As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are in the process of building out our Advisory Board. We are excited to announce our first Advisory Board member – Eleanor Lisney.
I met Eleanor back in December 2016 through a RSA event and was amazed by her activism, creativity and resilience. We stayed in touch over the years, collaborated on one project and I am excited as we turn a new page in TSIC’s journey, that we invite Eleanor formally as an Advisor. We are so grateful for her time. Here is our interview with her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My background is a bit mixed: I was born and bred in Malaysia, I have lived and studied in the UK, France and US. My studies were in Literature and Information studies, with a specialization in Information Architecture. Apart for the time when I was a full time expat mother and a spell working as a relationship manager for a repository in the West Midlands, I have been working and campaigning for disability and women’s equality. I have worked as self-employed in advisory capacity to Westminster government, Disabled People’s organisations and as access advisor too. I co founded Sisters of Frida, a Disabled Women’s collective and Culture Access, a disabled lead organisation to support access and inclusion to culture. I have been involved in writing UN shadow reports, working with international Disabled Women’s organisations (I am a moderator of the International Network of Women with Disabilities) and have attended UN events both at Geneva and New York with women’s civic society organisations. Most recently, I was instrumental in writing a report on the impact of COVID19 on Disabled women. I have also organised a ‘Disabled and Proud’ Festival in November. I realise the importance of strategy but see the need for narratives to build the power of the message. Being on the APPG for Creative Diversity events and East Asian/Black and People of Colour groups have shown me the importance of representation as a Disabled Woman of Colour.
Why did you accept the invitation to join TSIC’s Advisory Board
I am impressed by TSIC’s approach in the collaborations and developing strategies that involve inclusion and diversity. I have been part of a project on co production with Disabled People Organisations in East Africa and I enjoyed working in partnership. I also like the fact that TSIC believes in delivering local minded solutions, in the support the growth of local entrepreneurs who want to influence purpose driven change in their markets. I am wary of international solutions which disregard local expertise for ‘theory rich’ experts.
What do you hope to achieve through the role?
I hope to impart my passion and knowledge from the diversity of my own experience and skills. I have insisted on inclusion in the intersectional aspects of all the sectors I have worked in – whether in academic institutions, or in advisory panels such as the British Council or in grassroots organisations such as the Greenwich Disabled People Against Cuts.