Leanne Sajor awarded a fellowship at the London School of Economics

Leanne Sajor, Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity, London School of Economics 2019-2020

Leanne Sajor has been named one of 14 new Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  The 2019-20 cohort includes practitioners, policy-makers and educators, political activists and civil society professionals who have already achieved impact in fields such as financial inclusion, economic alternatives, labor organizing, women’s and LGBT rights, environmental justice, public health and peacebuilding.

We’re honored to welcome these 14 courageous, collaborative change-makers to the International Inequalities Institute as they explore the causes of inequality and use values-led, collective leadership to work toward social and economic justice,” said Rana Zincir-Celal, director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity program. “We feel certain that the fellows’ own rich and broad experience in challenging inequalities will give III researchers and the wider LSE community a unique opportunity to learn from them in return.”

Drawn from a globe-spanning pool of applicants, the fellows will undertake an innovative one-year program of engagement with researchers and campaigners, leadership training and narrative and communications skills, all built upon a rigorous, interdisciplinary academic course at LSE. On completion of their LSE year, they will join a lifelong catalytic community drawn from all seven Atlantic Fellows programs working to advance “fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.”

Leanne is from the Philippines and lives in her adopted community of Queens, New York City. She has spent the past 10 years as a feminist organizer and advocate, working with grassroots groups and civil society organizations to address inequalities and amplify social justice agendas. She enjoys facilitating political education programs, organizing campaigns, designing and coordinating participatory research projects and leading strategic discussions to support feminist movement building, socio-economic justice and the rights of immigrants.

In a statement, Leanne said: “Courage is integral to my commitment to working towards transformative change because challenging the status quo and taking leaps towards alternative futures requires it. Courage is essential in order to engender the justice and liberation we want to see within ourselves, interpersonally, in our communities and within institutions of power. It drives us to act, take risks and speak truth to power.

“I believe that inequality is not inevitable but a result of intersecting systems of oppression designed to serve powerful financial and political interests. My parents were political prisoners during the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, and I learned from our family and community’s experience as well as my work that courage is not only a means of survival but also a way of affirming and living our deepest values.” Leanne is presently program coordinator for Economic Policy and Human Rights at the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net). She facilitates the collective efforts of 54 member organizations, andorganizes projects that advance mutual learning solidarity and collective action toward addressing deepening inequalities.

When Leanne was 20, she co-founded the Renaissance Charter School for Innovation in East Harlem, New York City, working with parents, students, community leaders and progressive educators to build a community school and address educational inequalities. Leanne is an advisor and co-facilitator for the Asia-Pacific region at FRIDA, the Young Feminist Fund, and has served on the board of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. She holds a BA (Hons.) in political science and women’s and gender studies from the City University of New York. 

© The FilAm 2019

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