The centre is powered by multi-sited relationships with academic centres and feminist networks. At SOAS, FCRJ is powered by a small team consisting of Dr. Awino Okech who is the founding Director, a project officer, a post-doctoral fellow and a management committee.

photograph of Awino Okech

Awino Okech

Awino Okech is Professor of Feminist and Security Studies at SOAS, University of London and founding Director of FCRJ. Professor Okech received her PhD (2012) in Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Awino’s work is grounded in African feminist, queer, and Black internationalist thought as central frameworks for thinking about power and justice. Across her work is an exploration of racial justice and Black solidarity that focusses on the majority world and Africa to reimagine Pan African and Internationalist strategies for anti-racist, feminist, and queer liberation. Awino is a member of the Human Sciences Research Council editorial board, the Board of Trustees of SOAS University of London, chair of the Just Associates Board and adjunct faculty with the African Leadership Centre at King’s College, London.

photograph of Lydia Hiraide

Lydia Hiraide

Lydia Ayame Hiraide’s research thinks about ecological and Black feminist movement building. Her doctoral research on intersectionality and British environmentalism at Goldsmiths, University of London received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Lydia Ayame was previously a Teaching Fellow in the Politics department at SOAS and Associate Lecturer in the Politics department at Goldsmiths, University of London.

She also has a background in literature, the performing arts, and organising around climate and environmental issues in London. She holds an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, where she was a recipient of the Ian Gregor Scholarship – and was previously a student at SOAS, Sciences Po Paris, and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.

Lydia joins the Feminist Centre as its first post doctoral fellow supporting the centre's research projects and building her research portfolio.

Management Committee

The Management Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the director to support strategic planning and operations of the Centre.

Advisory Collective

The collective provides intellectual and institutional guidance for the Centre’s work.

photograph of Solome Lemma

Solome Lemma

The principles of self-determination, feminisms, collectivism, and solidarity underpin Solome’s work and leadership in social change. She currently serves as Executive Director of Thousand Currents, a public foundation that partners with movements advancing food sovereignty, climate justice, and economic justice. In the past, Solome has focused on diaspora philanthropy, narrative change, human rights, displacement, and gender. Her work and writing have been featured in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Inside Philanthropy, and she has appeared on NPR, BBC, and Al Jazeera.

photograph of Shalini Eddens

Shalini Eddens

Shalini Eddens has an extensive background in women’s health and rights, with over 20 years of leadership experience in the grassroots public health sector providing direct services, training, education and advocacy for women living with and affected by HIV. Previously, Shalini served as a Program Officer for the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C. where she oversaw a portfolio focused on advocacy and reproductive health. Shalini has spent most of her career working with HIV/AIDS civil society organisations domestically including; Project Inform, where she developed a curriculum for faith-based leaders on HIV Science and Treatment and Women Organised to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, she developed a national peer education and training program for women living with HIV that was replicated in domestically and globally. Shalini has expertise in training and capacity building, program monitoring and evaluation, and curriculum design. She has worked with women’s organisations globally in India, South Africa, and Mozambique to provide technical assistance on women-centred HIV/AIDS programming. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in African American studies from the University of California Davis and an M.P.H. from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

photograph of Shereen Essof

Shereen Essof

Shereen Essof is a Zimbabwean feminist, popular educator and organiser. Shereen’s work is grounded in her engagement with womxn in social movements, community-based organisations and cultural collectives. She strives to understand power inherent in the interlocking nature of oppressive systems and from that understanding, to imagine, organise and build towards liberated futures. Shereen is committed to amplifying the voice, visibility and organising power of womxn through decolonizing knowledge production and acknowledging the catalytic possibilities of popular culture as a vehicle for change. Shereen currently serves as Executive Director of Just Associates (JASS), a global feminist movement strengthening organization that equips and strengthens the leadership and organizing capacity of women leaders and their organizations in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa.

photograph of Dzodzi Tsikata

Dzodzi Tsikata

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photograph of Dr. Hannah Bargawi

Hannah Bargawi

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photograph of Shuvai Nyoni

Shuvai Nyoni

Shuvai Busuman Nyoni is the Executive Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), Nairobi, Kenya. She is also a Gender, Peace and Security researcher and practitioner. The ALC is a research and training institution that focuses on raising next generation African leaders, thinkers and practitioners within the peace, security and development sector. The ALC seeks to contribute to Africa’s long term social and economic security and development terrain by training and mentoring the next generation of young African leaders as well as through rigorous research and knowledge generation. Prior to joining the Centre, Shuvai worked as the Director of Interventions and before that Regional Advocacy Specialist for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Johannesburg South Africa. She has worked extensively with a range of regional and national policy makers, civil society actors and academics in post-conflict and transitional countries on the African continent. Through her work Shuvai has engaged on post-conflict reconstruction, governance, social and economic justice, transitional justice, reconciliation, and national and community healing. Shuvai has also served as a gender advisor and investigator for sexual and gender based violence as crimes in conflict in several Commissions of Inquiry including the Obasanjo led African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. Shuvai currently represents the ALC on the Steering Committee of the African Union’s Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation – FemWise-Africa. She is also a member of the United Nations Trust Fund on Human Security Advisory Board. Shuvai is an alumna of the ALC’s Peace, Security and Development Fellowships for African Women and is currently pursuing a PhD in Leadership and Security Studies at the University of Pretoria.