Meet the... Chair & Vice-Chair

Find out more about the newly elected Chair and Vice-Chair of the Young Fabians 2020/21.

Mark Whittaker, Chair

I’m delighted to have been re-elected to the Young Fabians Exec for another year, and so honoured to have been elected as Chair.

As you’ll read over the next few days, this year’s Exec are an amazing group. They have big ideas, and a shared commitment to making the Young Fabians even better for our members. I’m very proud to be working with them.

As a left-wing internationalist, I was angered by the cynicism and callousness of right-wing governments throughout the 2010s. I decided to join the effort to build an alternative. I became a Labour activist, a trade unionist, and a Young Fabian.

I joined the Young Fabians because I was inspired by the promise of a non-factional space dedicated to fresh thinking for the future of the left. A space where young people can build their networks, develop their ideas and skills, and run projects that excite them.

I’ve loved being involved, and tried to make the most of the opportunities YF gives: from running a policy network, to co-producing the Ways to Save the World and Local Government Under Fire pamphlets, to representing the Young Fabians at the Young European Socialists’ Green New Deal forum in January 2020.

Now, as Chair, my job is to make sure that the Young Fabians lives up to its promise for a new generation.

When running for re-election, I pledged to build a respectful and open culture, empower our members, and help them to make an impact with their ideas. That’s what I’ll focus on, by:

  • Supporting the other members of the Exec.
  • Providing a voice for our members on our Exec and the Fabian Society’s Exec.
  • Making sure we provide new opportunities to get involved – including a Young Fabians Academy event series for political education and exchanging skills.

If you’d like to get in touch, you email me at mark.whittaker@youngfabians.org.uk, and find me on Twitter at  @MarkWhittaker10. Thanks, and I hope to chat with you at an event very soon!

 

Cecilia Eve, Vice-Chair

Hello all, I’m Cecilia, and honoured to be your new Vice-Chair. To give some context: what do I do? I am a Senior Policy Manager working in Government, a Public Speaking Coach for a network I founded, and previously headed up international NGO outreach programmes, leading teams in places like the Amazon Jungle and Thailand. Interests outside of work? I’m a keen traveller and sportswoman; brown belt in karate, compete in dodgeball and ski, surf, ride, skydive and dive as well as a few others! I also write political articles, recently for Global Politics Magazine, the Oxford Political Review, Policy Network and our very own Blog and Antics Magazine. 

YF Involvement?: I’m the outgoing Events Officer for the Environment Network, Vice-Chair of course and a current Committee member for the Fabian International Policy Group. I chaired c.15 events with various MPs this year, coordinated submissions to the National Policy Forum, and edited and wrote for our Environment Pamphlet & Artificial Intelligence Tech Pamphlet.

What am I focusing on this year?

  1. Championing Women: The award-winning playwright Eve Ensler once said that the definition of an activist is ‘someone who can’t help but fight for something’. I am passionately feminist, and have been a longstanding campaigner for women’s rights. So, I had the idea of launching a pamphlet - The Gendered Impact of the Pandemic; Rebuilding The World For Womxn - on the issues we face in the 21st Century, how the pandemic has exacerbated them and making data-backed policy recommendations to mitigate them. I will be doing this with our fantastic Women’s Officer Nicki, and hopefully in collaboration with the Fabian Women’s Network! So if you’d like to write for it, please get in touch. 
  2. Going Global: I am taking over the international brief this year, getting more involved with Young European Socialists, the Foundation for European Progressives and hopefully running a series of collaborative events with international organisations & think tanks across the globe. 
  3. Climate Change and Animals: I have close links with a range of climate change organisations, and will always support anything promoting a green, sustainable agenda as well as campaigning for a full hunting and fur ban, plus stronger animal welfare protections.

To everyone in YF: I look forward to an amazing year with you. Chat to me if you’d like to write for the Pamphlet (!), if you have any ideas for events/speakers for any of the above and if you need help with getting MPs in - chances are I might know someone who could assist. Please also see me as someone you can contact if you are feeling overwhelmed, need some support or just want a friendly ear. :)

Contact me on:

 

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