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Leadership Worth Sharing: special miniseries about privilege, with Polly Neate and Tessy Ojo – episode 4

We handed over our podcast reins one more time to Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, and Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, for a miniseries that will discuss what privilege and anti-racism mean for the charity sector and the role of charity leaders in facilitating a shift of power both in our sector and more widely.

If you missed the previous episodes, catch up here

In this episode, Polly and Tessy talk to Saba Shafi, managing director of the Advocacy Academy and founding organiser of #CharitySoWhite, about what change means for the charity sector, how to go beyond KPIs and personal objectives when it comes to anti-racist leadership, and asking ourselves if we are wielding our power in a more radical way.

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My hope is that the charity sector and institutions within the charity sector begin to truly recognise the power that they have in our society and begin to wield it appropriately. I think that you’ll know it’s radical enough if you are a little bit afraid of what will happen afterwards. And if other people are afraid of what you’ll do with the power that you’re wielding, then you’ll know that you’re really you’re using it effectively.

Saba Shafi


Tessy Ojo  00:01

Hi, I’m Tessy Ojo. I’m the chief executive of the Diana Award.

Polly Neate  00:05

Hello, I’m Polly Nate and I’m Chief Executive of Shelter.

Tessy Ojo  00:08

And together we are hosting a mini series on the word privilege.

Tessy Ojo  00:19

So welcome. We are back doing this podcast again. And today, we’re so grateful to have you Saba from Charity So White. Joining us today, joining myself, Tessy and Polly. So yeah, welcome. Do you want to please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Saba Shafi  00:36

Absolutely. First of all, it’s really a pleasure to be here. And thank you for inviting me. A little bit about me, my name is Saba, my pronouns are she/they, I’m the managing director of the Advocacy Academy, which is a youth organising movement based in South London. I’m also one of the founding organisers of Charity So White, I guess I’m actually relatively new to the charity sector in the UK. My background is, is actually in consulting, and I spent a little bit of time working in the tech industry in the States. And so my work, my pathway to justice and to the charity sector has been somewhat windy. But I am excited to be where I am today and excited to have the conversation with all of you.

Polly Neate  01:20

It’s so good to have this conversation now, I guess, with Charity So White, partly because of the time that has passed since the Black Lives Matter protests, the fact that there was a lot of activity in the sector, including in my own organisation, Shelter, in response to BLM movement. But I guess one thing I’m quite interested to know is, as people who sort of really passionately believe in change, how do you think that change is really going in the charity sector now? And are we using our privilege do you think, as leaders and as organisations, to really make lasting change happen? Because I want to believe that good is going to come out of all this. But I feel like it won’t, unless we’ll take responsibility for that. I’m just wondering what your take was on that, Saba.

Saba Shafi  02:14

The question that you ask Polly, I think the frame within it is a really interesting one, right? What does change mean for the charity sector? Like, what is that supposed to be? And I think that’s the question, right, which is, what does it mean to be to be an anti racist organisation and anti racist sector? I think one of the things that Charity So White tried to hold from the beginning was that there is no answer to that question that we currently know. We’re all swimming in the waters of like what it means to be living in a racist society, you can’t suddenly step outside of that, and suddenly be able to say, these are the, this is a 10 point checklist that you’re supposed to suddenly fit out. And once you’ve done that, you can give yourself a plaque and it can be done. I think, for me the framing that I’m a little bit conscious of, I think oftentimes we do look at changes in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. And I think even like within, if I was just to say, unpick that as a first point, I think it’s sort of, I find that quite interesting, which is certainly at the time of the protests, there had been a number of incidents that had happened within the UK charity sector that could have prompted similar responses, and they hadn’t. And so what was it about the Black Lives Matter protests and the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent response around the world that prompted the charity sector to act? And I don’t have an obvious answer to that. But I also don’t, you know, it’s also curious to me that it is that public, that scale of public event at scale of publicity is what prompted the response. Certainly, when we first formed, we knew that be attacking a public image of the charity sector was how we would force people to respond to us. And there’s something for me in that the nature of the publicness of the of the protests and what came after that, was what prompted, forced the charity sector to feel like it had to respond. And that actually, it came from a PR perspective. And so what is the goal here for when it comes to change? Is to change the perspective or is it a perception goal? Or is it to really think about what it means to achieve lasting change and for the charities to have a role in that? Why does the charity sector see itself as sort of like separate and adjacent to the work that activists are doing in this space? Should it not be part of the single… I guess, I don’t know if I’m taking this into too much of an esoteric direction. I find that we get a lot of people. We get a lot of PR departments that talk to Charity So White. I think that’s the problem, guys, I shouldn’t be speaking to you…

Polly Neate  04:49

No, I totally agree. And I think there is that. So when we think about change, so actually, I think that’s a problem in the charity sector as a whole. Do we think about change as real change out there for people, or do we think of change as a win for us as a sector?And I think far too often, I’m not saying any charity solely things about the change they’re trying to achieve as a win. But I think there is an element of that quite often. And so I guess it’s similar with this. And that was part of what was behind my question, in a way, was, yes, so how do we ensure that whatever change we achieve isn’t just a change in perception, but it’s a change in the world that we’re part of?

Tessy Ojo  05:35

I suppose I want to add something on because I completely get what you’re saying. And I wonder if while the trigger for change might have come from a PR point of view, could one, if there space for, well, how do we then actually, it might have come for the wrong reasons? How do we build on that? And how do we actually then redirect ourselves to the right reasoning, or at least achieve change?

Saba Shafi  06:02

I think that’s a fair point. I think the way that I think it’s… the way that I think it’s good to look at the problem is twofold. I guess like one, it’s that there is an existing goal in mind to reach right, the journey is the objective. And like, once you embark on that journey, that is the process and you evolve it through and knowing that that’s the case, I think, is probably the first start, that you are going to get it wrong, you’re going to probably be problematic and like have many more PR disasters along the way. And that’s okay. And the second frame is that I think, oftentimes, because there is a rush to meet some sort of immediate goal. So immediate response. So there is this idea that somehow within a year, within a three to five year timeline, you can suddenly achieve something that people rush to initiatives without pausing. When I spoke into organisations before I use the framing of the four Is, which as I think some I think you may both know, I guess just to explain it, for clarity. It is like the four Is are institutional, sorry, ideology, institutional, interpersonal, and internalised. The idea at the heart of the four Is is that all of the interpersonal harms that we see across any line of difference is rooted within that core ideology, the ideology that states that one group is better than another, that one group, in some ways has such in traits that it has no control over, that mean that it is better than another. And when it comes to racialized communities that is in the form of like a perceived race or ethnicity background. And the the crux of it from my perspective from an organisation is that if the organisation is not committed to tackling the ideology, and it will continue to perpetuate all of the things that sit underneath it by default. So if you are not committed to being an anti racist organisation, obviously Charity So White focuses on race. However, frankly, you can apply that to everything. If you’re not committed to being like, if you’re not committing to tackling sexism, not just in the workplace, but in society committed to tackling anti racist, commiting to be an anti racist organisation, all of these different things, then inevitably, as we all know, I think as leaders of organisations, it’s like strategy day structured race process, if your strategy isn’t there, all your processes are kind of gonna fall flat, and the same thing works here. Doesn’t matter what kind of like fancy HR process or fancy recruitment strategy that you have. If you are not committed to actually using your power and privilege as an organisation, which is where your power lies in that sort of combined wealth that combined people to actually lever change, then it’s it feels disingenuous to say that you are actually committing to, committing to the change. Are we truly using the power that we have to try and see change in the world around us and live by those values internally in the organisation? And if the charity sector for me can’t come to grips with that framing, then it will always remain in the world of PR. But if you get to grips with that framing, then the questions change. It’s no longer about have we achieved it or not. It’s like, how are we chipping away at the wall together? What have we been able to achieve together? Not about are we there yet? Because they’re never going to be there yet.

Polly Neate  09:15

That’s so interesting isn’t it. It’s because I think talking, thinking about other leaders listening to this podcast, and definitely myself, maybe it’s the kind of people that we are, but when someone says to a leader and someone says to me, things have to change, my immediate responses, what can I do? What can I aim for? And then how will I know when I’ve got there? That’s the kind of model that leaders have been brought up with of how to make things change. And I think it is really challenging to… what will we use to achieve those changes. It is our privilege, but it’s the mechanisms that are at our disposal to achieve change. It’s not as personal as actually acknowledging our own privilege and our own responsibility to change ourselves. And I think that’s where this is different and maybe a lot more challenging.

Tessy Ojo  10:09

Really interesting because even though I live and breathe this, I am also trying to put myself in various leaders shoes and look at, you know, I suppose, as sector leaders we love, well, I personally love being accountable. I want to have KPIs I’m achieving every year, I want to know that I’m done. We almost have this sense of done, tick list, I’ve done this, I’ve achieved this, we want to move on. Having said that, we also are in a continuous circle of constantly tackling societal issues that are never never done, done. So on one hand, why do we expect that this will be done, as opposed to be comfortable with the sense that we’re never going to be done done on this one? It’s an ideology that we constantly push back on, think about this month or every day, the key is to be on the journey, but how do we… I suppose the question will be, how do we know that we’re on that journey? How do we track our journey? If you think about, you know, your stepometer or something, you’re tracking your steps, allows you to hit your 10,000 every day, you’re never gonna… Well, if you’re anything like me in lockdown, you’re always on a mission to shed some weight or, or keep fit at least. So your everyday you have your step counter. And the fact that you hit 10,000 today, doesn’t mean I would not do another 10,000 tomorrow. How do we keep ourselves in that journey and not see every little any achievement as done done?

Saba Shafi  11:50

I mean, it’s a hard question, isn’t it? I think, where my mind immediately went was to the nature of what it means to be a leader in the charity sector today. Like what is it that you are expected to demonstrate? And I think both of you have mentioned that your KPIs, an immediate response, being able to grasp, tackle, analyse separate out into an objective plan, which has KPIs and performance management metrics associated with it. And so much of all of that framing, and like the three of us are, you know, we’re all women in the school, like so much of the framing of what that leadership model looks like, is inherently male, and like dominated by this idea that you have to somehow achieve things on a cyclical annual target, and that somehow you can tackle systemic problems that have been around for like, hundreds of years in an annual checklist. That will be measurable in some way. And I’m, you know, I’m an ex, I used to restructure companies for a living, I’m a big fan of smart targets, and great. But that, you know, I think the truth is, is that how can we maybe give ourselves some leeway to recognise that this is about a value shift, this is about changing the purpose, potentially, of what charities are supposed to be providing and where they sit. I think that, you know, for us, the framing that we often use is honesty, humility, and hope, which is like, how do you recognise where you are in the journey? Right, and that is be absolutely honest. And I think there are, you know, themes of transformative justice, which I think can be brought into the space to help like frame some of that, what does that mean to centre, those who have been harmed? What does it mean to be completely transparent, lean into tensions? What does it mean to lean into the fact that you might, you are registered charity, but you might want to do things that maybe sit against some of the demands of a registered charity, you might want to take things slowly, you might want to take a different approach, lean into the tension, be transparent about it. And I think the humility piece is I think, the complicated one, that’s that’s what does it mean to be a have humility, as a leader, be able to say that you don’t know but you’re still the right person to lead the organisation forward because of that humility, because of that lack of understanding. And the hope is, I guess much more about the complications of what it means to do this, knowing that you will probably get battered around a little bit because you’re upfront and in charge, but that you still keep going because you know that there is a path forward. I guess, I think they I don’t know if I don’t have a tidy answer, because I don’t think it’s a tidy question. And I think that the approach that we often say is that, yeah, honesty, humility, and hope. And I think the complexity around that is, you know, oftentimes charities the way it has been, we’ve gotten criticism in the past for like, almost bullying sector leaders into taking sort of, into taking action in some way or another. For us it’s a really interesting frame to use. And I think, you know, we’ve really reflected in some of that criticism, and that whether it really corresponds to the turn that we we genuinely believe, which is, this is hard. You’re not going to get it right, but you need to start talking about it differently if you’re ever going to make the first step. I think from our side, it’s complicated because we have inboxes full of disclosures, looking at it looking at, like, you know, every major, every major organisation in the charity sector. Full of disclosures, most of which, like 95%, of which we aren’t publicising, because we don’t think it’s appropriate. We have taken action in different ways. But that is a complicated position for us to be in. And all of us work in the charity sector. So again, I’m going on a little bit of a tangent there. But I think there is something about what it means for some of this work to we recognise that it is hard, we really do. And there is no obvious easy solution. But what is required is bravery to move forward. Otherwise, and to know that you will get it wrong and potentially suffer a little bit as a result.

Polly Neate  15:46

And that’s our role as leaders isn’t it, to accept that we’ll get it wrong, and that when we get it wrong, we are accountable. So you know, of course, you know, we, our mistakes are very, very visible and particularly within our organisations. And we just have to be alright with that. And if we’re not that renewal job, really, frankly. But I mentioned in that honesty point, because we did a staff survey on anti racism and racism, at Shelter. And one of the things that came out really clearly was that people of colour, colleagues and black colleagues in particular, have a less favourable experience in Shelter than white colleagues do. Now, you might say that it’s obvious. Of course, on one level, it’s obvious, but proving it and getting all of our white colleagues just to honestly accept that that is the case. I think we’re talking about taking things slowly. We’re even on a journey to that. So we’ve proved that’s the case, done the survey, it was a very large sample, you cannot argue with it, you would think, but actually just sitting with that as an organisation, and I bet we’re not unusual in that, it’s going to take even just accepting that, honestly, that knowledge, honestly is going to take something for us as an organisation to be able to do, I’m definitely as a leader, struggling with the desire to do something about that, because I feel accountable for that. It has to change. But at the same time, I can see that we’re on a journey to even people accepting the truth of it, even though it’s an objective set of data. I don’t know if that’s something you’ve seen elsewhere, where leaders are kind of wanting to push on…

Tessy Ojo  17:39

Just before you answer. I’d love for you…. Just throw another thought in there. What is it that makes this topic, being anti racist, understanding privilege… What is it that makes it really hard for people to understand… What Polly has just said, the fact that someone says to you right now, I’ve just had a racist experience, you would have 10 people would rather get up and say, That’s not true. Will almost want to disqualify your experience, try and dismantle it, than accept that it’s your truth. I think we’ve seen that play out a lot, where people are just (inaudible) will do everything to almost prove that your experience is not true. How do we get more people to just say, Hey, accepting my experience does not make you a bad person, actually just saying, I hear you. And I get what you’re saying, how do we get it right? should really be the fundamental of any of this, right?

Saba Shafi  18:48

I’m actually I’m gonna… Tessy I’m gonna answer your question first. And I’ll move on to the I guess reflections and how that then applies to your example, Polly. When I was in the States, there were a number of there was a number of incidences of sexual harassment, serious sexual harassment on campus, I was doing my MBA there. And people were really struggling. It was one of those few cases where there wasn’t, it wasn’t doubt about what had happened at all. In fact, the individual who had committed the harm admitted to doing so, that doesn’t always happen. And that was clear and yet, the gossip around the campus was that the individual hadn’t actually done it. And it was all made up. And I found that really fascinating. And it really stuck with me for some time. And I think it began to… a lot of the conversations around it I found really interesting because I think that this plays out across every line of difference right? We look at race but you can look at it across every single thing. And that is that we are all… across most different, most lines of difference. There is an understanding in the general population that the harm exists and that it is out there in the world and it is bad and that we are good for not doing it and those people are bad and that is that is the base level that somewhere in the world, take sexism for example, oftentimes pointing the finger at using different lines of oppression to point the finger at other countries and saying they’re really bad at this, this our country’s great at it were amazing. And as you begin to cut into the journey of what it means to recognise that these harms exist, you have to, when you begin to pull the circle closer towards you that pressure and the tension of having to reconcile it becomes overwhelming. At the school that I was at, they couldn’t, many individuals couldn’t reconcile the fact that people that they knew, people that they went to class with had committed serious harm against another classmate. Because it would imply even by acknowledging that that existed, it would imply that they were somehow corrupted by that. And so they rebelled against it by disbelieving the evidence in front of them that was irrefutable. And I think it’s that idea of as that circle gets closer, responsibility comes closer, accountability becomes like harder to bat away, and then you have to somehow become responsible, I can acknowledge that sexism exists. Can I acknowledge that, you know, what does it mean to still want to believe not all men, because suddenly you have to think about the fact that your friend is, your friend might be somebody who did this to another woman in the past, that your partner, the person that you love could have harmed somebody in the past? That proximity that happens all the time. And with racism? It’s it’s more acute, and I think in the charity sector, oh, sorry, I apologise. Let me rephrase. I don’t think it’s more or less acute. I think it’s just different. I think it can be compounded. And I think that in the charity sector, you have, the same frame applies. Except the charity sector is told, we tell ourselves all the time that we are good people because we work in the charity sector. So then you have like this double layer, that you’re like battling over, there’s like double line of like tension that is like pulling you in. It’s like no, but I’m already doing my bit. And also, you know, rapists and like racists and like, you know, all these horrible people, they wouldn’t join the charity sector because the charity sector is full of good people. When I was at business school, the framing was: but we’re all smart people. We’re all super smart. We got into this, like, prestigious school. Smart people aren’t like rapists and racists. And it’s like, oh, my goodness, there was no like, tick box on the forum when you apply that says, No, I’m not a racist, if there wasn’t that you didn’t have, and there is no test that would test for that. And I think that senses that proximity gets overwhelming. And so you know, when some of the examples that the example that you gave Polly, for me that’s that is it’s a fascinating piece, right? Which is that reconciliation of like, what does it mean to be somebody who works in the charity sector? Does it give you a gold Halo just because? What is our role as people who work in the charity sector? Is our goal to, is our duty to tackle racism in our society? If so, then we have to tackle it in ourselves. But if that goal isn’t set at the top, then it’s like, what is the goal in the charity sector, and I think that tension is really interesting and exciting to hear you take Shelter, taking a level of responsibility for that. And I think that is complicated and hard. And it will take forever. And as with all change, there will be the people that you thought would come along with you for the full journey, who will drop off halfway through, and the people that were the you were, were the worst dissidents of the entire process, who will have the most transformative change through it, you’re going to lose people, organisations will lose donors, organisations will lose lots of stuff that happens through any change process. And this one is a bit more emotional.

Polly Neate  23:21

That was a tour de force of an answer. That was so good. I guess… this is just my reflection, but I’ve still spent more of my career not in the charity sector than in it. And I always remember, you know, I didn’t, some would say I still haven’t, but I certainly didn’t suddenly become a good person when I started working for a charity compared to what I was before. I was exactly the same person. And the sense of… I really do feel actually, that sense of assumed rightness in the sector is a massive obstacle to acknowledging privilege. I think there is a inbuilt resistance to accepting privilege within the sector that comes from that, as I say, that is so ingrained, it’s almost a subconscious assumption that we’re all good people. It really troubles me actually. Still, as somebody, you know, I can still remember my first impressions when I came into the sector. And that was one of them. Was that. That assumed…

Tessy Ojo  24:28


Polly Neate  24:29

 Yeah, righteousness. Do you both think that as well?

Tessy Ojo  24:33

100%. Yeah, no, absolutely. And it’s interesting, because I was not a traditional charity person, I came into the sector, but I was the same person. Where does this sense of righteousness come from? And where there’s that sense of righteousness then makes us absolve us of every responsibility of fixing problems that we find internally and externally?

Saba Shafi  25:00

Absolutely. I think it is… the righteousness I do find fascinating. The thing that gets me is that there are times and it’s like when I’m in the charity sector, I was like, I wish people weren’t as nice because I’m like we’re fighting. We’re supposed to be fighting like the biggest injustice of our time, right? Why is everybody so obsessed with being so nice to each other? We should be angry all the time. And we should be raging all the time. The righteousness never comes in the way that I would want it. Righteous anger, where is the righteous anger? That doesn’t exist. Large swathes, right. It’s more the righteousness is much more about the internal Halo. And I give myself a halo all the time. I enjoy it, it feels good. I think it’s self awareness in tow that is key. Because like, I don’t know, I guess… there’s something for me, I used to… the… My like very old joke, which I feel like I’ve told enough to make myself cringe at it. But I like to tell…

Polly Neate  25:56

Go for it anyway.

Saba Shafi  26:00

Guys, I’ve hyped it up a little now… I used to break unions for a living. That was my job. And now I literally on the other side of the picket line. And I’ve crossed over, and I was mean, I was a hard nosed mean person that did mean things. And now I do the same thing. I’m still hard nosed, I’m still pretty mean, I’m just in the different side of the picket line. And I think there was something about like, if you like, I’m not embarrassed about it, I find it funny that that has changed. But none of my union friends find it funny. But like there is like this is I’m still that person, right. And I’m still pretty righteous in the way that I deploy my skills and my tools. We have to all recognise somehow that the work that we do is nothing special about it in itself. I don’t know, I don’t know actually know where he’s going with this. But I think there is something about, it doesn’t just because you work for a charity doesn’t mean you’re doing good work, doesn’t mean just because you are working on the other side of the picket line doesn’t mean that you’ve done bad work either. I think we are just the same people deploying our skills in different ways. And I have seen, a somebody who’s one of the biggest proponents of unions, I have seen union leaders who have made horrible decisions that have like deeply impacted the people that they represent in terrible ways. And I’ve seen management do exactly the same thing. Just because you were part of the, just because you are a union leader does not make you a good person, doesn’t make you get… does not mean that you have made the right decisions. And the same thing applies to the charity sector, just because we work in it, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard, in fact, and delight and like constantly be checking ourselves constantly be wondering if the path we are taking is radical enough, is disruptive enough, if we actually as an institution, as a sector, really using the power that we have, to actually lever change, or whether we’re doing it because we want to feel good. Or we’re doing it because we’re embarrassed or doing it because we’re ashamed. And I think that those are powerful emotions but like, it’s not enough. And we should aim higher, rather than keep asking if we’ve done it yet.

Polly Neate  28:12

I really agree with that. And I think this, I think, I feel anti racism is one of those higher…. So there are there are all kinds of divides within an organisation. There’s hierarchical divides, there’s departmental divides. There are, as you say, there’s trade union membership, and then there’s management. There’s different teams trying different things. People get fed up with each other, you know, people get fed up with IT, or they’re fed up with HR, you know, there’s all of that going on in an organisation isn’t there, but none of that should ever get in the way of working together on anti racism. And I think if we’re not careful, this righteousness thing also can get in the way of that. It’s another one of those kinds of almost like internal sector, or organisational baggage, if you like, the we are sometimes allowing get in the way of true change, particularly on this agenda.

Tessy Ojo  29:15

You talked about radical change. And I wonder if you’ve seen any great examples, especially on this issue of being anti racist? Have you seen anything that’s been inspirational? Or have you seen anything that you would just love to share? So we can use as a case study, we can all go and look it up? I know, Polly is doing some incredible things at Shelter. So we’ve got that. We want to… Is there anything else that you’ve seen? My other question would be, what’s your hope? What would your hope be for someone who… we’re looking at disruptive change that really changes the dial, that moves this ideology, that breaks down this ideology. What’s your hope or aspiration for the sector? So two big questions to end on.

Saba Shafi  30:04

I feel like I do have to cosign. I’ve heard some really amazing things about what’s happening in Shelter at the moment. So I appreciate that might be…

Polly Neate  30:11

I don’t want to take the credit, I’m not kidding. I really definitely do not want to!

Saba Shafi  30:19

But I think that is one of the examples that did immediately come to mind. I don’t know what’s public or not public yet, which is I guess I’m I’m hedging my bets a little bit here. I do know that the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation is doing some very interesting things at the moment. I know that Lily Lewis has been doing some really interesting things within the small foundation that she runs, she’s sort of trying to disrupt it at a much more of a micro level. I think that, if I’m being honest, I would say that those are the bigger, those are the big examples that comes to mind. I think that there are lots of people who are trying, but I am very hesitant at giving people props to the trying stage. And so I think it’s like, I think it’s really important. There are lots of organisations across the sector, more than I could name that had done a lot of work to try and shift some ideas, bring in some new people. But I think it’s a little bit early to tell like, it’s only been a year, which I guess is the thing that I can say it has only been a year, I think in other year’s time, we will begin to see some of the actual results of the initial decisions that were made in the past year. But I think those are the ones that are interesting for me personally. In terms of my hope. My hope is that the charity sector and institutions within the charity sector begin to truly recognise the power that they have in our society and begin to wield it to achieve something… begin to wield it appropriately. I think that you’ll know it’s radical enough, which I guess is the question that came up before, if you are a little bit afraid of what will happen afterwards. And if other people are afraid of what you’ll do with the power that you’re wielding, then you’ll know that you’re really you’re using it effectively. And I think this goes back to that point if people aren’t afraid of you, then are you actually doing something big enough to get their attention? And certainly for us at Charity So White, that was a moment when we knew that we had enough power that we wanted to start and do some of the things that we had been wanting to do for enough time was when people were trying to, people were going down the defamation route, we were like, brilliant, time for us to steam higher. Like we should be moving on up. This is what it is, which is and that should be the aim.

Polly Neate  32:26

That it’s brilliant

Tessy Ojo  32:28

It’s headline, isn’t it?

Polly Neate  32:29

Yeah, the fact that people aren’t afraid of us proves we’re not quite as righteous as we think.

Tessy Ojo  32:35

I just want to sit on that statement for a while. That’s privilege, isn’t it? If you are not using, which is the whole point of this podcast, we’re not using that privilege for change, and people are not scared or afraid of the change that we’re bringing, then we’re consuming the privilege.

Polly Neate  32:51

Well said Saba. Thank you.

Saba Shafi  32:54

Thank you. It’s a pleasure to speak to you guys.

Polly Neate  32:57

Thank you for being our guest.

Saba Shafi  32:59

Of course. Thank you. It was really wonderful to meet you both. Yeah I mean, this is what you’re doing, is really exciting. And I’d like that it’s focused towards leaders because there is a lot of dialogue that happens right, which is, which is all do this change this but like there isn’t enough conversation about like, the practicalities as to what it means to be in charge?

Polly Neate  33:19


Saba Shafi  33:20

Which just kind of sucks.

Polly Neate  33:21

Thank you very much. We’ll see you again. Take care.

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