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I was the first person in my family to go to university and I started my career as a PE teacher, quickly progressing into a leadership position. I was motivated to make a difference in young people’s lives and level the playing field for those from marginalised backgrounds. However, I realised that it was minefield of politics and personalities and I was a black sheep that challenged harmful status quos. Today, I look back at that time and realise that I was destined to be a disrupter! I achieved my ambition of becoming a Head Teacher (one of only a few black men in the UK to do so at the time) but still felt frustrated that I was not making the amount of impact I wanted to because I was restrained by an unfair system that was not inclusive for all students and staff. I went back to University, twenty years after the first time, and undertook an MA in Character Education. My research led me to begin making links between personal character and the big issues in education and society in general. I successfully completed the MA and moved into a unique, executive role at a Multi Academy Trust where I had responsibility for character and personal development of staff and students. At the same time, I began to be invited to speak on panels and podcasts about the role of character in education. This grew into wider conversations about belonging and inclusivity and as I continued to make stronger links with how this was all connected, the idea for my consultancy developed. I recognised that there was a gap in many organisations, for an honest conversation about all things Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). Sure, there were standard EDI training courses that employees had to attend, but no one was having frank conversations about the ways that people from the protected characteristics can be harmed and why it is everyone’s problem. My training and talks were raw, honest and often challenging but they were changing perspectives and i believe, changing lives. I held space for people to feel seen and heard but also to learn and make mistakes without fear of being politically incorrect. My consultancy has grown and I am very proud of the work I do today, which has expanded beyond the education sector to include banking , local councils and third sector organisations. There have been many highlights but notably, in 2022 I was awarded the ‘Ambassador for Character’ by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. In 2023 I was included in a panel to advise the Shadow Secretary of State for Education on the future of schools, and this year I was at the House of Lords as part of a panel to advise on the English exam and assessment system. My consultancy is not just a job, it allows me to be a change-maker and a voice for young people and those from marginalised groups. This is important work and I do it because everyone deserves to feel that they belong.