It is probably common knowledge in the Lancaster West area that Westway 23 have at last won control of the Board of the Westway Trust. It may also be common knowledge that Toby Laurent Belson of Westway 23 is now chair of that Board. It may not be so widely known that Isis Amlak, also of W23, has been working for the Trust as a consultant for the last couple of years, reinventing the grants application process there in ways that would radically alter the decision making process. This radical new method is called Participatory Grant-Making. There is also a rumour that she may now be in line for the youth portfolio at the Trust. This would presumably include handling grant applications from local youth groups also.


So who exactly is isis Amlak?

She is Trinidadian born and immigrated to the UK aged about eleven. Her adult education consisted of several short courses at K&C College, an access course at Hackney Community College, a law diploma from University College London, then a Masters from Goldsmiths UCL in Black British Writing, and all this before she even got started on her actual career.

She worked as a paralegal for a couple of years, then apparently switched to community activism as an advocate, trainer, coach, facilitator, public speaker, lobbyist, writer and poet. She claims to be a trained supervisor, with first-rate skills demonstrated by her senior operational roles in counselling, health services for minoritised and racialised communities, mental health services, race equality and human rights training, police monitoring and substance misuse services. She goes on to claim that her relationship management skills are evidenced through her successful partnerships with statutory and other funding/investment organisations, donors, senior policy makers, councillors, police, employers and health professionals and that she is a Capacity Building, Cultural Brokerage and Community Development specialist. She claims to have over 25 years’ strategic and operational level leadership experience and to work on a freelance basis as a trainer, arts and culture production manager and radio presenter. In addition to the above she claims to have an accomplished track record as an influential communicator at local, national and international levels and to possess well-honed negotiation and conflict management skills, to be responsive to change, have excellent interpersonal skills and proficiency at setting up and running projects as a successful organiser.

According to Queen Isis she draws inspiration from her activism and engagement with ‘Pan Afrikan’ politics and campaigning against structural injustice over the last 30 years, describing herself as an unapologetic ‘Pan Afrikanist’ who has fought for racial and social justice for decades. She is engaged in the movement for Reparatory Justice for the enslavement of ‘Afrikans’ and the colonisation of the ‘Afrikan’ continent.

If true then all of this suggests that she is one hell of an overachiever – but do bear in mind when digesting this information that it all comes from CV’s that she herself compiled. Needless to say she is well practiced at self promotion and invariably lays it on pretty thick without the slightest trace of modesty in her presentation of her self image. Perhaps there are even signs of egotism in her insistence on spelling Afrika with a ‘K’. I could find little evidence of this spelling in normal usage and for the most part it seems to be confined to the hip-hop scene.

Recently, on 30th April, I paid a visit to her personal Facebook page and was shocked to see a reposted picture featuring a photo of Greta Thunberg (with text superimposed) above one of those notorious pictures showing the exploitation of child labour in the Congo, scraping cobalt ore from holes and pits in the ground for use in the manufacure of batteries for electronic devices like smartphones and electrically powerd vehicles. The Intent of posting this picture was clearly to troll Greta Thunberg and I have no doubt that, in doing so, Isis was motivated by racial prejudice and notions of so-called ‘white privilege’. I have decided not to reproduce the offending graphic on this page but I have reluctantly provided a downloadable copy for anyone curious to see the evidence of my accusation against Isis. I consider this trolling image to be offensive and distasteful in the extreme and would therefore ask anyone who downloads it from this blog not to reproduce it elsewhere.

I posted a comment under the offensive image on Isis Facebook page criticising what I consider to have been her racist trolling of Greta Thunberg. Shortly therafter the offending image appears to have been removed from her page. Strangely the account from which she had reposted it also disappeared in its entirety. Isis, however, had neglected to remove from her page my accompanying comment, as illustrated below:

As stated in my comment on the trolling repost by Isis I had backtracked to the FB account, in the name of Pauline Anne Emmanuel Devitt-Leung, from which she had reposted the picture in question. I found a number of comments posted there which I reproduce here:

Ironically, under pressure from Westway 23, of which Isis is a prominent member, the Westway Trust had commissioned the Tutu Foundation to investigate claims by Westway 23 and others of institutional racism at the Trust. The Tutu report was recently released to Westway 23, the Trust and RBKC. I don’t know if it has yet been published for all to see as I couldn’t find a copy of it online. However it is known that the report had indeed found clear evidence of institutional racism at the Trust – a coup the W23 are still gloating over, and with good reason.

Regardless of whether Isis Amlak had read the disgusting comments accompanying the earlier Devitt-Leung version of the Greta troll, I cannot in good conscience accept or approve of the black-on-white racism that is all too obvious in her repost of the offending image. At the very least she is guilty of appalling judgement and, at worst, of rank black-on-white racism. I can think of no good reason to believe it was the former rather than the latter in this case and I would add that in my view this perverse and disgusting behaviour demonstrates that Amlak is unfit for the position she currently holds at the Westway Trust. I would also feel obliged to question her fitness for any of the many other positions she has held over the years in whatever legal, charity or other public body.

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