January 11, 2020
If I were to describe the past decade in one word, it would be: polarised.
In The Face Of Heightened Tensions, It Is Labour’s Responsibility To Stand Against Oppression
Across the world, the far right has raised its ugly head. Neofascist movements effectively tapped into pre-existing prejudices and the anger caused by years of neoliberalism, austerity and deprivation. Governments formed or inspired by the radical right stirred hate and attacked the rights of women and minorities: whether that’s Jews, Muslims, migrants, Traveller communities and gay or transgender people. 
On the other hand, progressive movements grew: demanding the right to decide what to do with one’s body, to walk the streets without fear of rape or harassment, to not be discriminated against in the workplace, to love who you love and be true to who you are. In the streets, online, in parliaments and workplaces they made themselves heard, changing millions of minds and transforming conversations.  
These are the kind of movements I owe my political formation to. Over years and decades, I’ve had to unlearn ideas and behaviours that all of us were, in one way or another, socialised into. As a man I know I have much to learn for other equality movements and that this learning is a life-long journey.
My time as an MP has made me more aware of the power dynamics that exist in society: between men and women, between people of different backgrounds and ethnicities, between those in positions of power and those with very little of it. I know I have made mistakes, and I am grateful for those who both challenged me and gave me the space to grow.
A lot has been said since the election about the need to listen to voters - and we should. But we must lead as well. We need to meet people where they are, speak a language that everyone can understand, but not give an inch to racism, sexism and prejudice. Our party is at a critical juncture where we face a stark choice. Do we attempt to mimic right wing frames around migration and a distorted view of patriotism that contributes to the country becoming more xenophobic, isolationist and inward looking? Or do we champion the benefits of internationalism and build solidarity between our diverse communities through greater social and economic equality? Social conservatism means nothing short of turning back the clock on hard-won rights for women, LGBTQ communities and race equality and I will resist our party going down this route with every bone in my body.
Contrary to the picture that’s often painted, the working class does not just consist of socially conservative straight white men. It’s also the black Uber driver, the homeless transgender teenager, the migrant cleaner. If Labour doesn’t stand for them, it doesn’t stand for the working class. 
My feminist values are rooted in my socialist values. The number of women CEOs in Britain’s biggest companies is irrelevant if they pay their women workers poverty wages or discriminate against black employees.
Liberation and equality will never come from the top down but through organising from the ground up, and our Labour movement has a crucial role to play in fighting for it.
Its important that women and equalities issues aren’t viewed as stand-alone policy, considered only as an afterthought. All the key priorities of my campaign have gender equality running right through them.
My determination to make party democracy and grassroots organising a priority is driven by the desire to see Labour become more accessible and inclusive, moving away from the macho, adversarial politics that has dominated politics for too long. I want to make a clear break from old hierarchal, authoritarian modes of operation.
We know that women have overwhelmingly bore the brunt of the Tories austerity agenda, with women of colour being particularly impacted. Cuts to social care and public services mean that more often than not it is women who are expected to compensate for this extra work in their lives, usually unpaid. Our opposition to Tory austerity must highlight the fact that some sections of society have been hit much harder than others. We as a party must commit to addressing the intrinsic biases in economics and policy that organisations such as the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust have been so expert in highlighting.
And women will be at the heart of Labour’s Green New Deal, tackling the disproportionate concentration of women in low-paid, poorly valued service sector roles and creating secure, equally paid, dignified green jobs fit for the future.
Fundamentally whether our party is led by a man or a woman matters little if our women activists continue to be bullied and harassed. I have been horrified seeing the amount of abuse my women colleagues receive on a daily basis, much more when they aren’t white. Labour needs a robust, independent system to deal with every complaint, and a culture where no one is exempt from accountability. Our commitment to equality must come before factional loyalties.
But to truly transform our party, and society, we can’t just rely on punishment and exclusion. Racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice don’t come down to a handful of bad eggs but are embedded in structures and systems that perpetuate prejudice and inequality. As Labour leader, I would actively engage with Jewish, BAME, LGBTQ and women’s groups to deliver a programme of political education and reform reaching every CLP.
On a national level, we need inclusive and holistic sex and relationships education in every school. We need to teach about the legacy of the Empire and the long history of struggles for freedom and equality. We need to end the hostile environment for migrants and the aggressive policing of black and Asian, specifically Muslim communities - and when these issues come up on the doorstep, we must be ready to defend our values, not change the topic.
In the face of heightened tensions and growing threats, it is Labour’s responsibility to stand against oppression. But to change the country, we must first be able to change ourselves.
Clive Lewis is the Labour MP for Norwich South and shadow treasury minister. He is currently running in the Labour leadership election.Related... Keir's Looking At You, Kid: Labour Leader Hopeful Vows To 'Set Sights On Every Voter In UK' Growing Up In Poverty 'Puts Fire In Your Belly', Says Deputy Labour Leader Hopeful Rosena Allin-Khan Labour Leadership Hopeful Clive Lewis Calls For Referendum On Royal Family
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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