Vandu Languages and DRI’s Annual Conference Speakers

  • 04/03/2019
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Vandu Languages and DRI’s Annual Conference Speakers

Have you secured your spot at our Annual Conference yet? Scheduled for the 6th of March, 2024, the event will encourage discussions about the current landscape of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). 

The eagerly anticipated moment has arrived for the grand unveiling of the distinguished guest speakers highlighted in our previous articles. They are set to contribute insightful presentations during our Annual Conference, around the theme 'EDI – A Tick-box Exercise? Embedding Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion to Transform Organisational Culture.'

Let's extend a warm welcome and applause to this esteemed group of local experts in EDI.


Professor David Ruebain

Our keynote speaker, Professor David Ruebain, is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion at Sussex University. Additionally, he serves as a consultant to the Premier League on equality issues. 

In October 2022 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Law in recognition of outstanding contributions to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, and his dedicated efforts in advancing human rights for disabled individuals.

At our Annual Conference, Professor David will discuss the topic ‘Can the Law Deliver Inclusion?’, covering the evolution of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the UK, the role of advocates for EDI in legal and social frameworks, the opportunities and shortcomings in current law, and proposed strategies for improvement.

David Christie-Davies and Matt Vincent

David and Matt are professionals in the field of social work, holding key roles at West Sussex County Council's Children's Asylum Team.

Matt, the Practice Manager at West Sussex County Council's Children's Asylum Team, has demonstrated excellence in various facets of social work. His proficiency spans Child Protection, Children in Care, Adolescents, and Fostering. 

Additionally, David, an Advanced Social Worker and key member of the Children’s Asylum Team, brings with him over 25 years of experience, focusing on the welfare of children from diverse backgrounds, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors, children from abroad and trafficked children.

David and Matt will jointly lead a conversational presentation focused on Working with Unaccompanied Minors. This session aims to provide the audience with a profound understanding of their experiences while navigating the complexities of their roles, the importance of EDI in this context and working closely with foster carers and providers through Independent Migrant Services.

Razia Aziz

Razia, the Founder and Co-director of the Equality Academy, has been a dedicated independent consultant in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and leadership space since 1996. Her expertise extends to serving individuals, groups, and teams at all levels of organisations, ranging from small community groups to multinational corporations.

At our Annual Conference, Razia will deliver a thought-provoking presentation about why we need to revolutionise our understanding of ‘inclusive leadership’ and ‘EDI’ in light of significant systemic and global transformations impacting every facet of our lives. She will underscore the challenges this presents for both organisations and communities, urging us to adapt to these shifts proactively.

Tanya Brown-Griffith 

Tanya holds the position of Director of Population Health and Inequalities, Personalised Care, Race Equality, and Prevention Programmes at Sussex Health and Care Partnership. She is skilled in whole system design and strategic transformation aimed at delivering improved population health outcomes and reducing health inequalities.

Her presentation at our Annual Conference will focus on the NHS's role in embedding EDI within its workforce and service delivery. She will cover local processes, highlight best practices observed across Sussex, address challenges encountered, and propose strategies for aligning EDI efforts to effectively tackle inequalities.

Kevin Richmond

Kevin serves as the founding Chief Executive of Sussex Community Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to raising funds from local individuals and providing grants to charities and community groups across Sussex. Under his leadership, Sussex Community Foundation has become one of the ten largest and fastest-growing community foundations in the UK.

In addition to our guest speakers, we are honoured to have Kevin as the Conference Chair for the evening. As the leader of one of the largest community-focused organisations in the local area, Kevin is deeply committed to fostering a supportive culture and creating initiatives aimed at strengthening other community organisations. His dedication and leadership make him an excellent addition to our conference team.

Lela Kogbara

Lela was a senior leader in the public sector for 25 years, and she is the Co-Director of Place Matters. She has also worked with NHS England and the Department for Education, focusing on enhancing employment prospects and improving access to apprenticeships for individuals with learning and other disabilities.

Lela will serve as the closing speaker at our Annual Conference. With her extensive expertise in the EDI field and her significant experience in healthcare and education, she is uniquely positioned to synthesise the insights shared by our other speakers and the audience throughout the conference. Her comprehensive understanding of these industries will enrich the concluding remarks, leaving attendees with valuable takeaways and actionable strategies.

Ready to Attend our Annual Conference?

Join us on the 6th of March 2024 at Lewes Town Hall for a community-focused event that is free and open to the public.

We aspire to bring together leaders from the public and voluntary sectors around Sussex, representatives from local councils and the NHS, HR professionals from local private sector businesses, academic institutions, EDI leaders, and, of course, our valued linguists, customers, volunteers, and community members.

Attendees will acquire a profound understanding of the challenges encountered by communities due to existing EDI practices. Armed with this insight, they will possess the capability to critically evaluate ineffective strategies and develop innovative approaches to enhance the prospects of their teams and the communities they serve.

Running from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm, the event's agenda includes scheduled presentations from all the speakers above, an open forum for questions, networking opportunities, and a delightful buffet.

While entries are free, participants must confirm their attendance through Eventbrite

Feel free to extend this invitation to your network, and share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below. Don't miss out—see you there!

For any enquiries, please contact us at

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