia advocates solidarity across struggles, emphasising inclusive learning and the mind-body connection for social change. In RJN, they’re creating a program to help organisations unlearn racism and take accountable action.
Grace is a trainer-organiser who, since 2018 has been coordinating The Unlearning Racism Course. Based in Calderdale and raised in the small northern town of Middlesbrough, she has a background in youth work and community development, and she is passionate about popular education, wealth distribution, and racial justice movements.
Grace’s journey towards addressing racism began when she witnessed racist immigration rhetoric and divisive narratives in her hometown, along with the dehuminasing practices of the home office. During her MA in Community and Youth Studies. Grace’s work with diverse communities challenged her white identity, compelling her to address the complexities of white supremacy and white saviorism. She is committed to collaborative efforts and political education to combat the oppressive facets of whiteness,
Farha Bi (Trustee)
Farha is a creative social justice activist with a 15-year multidisciplinary international background. She is passionate about amplifying marginalized communities’ voices to challenge systemic violence. She has experience in law, peacebuilding, human rights, youth work, heritage, and creative producing. Farha enjoys slow travel by bicycle, values ancestral knowledge, and has mastered the art of time travel due to her unique upbringing in Birmingham and Kashmir. She is committed to reimagining a just and joyful world.
Ishah Jawaid (Trustee)
Ishah has 20 years of experience in the violence against women and girls, migrant rights, and anti-racism sectors. Her work revolves around the intersections of race and gender as well as how violence impacts people’s lives. She has held numerous roles in various organizations. In 2021, Ishah founded the WOC Azadi Collective, a grassroots project led by and for Women of Colour. This collective offers a transformative space for WoC to work in solidarity to heal and liberate from patriarchy, white supremacy, and colonialism. Ishah is also the chair of Migration Matters Festival. Besides her work in advocacy and campaigns, Ishah has an interest in ancestral practices and traditional and non-western healing modalities as ways to self-heal, build community and deepen relationships.
Camille Lesforis (Trustee)
Camille Lesforis is the Founder of The Black Wellbeing Collective and freelance Community Organiser/ Project Manager/ Wellbeing facilitator in the racial justice, social justice & wellbeing sector. Her career is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of Black and racialised communities, encouraging collective care and ways of overcoming racial wounding by celebrating the self and through joy and creativity.
Using forms of creativity, breathwork and holistic practices, Camille holds space with charitable organisations, small businesses and corporate companies fusing art & wellbeing to connect with others.
Esther Stanford-Xosei is a Jurisconsult, dynamic Pan-Afrikanist community advocate, specialising in the critical legal praxis of ‘law as resistance’ and Reparationist.