My name is Matt Jacobs. I have 25 years’ experience in working in social justice and equity in some form. I began my career undertaking youth work and project management, initially with young offenders and subsequently with marginalised young people in Bristol’s outer lying estates. This was followed by 6 years managing multi-million pound regeneration funding programmes for Bristol City Council that worked to address the range of exclusions and discriminations experienced by those living in the city’s most disadvantaged communities. In 2008 I left Bristol City Council to become the Strategic Manager for the Community Engagement Department at a secondary school serving highly diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged communities in inner-city Bristol.
In 2013, I established Wide Open Voice Ltd as a company providing specialist inclusion and inclusive leadership consultancy services alongside management consultancy work for VCSE organisations. Through Wide Open Voices, whilst undertaking an MSc and then a PhD over the last 8 years, I have worked consistently with Black South West Network undertaking organisational development, strategy development, business planning, and fundraising.
My inclusion consultancy work has involved –
- Delivering lectures and workshops to PGCE students at the University of Bristol, UWE, and Bath Spa University on teaching and learning in diverse areas of socio-economic disadvantage
- Delivering talks for the University of Bristol on Whiteness as part of Black History Month, and to Heads of Professional Services and the University Management Team.
- Delivering a talk on Privilege as part of the University of Bristol’s ED&I conference in November 2019
- Delivering sessions to staff on Whiteness and Privilegeas part of the University’s ongoing Disrupting Racism programme.
- Through my research specialism and my prior work experience, I was invited to work with the ED&I team as part of the B.A.M.E Staff Advisory Group between 2018 and 2019.
- Delivering whole staff team talks on Whiteness, privilege, and inclusion for Blood Cancer UK,
- Delivering a piece of inclusive leadership development for the Board at Blood Cancer UK.
- Delivering a talk on Whiteness and Privilege for Barnardos South West as part of their 2021 EDI Day for staff.
My academic history includes a first-class BA (Hons) in Business Administration, an MSc with Distinction in Ethnicity and Multiculturalism, and a Sociology PhD. My thesis asks – How do White, middle-class men respond to challenges to their privilege instigated by global campaigns such as Black Lives Matter and #MeToo? – and in answering this question, I identify the verbal strategies they deploy to present their identities as socially acceptable whilst not requiring them to give up their privileges or change their behaviours.