The World Reimagined

"There is one world and one human race. It means that we are “our brother’s keeper”. We are responsible for one another and we must be interested and ready to learn from one another. The World Reimagined seeks to educate one another about the journeys we have been on and how we come to be in the places we are. It invites us to come on a journey. A journey where ‘my story becomes your story, and your story, my story.’ With both our stories we will reimagine a world where there is mutual respect and dignity."

- Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin

"In South Africa we know how important it is to try and reconcile our history and experiences. The only way to truly walk together towards a united future is to understand each other’s journeys. Dialogue, understanding and compassion lead to actions that can change our world for the better, for all. And so I am heartened by The World Reimagined. Its topic may be the past, but its mission is a future for our children built on the foundation and for the realisation of human dignity."

- Andrew Mlangeni

"It has taken a lot of looking back over my life to realise how many gaps there are in what is taught in schools about British history - and how connected that is to the question I've been asked all my life: 'Where are you from?' My history is intertwined with British history because what happened in the past is the reason I am here. The World Reimagined will allow people to have an honest, respectful and empathetic conversation, one that addesses the past but looks towards our future. I am so proud to be a part of it. "

- Michelle Gayle

"Having grown up in Southall during the riots, I have witnessed what can happen when communities are fractured. During my school years and into my career as an actor and writer, I have experienced the power of art and education to create understanding of self and others. The World Reimagined will open this opportunity for growth and understanding to everyone across the UK. Together we can create a future that recognises strength in diversity and power in truth."

- Kwame Kwei-Armah CBE

"We are our history. If we are not taught ALL of our history, we cannot hope to know who we are or understand our reality. The World Reimagined will shine a blinding light into the dark corners of ignorance with life affirming brilliance. I'm proud to be involved in a project that will yield positive results for us all."

- Gillian Joseph

"I am part of The World Reimagined because I want to help give a voice to the many millions silenced, many of whom are my own ancestors, and yours too. How do I honour them? How can we honour them? I want to bring to life our triumphs, not just our traumas, in a way the world has never seen before, through the human element that connects us all, the emotion through creation. "

- Fiona Compton

"A dear friend, who sacrificed much of his life for a free South Africa, once told me that what we understand about the world drives who we are, what we do and how we treat each other, every day. For me, The World Reimagined is essential because it seeks to build a more accurate and multi-dimensional understanding or our shared history than we have been told before. With it, we have the opportunity to acknowledge so much pain; to honour those who lived; and to act from love, compassion and respect for one another. In short - to create a society and country worthy of the best of its wonderful people."

- Dennis Marcus

"In order to evolve, we must know and acknowledge our past. The World Reimagined offers a way to constructively explore and recognise our relationships to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Let's use this powerful project to help create an equitable and inclusive pathway forward for generations to come. "

- Ashley Adjaye

"History teaches us the lesson that the capacity for unspeakable brutality towards innocent people is not reserved to one nationality, or to one particular time in history The World Reimagined will offer a fantastic opportunity for all of us to develop a true understanding of our history and of the lasting scars that Britain’s role in the transatlantic slave trade has inflicted on the world. That shared understanding will help us to create a brighter future built on much sturdier foundations of truth and recognition."

- Lord Jonathan Oates

"I fully identify with the scope and scale of ‘The World Reimagined’ initiative, because I totally subscribe to the understanding that education is a key towards fostering mutual understanding amongst people, to build bridges instead of barriers. It is essential to get the balance right as a form of sustainable engagement, especially when dealing with a very emotive issue like the impact of The Transatlantic Slave Trade’. Therefore I am extremely delighted to be an Ambassador for such a worthy cause."

- Leroy Logan MBE

" 'Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter' (Nigerian Proverb) As a child at school it felt that the British history at home differed greatly to the history I learned in class. Stories matter. History matters. Truth matters. re-education matters. I'm proud to play a part in re-telling inaccurate national stories and challenging comfortable inherited truths. Those long gone deserve to have their lives researched, remembered and respected. "

- Ruth Ibegbuna

"The World is being Reimagined before our very eyes right now. Never has there been such desire to understand the unrelenting evil of perpetual racism - as at this moment. Our hope is to keep alight the true story of amazingly strong and dignified women and men of colour who came to bring their joy and service - and now their leadership - to shape our nation for good. We face forward to black futures in the knowledge of black history to build communities of harmony and hope. #BLACKLIVESMATTER "

- Lord Michael Hastings

"I always say ‘Childhood Lasts a Lifetime’ so as we grow up, the stories we are told shape how we see the world, how we build relationships with one another and how we feel about the future. I’m delighted to support The World Reimagined because it uses art, education and creativity to shine a light on the stories that we need to understand if we’re going to be able to create that future of the justice and dignity we all dream of for our children. It may be a journey of discovery with uncomfortable moments, but once travelled represents the opportunity for us as a society to create harmony and joy, together."

- Baroness Floella Benjamin

"Art can enable an honest, open dialogue about the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans and its impact on all our lives across time to the present day. The World Reimagined will help us to engage in this important conversation without which we cannot make progress in combatting racism."

- Baroness Lola Young

"History indelibly binds us to one another and shapes our ability to positively grow as individuals and as a people. The sooner we have a stronger, collective and truthful grasp of it - moving away from ignorance - the sooner we can unite to create a better, more equitable future for everyone. I'm proud to be ambassador for a project committed to that end, expounding a vital Education from Art. "

- Jamael Westman

Who We Are

The World Reimagined has been in development since 2019 by a growing family of people get involved. We approach our task with humility, conscious of the responsibility of doing justice to the history and all of the lives it represents.

We hope to work with the many people and organisations who have done and are doing powerful work for racial justice, building on their expertise, experience and perspective.

The World Reimagined will be a platform that serves to honour, celebrate and share that work in a new way and will work with a development methodology that prioritises open, respectful collaboration.

The World Reimagined is a company limited by guarantee (#12501914) and a registered charity (#1195223).

Our Patrons

Michael is currently the Chancellor of Regent's University, London. He has previously led Global Citizenship for KPMG International and on public affairs and corporate social responsibility for the BBC. He has been an independent peer in the House of Lords since 2005 and has served as a member of the Commission on Racial Equality; the World Economic Forum's Global Councils on Diversity and Talent; Vice-President of UNICEF, Tearfund and is a trustee of the Vodafone Foundation.

Lord Michael Hastings CBE

Rose was born and grew up in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She was ordained deacon in 1991 and priest in 1994, beginning her ordained ministry in the West Midlands. For 16 and a half years she served as a priest in Hackney, North East London. In 2007 she was appointed as a Chaplain to HM The Queen and in 2010, she became the 79th and first female Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. With the Chaplaincy, she also served as a priest in the City of London at St Mary-at-Hill. Rose became the UK's first black female Bishop, when she was consecrated and installed as the Bishop of Dover in 2019.

Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, CD, MBE Bishop of Dover

Our Leadership

Artistic Director. Ashley, a native Californian with Bajan roots, is known for promoting the representation of those not in the room and creating conversations that generate action towards equity. In addition to her work with The World Reimagined, she is the Global Head of Research at Adjaye Associates, an award-winning international architectural firm committed to community engagement through civic projects. At the helm of the Research Team, she works with the firm’s senior leadership to intertwine art and architecture across all categories of projects. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Visual Art from Stanford University, an MBA from INSEAD, and a MSc from the Gender Institute at London School of Economics. Currently, Ashley sits on the Africa Futures Institute Board of Trustees, Prince’s Trust International Africa Advisory Board, the Institute of Imagination Board of Trustees, and The Labour Party Women’s Development Board. She lives between Accra, London and New York City with her family.

Ashley Shaw Scott Adjaye

Senior Community Programme Manager. With a passion for creative learning and development, Carolyn has worked with businesses, charities, communities and educators to design and deliver behaviour intervention and empower positive change.

Since founding Amulinde Consulting, she has worked with leading change makers such as Diversity & Ability, Diversity Resources International, BeetFreaks and Always Possible to design and deliver engaging learning environments for diverse communities, from executive education to youth development.

Carolyn brings a multi-dimensional expertise, including research, facilitation, design and strategy and operations, enabling her to lead projects from conception to delivery.

Carolyn Baguma

Trustee. Fiona is a London-based, multi award-winning Saint Lucian photographer artist, filmmaker and historian. Her work over the last 13 years has explored the various disparities in representation of the Afro Caribbean diaspora within art and mainstream media She created and runs the Know Your Caribbean Instagram account, which shares compelling history, creatively with her large following. She runs creative workshops for children and young people about the history and culture of the Caribbean and its linkages to Africa. Fiona is a powerful advocate for her history and culture and is an Official ambassador for London's Notting Hill Carnival.

Fiona Compton

Trustee. Toni is finishing his Final Year of Politics at St John’s College, University of Cambridge. He is the former President of the Cambridge University African - Caribbean society and co-Founded the Motherland Conference. He is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group on the Legacies of Enslavement, examining the university’s historical links to slavery. He recently interned at Goldman Sachs and Clifford Chance LLP.

Toni Fola-Alade

Chair of the Board & Co-Founder. Michelle is an actor, singer and writer. She played Hattie Tavernier in Eastenders; had six top 20 hits; sold a million records, with Sweetness the biggest hit; and has been nominated for multiple Brit Awards. A regular contributor on the Jeremy Vine Show, This Morning and beyond, Michelle is passionate about telling stories that depict the struggles of women, minorities and the working class. She is inspired by her mother, who set up Black Insight, a community organisation in Harlesden to provide education and legal advice. Michelle is currently playing Hermione Granger in the multi award winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Michelle Gayle

Trustee. Ruth is a highly successful social entrepreneur as the founder of the multi award-winning youth leadership charity RECLAIM and The Roots Programme, a radical new approach to bridging divides between UK communities. Ruth is a Clore Social Fellow and an Ashoka UK Fellow and was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. She was also listed by Virgin as one of the top six female changemakers internationally; and her many awards include Manchester Peace Activist of the Year 2008, Manchester Woman of the Year in 2009; and the Northern Power Women Award 2017.

Ruth Ibegbuna

Trustee. Gillian presents Sky News at Breakfast and has more than 30 years broadcast experience. She started her career with the BBC in Manchester before becoming a reporter and producer with Radio Merseyside, where she was one of the first to break the news of the James Bulger murder in 1993. Gillian has reported for the BBC’s Black Britain programme, the One and Six O'Clock News, Newsnight and BBC Radio.She has reported from across the globe, including South America, the Caribbean and Africa. She covered the death of Nelson Mandela, the 2016 American Presidential elections from both Washington and New York, and has reported on every UK General election since 2001.

Gillian Joseph

Trustee. Lee is a social entrepreneur and Founder of the Cherry Groce Foundation. He has been an activist for social justice for decades, since his mother Cherry's shooting by the Metropolitan Police sparked the Brixton Uprising. His path has taken him to securing a memorial for Cherry, which will be unveiled in Brixton's Windrush Square in September 2020. Shaped by his personal pursuit for justice, he uses a reconciliatory approach to secure progress. Lee is working to improve police engagement with their local communities and also assists the Inquest Family Reference Group with their strategy of wider support for bereaved families. Lee shares his experiences on platforms across the country and was awarded the Windrush Silent Hero's Award in 2015.

Lee Lawrence

City Partnerships Officer. In her home country of Belize, Kiri worked on gender issues, policy analysis, evaluation of social programmes, and human rights education in both governmental and nongovernmental organisations. Making an honest and genuine social impact has been and remains her core purpose.

Kiri Lizama

Co-Founder and Director of Strategy. Inspired by his family's activism as part of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Dennis co-founded the social impact agency Ubuntu London, working with leading politicians, global NGOs, and high profile activists, including honouring Nelson Mandela's co-accused Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. He was previously the Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK, an educational charity that works to inspire people to make human rights a reality in their everyday lives. Dennis also managed Patricia Scotland QC's successful 2015 bid to become the first female Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. He is a member of the Strategic Council of the Patchwork Foundation and the Committee for the Cherry Groce Memorial.

Dennis Marcus

Chief of Staff. With a background in gallery education, Ella graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Wimbledon College in 2015. Creating video installations, text and site responsive interventions, she has deeply explored how design affects our behaviours in both physical and digital spaces. She has exhibited artworks internationally and been part of projects at The National Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum and Napoli Film Festival. While nurturing her art practice and freelance curatorial projects, Ella has also honed her talents in project management and education having worked in a range of art organisations in both public and private sectors.

Ella Phillips

Trustee. Jonny Oates was born in 1969 and educated at Marlborough College. He was the director of communications for the Liberal Democrats for the 2010 general election and chief of staff to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg through the coalition government of 2010–15. Inspired by Michael Buerk’s world-famous broadcast from the Ethiopian famine, he ran away from home to Addis Ababa in 1985, hoping to help victims of the Ethiopian famine – an endeavour that, unsurprisingly, proved unsuccessful. He subsequently worked as a teacher in a rural school in Zimbabwe and as a political adviser in South Africa’s first post-apartheid parliament. He has been a member of the House of Lords since October 2015, where he focuses on climate change, international development and mental health. Jonny's memoir 'I Never Promised You A Rose Garden' was published in 2020.

Lord Jonny Oates

Director of Operations.

Theresa Olaniran

Learning Programme Officer. Following the completion of a Journalism Degree, Sabrina worked for a range of lifestyle publications, gaining extensive writing experience on several media platforms. Her love of language led her to become an English and Media Studies Teacher. In this profession, she was able to inspire and equip young people with the skill of writing and the analysis of literature. Almost a decade of her teaching career was spent as a Year Learning Coordinator in a South London Secondary School. In this pastoral role she managed the learning experience of 240 students, led a staff team of 12 tutors, I was a Safeguarding Lead, behaviour manager and a strategic academic leader who led the 2016 cohort to achieve the best GCSE results in the borough of Lewisham and in the history of the school. Sabrina is also a Freelance Writer and runs her own Motherhood and lifestyle blog. As well as this she is an Official Emma’s Diary Blogger and regularly commissioned to write motherhood and parenting blogs for this popular parenting platform.

Sabrina Reid

Trustee. In 1989 Dean founded The Watch-Men Agency, a strategic and creative agency specialising in 'how people live in cities'. His background was in fashion, music and image management. The agency now has a wide variety of clients fashion - Afropunk festival - theatre - chocolatier, and a strong reputation for reaching specialist audiences and opinion leaders. His clients have included UK Transplant, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Caterpillar, BFI, Sony PlayStation, Levi Strauss, G-Star, and artists such as Des'ree and Jamiroquai. Dean also participated the production of The Windrush Gala. Dean is also on the board of Jazz re:Freshed and Jamaican music industry association JaRIA.

Dean Ricketts

Senior Learning Programme Manager. Having trained as a teacher, Keisha is a Manchester based writer, performance artist and producer.

Keisha is chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, a MOBO x London Theatre Consortium Fellow and a member of Greater Manchester Cultural and Heritage Group, and recipient of The Arts Foundation Theatre Makers Award 2021.

She is currently working with commissioners Eclipse Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre to stage new play, The Bell Curves. The script was made in development with Box of Tricks.

She is also working with Fuel Theatre and Alan Lane (Slung Low) to create new children’s show, Izzy, BOSSS & Fractal.

In August 2020, she released a new mini album, Ephemera, in collaboration with Tom “Werkha” Leah and featuring riveting cellist, Abel Selaocoe.

In 2020, she finished touring award-winning solo show, Man on the Moon. Her debut book, Lunar, features her poetry and the show script. Whilst Moonwhile is a poetic mini album featuring music from the show.

She has supported artists such as Kae Tempest, Hollie McNish, The Last Poets, Saul Williams, Amiri Baraka and has performed in Brave New Voices festivals 2008 & 2009. Her work has been presented at venues high profile venues and platforms such as Tate Modern, Blue Dot Festival and the British Council Showcase in Edinburgh.

Keisha Thompson

The Board are particularly grateful to our advisers and consultants to the Board, who have given their expertise and time so generously to the Board:

Jeff Boardman
Sarah Greaves
Gordon Hagan
Dej Mahoney

Our Ambassadors

Annette Anthony

Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE

Franklin Boateng

Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE

Leroy Logan MBE

Joseph Marcell

Jamael Westman

Baroness Lola Young OBE

Get in touch

The World Reimagined is a company limited by guarantee (#1250114) and a registered charity (#115223). 

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Liverpool City Region


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