Our mission is to make community organising accessible to all and build a network of leaders committed to justice.
Why are we here?
The system isn’t working for the majority of us and it’s up to us to do something about it. We might think ‘nothing ever changes’ but you only need to look into history to see how much has. It wasn’t the magic of time that made this happen. It was down to people like you who learned how to build power and get organised.
What do we do and how do we do it?
We teach people how to build power and relationships; the fundamentals of community organising. We show how to do this sustainably, through collective care support. We do this through our website, videos and workshops.
What makes us different?
We make high quality online training free for anyone to use, anywhere. Other training can be expensive and limited to who you know or where you’re from. We also offer tailored training and coaching plans, both online and in person, to help you achieve specific goals.
Who are we here for?
We respect your knowledge and expertise. We listen to your problems and help you build a team with the confidence and tools to act on them. We cover all areas of the UK both in person and online.
Our free and premium training can help you develop successful strategies and perfect your craft. Through our network, we share ideas to stay up to date and take care of each other.
We listen to you and take you seriously. Our inclusive training will show you how to build your own teams and campaigns that win. We take pride in developing young activists into leaders that change the world.
We help charities build successful grassroots movements, attracting dedicated members and volunteers. We can train your team in community organising and our approach means you can do more with less.
We develop leaders to transform the way they work and improve the system. Our teaching is relatable and not patronising. All our methods are backed up with practical case studies and tools you can use in your work.
Latifa Akay (she/her), Head of Collective Care
Latifa joined the Act Build Change team in 2021 and is leading on our collective care work. Latifa is interested in transformative approaches to safety and justice. She has over ten years experience working with communities around social justice issues and on arts-based community projects in a range of settings ranging from schools to faith spaces. Latifa is a trustee at the Inclusive Mosque Initiative and was co-director of the 2021 MFest at the British Library. She has an academic background in law and before moving to London in 2012, she worked for two years as a journalist in Istanbul. Her writing has been featured in a range of places including The Good Journal and Vs Poetry Podcast.
Imani Clough (she/her), Curator of Partnerships and Community
Imani supports Act Build Changes training programmes run smoothly from start to finish and supports in the the coaching of our members and young people. Imani has a unique blend of skills, education and experience focused on innovating education in both classrooms and communities. Her work brings educators/practitioners, children and young people together; to explore, discuss and take action on social justice issues. As a Character Educator, Facilitator and Coach she has transformed her own pedagogical practice and approach to inspiring young minds and encouraging adults to adopt new methods of teaching and learning, to unleash the brilliance in all young people.
Amira Elwakil (she/her), Collective Care Trainer
Amira is a collective care trainer with Act Build Change. She is also a participatory English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher working with migrant communities across London and, since 2016, has held various positions with organisations working on migrant justice. She has organised on migrant justice issues, particularly with a focus on housing and access to healthcare, where she has been involved with groups including Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL) and the Patients not Passports campaign. She has a particular interest in embedding care, a participatory pedagogy and an anti-oppressive lens to organising work.
Louie Herbert (he/him), Senior Organiser Trainer
Louie is a senior trainer at Act Build Change and has worked as a community organiser for over a decade. He has done this work for some of the highest profile campaigning organisations operating in the UK; Locality, 38 Degrees, The Labour Party, Debt Justice and most significantly I was one of three people that founded ACORN UK – playing a leading role in building an organisation from the ground up into the UK’s largest and most successful community union. I recently ran a community organising campaign that won around £1,000,000 worth of repairs to an estate in South London.
Anisa Saleh Programmes and Operations
With strong connections to social and environmental justice, Anisa is a coach and facilitator on the Union Programme – The Northern School for Creativity and Activism, working with artists who are at an intersection between creative practice and social activism. Anisa also works with Black Girls Hike which encourages diversity and representation in outdoor spaces. She is passionate about nature and works with a range of organisations to develop partnership opportunities to increase peoples’ connection to the natural world, conservation and the outdoor sector. With a Youth Work background she has worked extensively with young people to create therapeutic and creative inventions that foster resilience, positive change and transformation.
Stephanie Wong (she/her), Director
Stephanie is community organiser and over the past decade has won with many others access to citizenship for young people, thousands of pounds into worker pockets, progressives candidates to win at election, movements to build their base around environmental justice and secure housing for those seeking asylum. Stephanie was an associate lecturer on community organising for 3 years at University College London. She is the founder and CEO of Act Build Change – an organising school for those closest to issues to build power, win justice and live full and beautiful lives.
Ezimma Chigbo (she/her), Collective Care Trainer Associate
Ezimma is a writer and creative facilitator with a background in youth work. She specialises in working with young women exploring issues such as healthy relationships, labels and identity and has worked mainly with young women involved in the criminal justice system. She is also the cohost of The Echo Chamber Podcast which we recommend you check out!
Edi Whitehead (they/them), Digital Organiser Associate
Edi is a campaigner, strategist, trainer and storyteller. They develop the people and projects that make a radical and progressive world possible. They are curious about the relationship between organising and archives, and use creative projects to figure out how we better tell and remember (hi)stories – exploring gender, place, representation and power along the way.
molly ackhurst (she/they), Collective Care Trainer Associate
molly has a practice-based background having worked in sexual violence support for many years. She loves to think about imaginations and currently exists as an academic/activist/writer/facilitator specialising in creative transformative approaches to trauma and justice.
Dami Makinde (she/her)
Dami is the co-Founder and co-CEO of We Belong. She began her activism work when she realised she was unable to attend university because of her immigration status. In 2017, Dami was seconded to the London Mayor’s office as a Policy Advisor to help within their Social Integration Team. She began a Forum to build a bridge between the Mayor and all London migrants. Dami is an Eisenhower Youth Fellow and has spoken out worldwide against the UK’s hostile environment towards migrants.
Kathryn Perera (she/her)
Kathryn is a healthcare leader with professional experience across Law, politics and the wider public sector. As Director of NHS Horizons, Kathryn and her team use mass-participation and design approaches to implement national transformation programmes with a projected collective impact in excess of £1.5 billion. Previously, Kathryn led Movement for Change, an award-winning social enterprise. From 2005 to 2010, Kathryn practised as a barrister-at-law from 11KBW Chambers, specialising in public and employment law. She is a US-UK Fulbright Commission Scholar, Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2016) and a past Visiting Fellow of Practice at the Government Outcomes Lab, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University (2017).
Tahmid Islam (he/him)
Tahmid is a community organiser and movement builder with a track record of delivering successful campaigns for social inclusion and equity in the UK He worked on issues from knife crime and violence to immigration as well as train and support 15 organisations across North London. Tahmid is currently the programme manager and fellow in residence for Peace First UK and Europe. He works to support young leaders across the UK and in Europe to develop social action projects and campaigns to challenge injustice.
What do people say about us?
“We were training young activists but really struggling to offer them the right support. Since ABC’s training they’ve grown their team to 10, organised 3 poetry events, recruited 34 people to volunteer their time, spoken at party conferences, delivered mental health rights training and are regularly participating in ways they weren’t before.”
— Kahra Wayland-Larty, Campaigns & Policy Manager, Youth Access
“Nesta had recommended four organisations to us. Act Build Change was by far the best one. They were very impressive and all about addressing our needs practically.”
– Henry Aughterson, Vice Lead, NHS National Social Prescribing Champion Scheme
“Act Build Change teach leadership explicitly. There are lessons in leadership for everyone because of the depth and breadth of the real stories they tell. Their credibility is huge because of that.”
– Clare Wightman, CEO, Grapevine Coventry & Warks
“Stephanie is one of the most inclusive and welcoming community organising trainers I’ve met – and I’ve met a lot.”
– Amelia Viney, CEO, Advocacy Academy
“Many people believe in programmatic responses to change. But Act Build Change create spaces where people can connect, share and learn. Within that you develop their competencies in aspects of change which are critical for whether we make or break what we are trying to do”
– Kathryn Perera, Director, NHS Horizons
“Act Build Change brings a uniquely thoughtful approach to organising always looking to contextualise the work and its goals while creating broader resources, materials and ways of working that can scale this approach.”
– Jana Mills, CEO, Small Axe
How do we get in touch with you?
If you have any contributions, questions or would like us to work with you, please contact us at [email protected]
You mention community organising a lot: what is it?
Community organising has a long history and shows up anywhere people have claimed their rights to humanity. Instead of campaigns thumping down from boardrooms, they’re built ground up and won by the people. It’s pretty incredible and we want more people to know how to do it.