The team that makes it happen.
The Centre for Progressive Change was founded by veteran Organiser Amanda Walters. Amanda has been a Community Organiser and a Campaigner for fourteen years. As a Latina migrant, Amanda has worked tirelessly to ensure that migrants in this country are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. She previously worked for the Living Wage Foundation where she organised low-paid workers and community organisations to campaign for the London Living Wage. During her time there she led the successful Living Wage campaign at Heathrow airport, which saw a pay rise for over 3,200 workers. She also led successful Living Wage campaigns at a number of Government Departments.
Before organising on the Living Wage campaign she directed a Housing Inquiry in North Kensington for Citizens UK, where she organised 200 local and estate residents to successfully pressure the Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation to invest £250k on their repairs system, and for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to rehouse social housing tenants that are in overcrowded accommodation into bigger properties during the regeneration of their estate. She also previously organised in the favelas in Brazil and was an elected official in the student movement.
Amanda was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2018 to learn from some of the best Trade Unions and community organising organisations in the US. This trip led her to build her own organisation to put into action what she had learnt on scaling organising campaigns to have national impact. Since 2020, with the support of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, she has been building a new organisation - the Centre for Progressive Change.
Andy supports CPC on its media and political engagement strategies, primarily on the Safe Sick Pay Campaign.
He has 18 years of press, campaigns and public affairs experience in not for profit, political and private sectors. He's a former Head of Communications at Citizens UK, has spent 6 years advising the Living Wage Campaign and prior to that was Head of Media and External Affairs at the Trussell Trust. Andy has a particular passion for social justice campaigns aimed at reducing inequalities amongst marginalised communities.
Emma works with employers, politicians and partner organisations to show support for the safe sick pay campaign. She is passionate about reforming our broken sick pay system.
Emma previously worked as a policy officer at the TUC, where she lead on policy and campaigns across LGBTQ+ and disability equalities strands. Before this she worked as an associate director at Stonewall, and senior programme manager at the Living Wage Foundation. Emma is also a proud mum.
Bekele is a Senior Campaigner working with politicians, stakeholders and wider partners on the Safe Sick Pay campaign at the Centre For Progressive Change.
Prior to joining the Centre For Progressive Change, Bekele worked as Business Development Lead for Croydon Vision, a charity working with Blind and Visually impaired people. Bekele was also the Founding Director of UK Welcomes Refugees, an organisation set up to build Community Sponsorship of Refugees and strengthen the movement across the United Kingdom. He was one of the founders of Sponsor Refugees Foundation of Citizens UK, where he worked as a Senior Project Manager. Bekele worked as a Community Organiser with Citizens UK for over 9 years in different capacities including organising the Diaspora communities. Bekele was the Human Rights Defender Fellow of the University of Nottingham in 2009, where he studied International Human Rights Law. He also studied Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, USÁ. Bekele also attended the Global Change Agents Program at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. Bekele was the 2018 Churchill Fellow which took him to Canada to study about Canada’s Refugee Sponsorship program.
Before moving to the UK, Bekele held senior managerial positions in government departments in Ethiopia. Outside of work, Bekele served as a trustee for a number of charities and also as a chairman of the local school’s parents council. He was one of the Games Makers at the London 2012 Olympics and NHS volunteer responder during the peak of the Covid pandemic. Bekele joins Centre for Progressive Change with more than 15 years of Community Organising, Campaigns and Leadership Development experience.
Kevin Connor has 15 years of experience as a strategic corporate researcher, nonprofit leader, and innovator in the field of power structure research and analysis. He is the co-founder and former executive director of the US-based Public Accountability Initiative, an organization that specializes in mapping corporate power in support of grassroots campaigns challenging corporations around issues of economic, racial, environmental, and social justice.
At PAI, Kevin co-founded and oversaw the development of LittleSis.org (the opposite of Big Brother), a database of information on powerful people and organizations that is widely used by activists and journalists to map and analyze power relationships. Kevin has led research efforts that have played a key role in supporting grassroots campaigns across the country, including successful efforts to ban fracking in New York State, strip private prisons of big bank financing, and halt the most predatory austerity measures sought by hedge funds speculating on Puerto Rican debt. He also oversaw the development of trainings in power structure research and analysis that have reached thousands of activists across the US and internationally. He has been quoted in numerous major media publications and his research has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.
Prior to co-founding PAI/LittleSis, he worked as a strategic researcher at SEIU 1199, a healthcare workers union based in New York, and as a freelance researcher for community-based organizations.
Beth Foster-Ogg is a community organiser and trainer. Beth developed and delivered pioneering high participation programmes, including the persuasive conversations training which has been delivered to tens of thousands of activists.
As a community organiser for the Labour Party, she focused on integrating electoral and community organising approaches. In Putney, she designed programmes to train up community leaders and established community-led housing campaigns. This culminated in leading Labour’s campaign in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields, bucking the national trend and switching the seat to Labour in 2019.
Since then Beth has worked with The Social Practice EU and Amnesty International offering a multidisciplinary approach to organising, combining big organising and community organising techniques to support communities in taking on power. She is currently working as a union organiser.
Kate Bell is the Head of the Rights, International, Social and Economics department. The Department leads the TUC's work on boosting employment rights, promoting social and economic policies that benefit working people, and building international solidarity.
Before joining the TUC, Kate worked as Head of Policy and Public Affairs for a local authority, for the Labour Party, and for the charities Child Poverty Action Group and Gingerbread. Kate is also a member of the Low Pay Commission, representing workers.
Roxana joined LAANE in 2001 and served as Deputy Director for six years until assuming the position of Executive Director in February 2012.
Prior to joining LAANE, Roxana served as economic development deputy to L.A. City Councilmember Jackie Goldberg. Roxana began her work life as an organizer for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. A graduate of Yale, she is bilingual in English and Spanish. She lives with her husband and two children in Mt. Washington.
Matt Zarb-Cousin is a co-founder of Gamban, device level blocking software for gambling sites and apps, and director of Clean Up Gambling, a not for profit pressure group campaigning for reform of online gambling regulation in Britain. Previously he was spokesperson for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, which lobbied successfully for a reduction in the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2 a spin. He was also spokesperson for the Leader of the Opposition 2016-2017
Conrad Moriarty-Cole has many years of experience organising in the workers movement, fighting against casualisation and precarious working conditions. He currently holds the position of Chair on the CPC Board of Directors, and is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Brighton. He has previously taught at Goldsmiths College and King's College London. Prior to his career in higher education, Conrad worked in the hospitality industry where he dedicated a large portion of his time to organising in his workplace, union building, and successfully ending the use of zero-hours contracts. Extending these efforts into the local community, Conrad is a founding member of the South London Bartenders Network, a solidarity network designed to support mutual aid and capacity building amongst hospitality staff in South London. While working in HE he has also been involved in numerous campaigns, including UCU's national anti-casualisation campaign, and winning Justice for Workers' campaigns to in-house cleaning, security, and catering staff in higher education institutions.
Julie has held senior roles in EY and in large companies such as Huawei and TalkTalk. She has extensive experience in consulting, external audit, financial accounting and reporting. In addition to her role in CPC, she runs a holistic physiotherapy clinic in London with her husband and is a certified life and career coach.
Sofia Torres decided to leave her country, Colombia, in 2006 looking for a better future for her and her family. She first came to London as an aupair and then started work as a cleaner. Sofia is an active member of the Latin American Chaplaincy. Through the Chaplaincy she trained in community organising and started organising in her community for the living wage, decent housing and basic work rights. To facilitate this, in 2016 she managed a team of 7 volunteers to teach English classes at the Chaplaincy to support people in her community to speak English to defend their rights and meet their needs at work, in the NHS and other areas.
Adela came to the UK from the Czech Republic in 2010. For the first few years she worked as a
cleaner, carer and barmaid. She went on to do a degree in linguistics and teaching English. Since
2015 she has worked for English for Action, a London based charity that combines participatory
language teaching with community organising, whereby equipping adult migrants with the linguistic
and organising skills to improve their lives and bring positive change to their communities. Adela has
trained hundreds of migrants in community organising and led on a campaign to improve access to
English classes in London - #LoveESOL.