Congratulations are in order to Phyll Opoku-Gyimah who has been appointed as the new executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, the leading UK charity advocating for the human rights of LGBTQ people globally effective 5 August 2019. She replaces outgoing executive director Paul Dillane. Established in 2011, Kaleidoscope Trust strives for a free and equal world for LGBTQ people everywhere. The charity influences British and international institutions and partners to support LGBTQ activists to bring about legislative and social change in countries where LGBTQ people do not have equal rights and experience multiple forms of discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
Widely known as Lady Phyll – partly due to her decision to reject an MBE to protest Britain’s role in formulating anti-LGBTQ penal codes across its empire – she joins Kaleidoscope Trust from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) trade union, where she has spent a decade advocating for the rights of workers within the union, including as a negotiator on behalf of Civil Service workers and as the Head of Equality and Learning. A community builder and organiser, with strong ties to emergent LGBTQ movements around the world, Opoku-Gyimah is also the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent.
Talking about her new position, Phyll says “With more than 20 years of experience as an LGBTQ rights activist and anti-racism campaigner, I’m thrilled to embark on the next chapter of my professional life with Kaleidoscope Trust. The charity’s work continues to be an important and necessary intervention across the Commonwealth and my on-the-ground work in the region has provided immeasurably valuable insight, not only into the lives of the LGBTQ civil society and their particular hurdles but into the shared structures that continue to stifle liberation for people across the global south. I’m excited to work alongside an incredibly impassioned team to translate Kaleidoscope Trust’s mission, vision and strategy into measurable and lasting action. From helping build the UK Black Pride movement to fighting for the rights of Civil Service workers, I’m passionate about collaborative approaches to our collective hurdles. I hope to bring fresh eyes and a renewed outlook to Kaleidoscope Trust, and I’m particularly excited to hear from and work with the wider community of human rights activists across the world, whose insight will help shape how Kaleidoscope can continue to meaningfully support their work.”
Sir Stephen Wall, Chair of the Board at Kaleidoscope Trust is super happy and excited to have Phyll on the team saying “From her work advocating for the rights of workers to leading one of the most impressive and effective pride organisations in the world, Lady Phyll has demonstrated that she has the personal qualities and professional skills to ensure our increased impact across the Commonwealth. She brings to Kaleidoscope Trust a perspective, passion and set of skills that an organisation like ours needs to help address and redress the oppressive colonial legacies from which many across the Commonwealth are trying to break free.”
Congratulations, we wish you all the best!