Episode 55: Fighting for social justice with Iffat Shahnaz
Iffat Shahnaz is a lifelong campaigner committed to social justice and equality. She works with organisations committed to social change and tackling social exclusion and discrimination. She specialises in gender-based violence, community education, facilitation, service development and change management.
We talk about:
- How Iffat became so passionate about social justice
- The legacy of her parents and their story as children of partition
- Being the child of immigrants from the former commonwealth
- The family trauma that lead to Iffat wanting to make the world a better place for everyone
- Going back to her parents’ village in India
- The lack of safe passage when people are facing displacement, at the time of partition and now
- Why her father was so keen that she should learn to swim
- How the family managed to get to England from Pakistan
- Racial abuse growing up in the West Midlands in school and on the street
- Feeling hopeful despite systemic discrimination
- The impact of Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement on global awareness of discrimination
- Getting more aware of what’s going on and the importance of speaking up
- Confronting racism wherever we find it
- The importance of being anti-racist instead of just not racist
- Acknowledging that we are different and that being colour-blind just doesn’t work
- Understanding racism in the UK and how it differs to the US
- ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ immigrants
- The more insidious nature of racism in the UK today
- How Covid has highlighted so many social justice-related and inequality issues
- The disproportionate impact of Covid on BAME (Black and minority ethnic) communities
- How Iffat feels about turning 50 this year
- Growing our own wisdom as we age and having more of an impact on society as we get older
Find out more about Iffat:
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