Social Founder Stories
Pragna Patel, iconic Founder of Southall Black Sisters tells her story of tireless campaigning for justice
Pragna Patel is the founder and director of Southall Black Sisters, one of the UK's leading women's organisations campaigning for the rights of black and minority ethnic women. In 1982, Pragna resurrected a local initiative, turning it into an established advocacy charity, a national helpline and a powerful campaigning organisation. "Our aims are to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom."
Pragna tells us about what it takes to establish and grow an organisation - to create the infrastructure, find the right board, maintain values, keep the right balance between services and campaigning. She talks candidly about how to cope with setbacks, find resilience and celebrate achievements - including the passing of vital laws to support migrant women in the UK. We also hear about the powerful Law Centre Movement that inspired her initial work, and the fears she has for equality and social justice today.
"Our vision, our political vision, is one where we see that there is interconnectedness of struggles, that we don't struggle on our own, even as women, that we are connected to the struggles that are taking place on a much more global scale around violence against women." Pragna Patel, in her Social Founder Stories podcast. And her advice to other social founders: "Do not be afraid. Go with your gut feelings and your instincts, that I think is key. And then everything else - you find skills, you find the people, you find the funding -somehow. But my main thing is, if there is that fire in your belly, act on it, do not be afraid." Listen to Pragna and indeed you will come away with fire in your belly.
Please donate to Southall Black Sisters here if you can. Donations small or large will make a life-changing and life-saving difference to countless abused and marginalised women and children who are desperate for protection and support, particularly at this time of Covid-19.
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Listen to Pragna's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 5 - on all podcast platforms or via the links above. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.