My Letter to a 12 Year Old

Ever since I read this story (here) about you, a girl that was raped at the age of 12 I have wanted to reach out to you.  Of course, I can’t.  Because one of the few things our legal system gets right is the anonymity of victims of sexual assault.  However, I don’t need to know your name, where you live or what you look like to write this letter.

There are lots of ways I could write to you to let you know that I care. Continue reading

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Martyn Hett’s Funeral

MartynSeveral years ago I had the good fortune to work with the wonderful Figen Murray.  It was my first lecturing post and she was a lecturer in counselling.  She was extremely organised, remarkably tidy and good listener.  During our time working together, I went through a difficult time and she was calm, reassuring and kind.  We have both since gone on to better jobs and despite living near each other have not managed to keep in touch.  A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the sofa waiting to watch the Graham Norton Show and there was Figen on the local news.  Her son had been killed in the Manchester bomb.  She was, despite this devastating news, the calm reassuring presence I remembered.  I made the effort.  I went to the memorial for Martyn in the local park; I baked brownies and took them round and on Friday I went to Martyn’s funeral. Continue reading

Sara Ahmed – Brick Walls: Racism and other Hard Histories

Why I invited Professor Sara Ahmed to the Developing Social Justice Seminar Series

SARAOn 11 March 2015, I had the great pleasure of welcoming Sara Ahmed to MMU to discuss Racism as part of the social justice seminar series.  I first came into contact with Sara’s work when writing my PhD.  She led me to reflect on my time as a policy officer at a local authority. Armed with the McPherson Inquiry (1999) definition of institutional racism, I found a way of championing race equality issues.  Continue reading