Lord Simon Woolley is an author, crossbench peer, Principal of Homerton College, and one of the UK’s most high-profile campaigners for social justice.
In 1996, he founded Operation Black Vote, which works with ethnic minorities to increase understanding of civic society, participation in Parliament and public life. This has enjoyed resounding success, with the number of MPs from black and minority ethnic backgrounds rising from 4 to 65 over the past two decades.
He has also served as Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, and in 2018 was appointed to create and lead the UK Government’s pioneering Race Disparity Unit. The Unit collects, analyses and publishes data on how crime, education and health are affected by ethnicity.
Repeatedly recognised in the Black Powerlist, Lord Woolley is dedicated to promoting opportunity for underrepresented communities and individuals, and to building consensus across political and community lines.
Lord Simon Woolley is Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge – and he has got there through a highly unusual route.
Fostered and then adopted as a child, he grew up on a Leicester council estate and left school without any A levels. But he eventually returned to academia, and went on to become a campaigner, author and crossbench peer – sparking his passionate belief in, and dedication to, educational access for all, and the importance of recognising potential.
Joining us as a keynote speaker at Brighton Summit, Simon will talk about his life – the challenges he’s encountered, and the skills and passions he’s developed along the way.