JRCT welcomes six new staff members to the team

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JRCT welcomes six new staff members to the team

26 January 2021

JRCT welcomes six new staff members to the team

WE'RE excited to welcome six new members of staff to the Trust as we continue to work to expand our grant-making. 

Ali Torabi, Hannah Brock Womack, Mumbi Nkonde, Rose Ziaei, Sheridan Carr and Zarina Douglas Sori have all been appointed to join the grant-making team at the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT).

Their recruitment follows a Trust decision to significantly increase grant spending to over £10 million per year and to further increase grant-making in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Celia McKeon, chief executive at JRCT, said: "We received a high volume of applications for these roles and interviewed some truly exceptional candidates.  We are lucky to have attracted some wonderful people to come and work with us and we're so excited for them to join the team."   

Ali Torabi (pictured top left) joins us as the Programme Manager for our Rights and Justice programme, which supports those who uphold equality and human rights in support of racial and religious minorities.

Ali has previously worked as the Brexit Lead for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and has a decade of experience as a campaigns and policy strategist in Whitehall with Cabinet Office, with tech startup Look After My Bills, and with campaigning organisation 38 Degrees. 

Outside of the day job, Ali was the founding chair of human rights charity EachOther (formerly RightsInfo), a trustee of Safe Passage International, and a grants committee member for Justice Together Initiative. Ali came to the UK as an asylum seeker in 2005. 

Joining the Rights and Justice programme as a Grants Officer is Mumbi Nkonde (pictured top right). Mumbi previously worked for the participatory grant giver Edge Fund and has been embedded in grassroots organising for over a decade, working on anti-racism, housing rights and climate justice struggles. Mumbi is currently studying Environmental Studies at the Open University.

Rose Ziaei (pictured bottom left) has also been appointed as a Grants Officer for the Rights and Justice programme. Rose has over seven years of experience in developing, planning, implementing, and managing programmes in the UK and internationally, working at the intersections of social justice, youth and community work, creativity, and healing justice. Most recently, she was the Programme Manager at Voices that Shake, bringing together young people, artists and campaigners to develop creative responses to social injustice, and documenting movement building and anti-oppressive practice. She ran this work at Platform London. Rose is a part-time Project Manager at Healing Justice London.

Rose specialised in participatory approaches during her MSc degree in Development Administration and Planning from UCL. She will start working at the Trust in March.

Hannah Brock Womack (pictured top centre) is joining JRCT as a Grants Officer for the Peace and Security programme, which supports approaches to defence and security which prioritise peace, non-violence and human rights.

Hannah has a background in antimilitarist campaigning. After studying social sciences she has worked with a variety of grassroots peace and social justice groups in the UK and internationally, including current JRCT-grantee War Resisters' International on their programme promoting conscientious objection. She joins the Trust from a local charity supporting destitute asylum seekers in Sheffield, and from coordinating Quaker Voluntary Action. She is a Quaker. 

Sheridan Carr (pictured bottom centre) joins the Trust as a Programme Assistant for the Northern Ireland programme, which supports those whose work to promote peace, human rights and participatory politics contributes to the ongoing transformation of the Northern Ireland conflict. Sheridan has spent many years working in participatory education with a range of grassroots groups and NGO's across London and the UK. They have been particularly focused on intersectionality and inequality. Sheridan's past experiences range from training and facilitation to logistics and event management. They are committed to growing, learning and unlearning and hold those values close.

Zarina Douglas Sori (pictured bottom right) joins us as Grants Officer for the Power and Accountability programme which supports those working for a world in which power is more equally shared and powerful institutions are accountable to wider society.

Zarina studied International Development at university and has worked for charitable organisations in the United Kingdom and overseas in the fields of social justice, poverty alleviation, inclusion and sustainability. 

She worked for Self Help Africa, an Irish development NGO, working with farming communities in West Africa to improve their commercial and subsistence agriculture and with government departments and private sector enterprises to promote a fairer distribution of wealth across agricultural value chains. Zarina has volunteered for numerous small charities since returning to the UK in 2019.

JRCT is an independent Quaker trust which makes grants to organisations and individuals working to produce positive social change through their charitable work.

Our mission is to support people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice.  

Every year JRCT makes more than 100 grants for all kinds of charitable work, from grassroots community groups to well-established charities working to build a peaceful and just world.