First published: 10 Apr 2018
Mandy Johnson, the chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, has published a list of non-male charity sector conference speakers.
Johnson drew up her initial list last Friday, after posting on Twitter that it had “come to my attention that we need to provide conference organisers with a list of brilliant speakers from the charity sector who are not white and male”.
At the time of publishing the list features over 150 speakers divided between those “who do not identify themselves as white or male” and “white people who do not identify as male”.
The list is further sub-divided into area of expertise, including “academic experts”, “chief execs, exec directors and founders”, “fundraising experts” and “service delivery experts”.
In the preface to the list, Johnson wrote: “Too many times I am told that it is hard to find good speakers in the charity sector who aren’t male and/or white. I want to rid conference organisers of that excuse.”
Johnson has continued to ask for more recommendations from people from the sector on Twitter, tweeting a link to a form that people can complete.
The list is currently hosted on a free WordPress site, but Johnson has also launched a GoFundMe fundraising page to “upgrade” the site, which she said would allow her to “add a few features to the website and use it to continue to engage people with this conversation”.
The page has now raised £320 of its stated £400 goal. Johnson said that if more than £480 is raised, “any additional funds will be donated to the Small Charities Coalition”.
Speaking to Civil Society News, Johnson said: “The list is far from perfect at the moment. There are lots of great people missing from it and many more ways it could be developed to make it better but it is a start. I am also aware that there have been requests for changes to highlight people for different reasons, such as all of the brilliant disabled speakers who are often absent from charity conferences.
“I have been overwhelmed by the response that I have received to this list and apologise that I haven’t been able to respond to everyone who has contacted me so far. I really appreciate everyone’s support and would welcome offers from anyone who would like to volunteer to support the list’s development and maintenance.”