We are delighted to welcome Esther Selsdon and Darryl Humble as new Trustees. Esther has a long-standing involvement with the Trust and has acted on a voluntary basis as our secretary so it is great to see her as a fully fledged Trustee. Darryl has been helping us with our restructuring strategy, which is now drawing to a close and we are delighted to have him too. If you want to find out more about them, or indeed any of us, check out the ‘Trustees’ section on the site.
The Trust is sad to record the retirement of Mary Kennedy as one of our Trustees, but equally grateful for her contribution to our work. Mary was closely involved in second wave feminism in Britain from a very early stage as a participant at the first Women’s Liberation Movement conference at Ruskin College in 1970. Still committed and engaged today, her 1985 book (with Mary Hughes) New Futures: Changing Women’s Education came out in a new edition in 2017: a remarkable tribute to its significance and Mary’s prescience. Mary always matched her academic career with political and social engagement whether it was researching home workers in North London or arguing the case for the inclusion of Women’s Studies in university curricula.
That personal engagement was shown at our Trust meetings where Mary always looked carefully at our bids and would argue a case where she thought we needed to support a cause that was ‘getting lost’. Her feminism reminded us all of the importance of gender politics in what we can do as a fund.
We will all remember her generosity of spirit (including giving up her home for meetings and preparing delicious refreshments) and the major contribution she made to the Trust’s work. Thank you, Mary.
The Trust was deeply saddened at the death of Doreen Massey who was a valued member of our Board of Trustees. Doreen was a clear sighted and thoughtful Trustee with strong roots in the Labour and Socialist movements and her wise counsel will be sorely missed not just by us. We are most grateful for the legacy she left us and will be taking appropriate steps to remember Doreen.
We are delighted to welcome Cilla Ross as a new Trustee. Cilla is Cooperative Learning and Development Manager at the Cooperative College and describes herself as an ‘education activist’. She has long experience and active engagement with trade unions and co-operatives both in the UK and abroad. She has worked with the EDGE fund, the WEA and is currently part of a Co-operative University Working Group. We look forward to the contribution she will make to the Trust’s work.
The Trust is delighted that two books that we have been able to support have recently come to publication. Shelia Rowbotham’s Rebel Crossings (Verso) has received wide publicity and excellent reviews. It makes a major contribution to socialist knowledge and education as does the more recent book Protest: Stories of Resistance (Comma Press) edited by Ra Page which combines fictionalised accounts of key moments in radical British history with notes from respected academics. The Trust was impressed by this imaginative way of presenting history and encouraging others to adopt an innovative approach.