Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2014
How have the last few months been, Sanjiv?
They have been the hardest to date. The residentials are over and I have a sense of the work now really starting. My research has taken a series of turns but it is still firmly on the subject of renewing social sector action for race equality and in particular renewing ‘Black’ political action towards this end. Through the kind help of George, I participated in a two-day training event on Community Organising ideas and methods run by Nottingham Citizens. It covered issues such as pursuing worthwhile and winnable campaigns and the practice of negotiating. It is really helping me to think about how I promote change in my own work and build alliances and about the creation of power.
What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Being at a crossing and transitioning out of PhD mode is challenging. I am clear on the work that I want to do to stimulate new thinking and action on equality given that those of us committed to a more equal and just society appear to be losing. However, I need to think about how I can carry out this work and generate income sustainably in this direction. I am now getting practical and I am working on a logic framework for my work and will seek the help of a mentor to help be to put together a business plan for the work that I want to do.
How is your leadership having an impact on those you work with?
I have given a couple of presentations recently that I could not have given without the resources provided to me by Clore Social. The first event was a roundtable meeting on race equality chaired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – with some of the ‘great and the good’ in the race equality world – as part of a Race on the Agenda sponsored initiative. The second event was to speak at the AGM of Race on the Agenda alongside their Patron Victor Adebowale. I felt I was able to make a strong case for renewal given the difficulties facing race equality activists. My thinking has been much strengthened by the preliminary work that I am carrying out as part of my Clore Social Research and I am becoming more comfortable in ‘leading the way’ as a result.
In what way you are a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
I think that this is occurring in many ways. There are new skills that I am developing, including new ones on campaigning. Perhaps the most significant one is that I can see myself as a leader and a leader of change and that although I need to, in the words of Goffee and Jones, ‘be myself more, with skill’ I have enough to build on. But I still have a lot of work in terms of delivering practical change and taking myself and my ideas into the public domain. And this is the theme for me this year.
Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learnt so far during the Fellowship.
The lesson that is strongly with me at the moment is that I do much better when I think in terms of my resources rather than my deficits. This is something that the Programme tells us early on but it is easy to lose sight of this and I can end up focusing far too much on what is not in place as I seek to make social change rather than what is already in place, such as ideas, supporters and well-wishers. I realise better than before that I have plenty of resources to make progress now.
Current principal role: Equalities strategist
Other leadership role 1: Associate
Other organisation 1: Voice4Change England
Other leadership role 2: Member
Other organisation 2: Runnymede 360 network (Race equality)
Research: The New Black: The renewal of Black-led race equality organising
Research topics: Equality; Leadership;
Secondment host: Citizens UK