Louise Russell-Prywata.jpg

Louise Russell-Prywata

Living in: Gillingham, UK
Nationality: British

 
 

Louise is a charity and NGO professional, whose experience encompasses campaign and organisation development, community engagement and fundraising. She has worked within local, national and international organisations challenging inequality.

Louise is currently Head of Development at Transparency International UK, having joined the organisation in 2014. Louise works closely with the organisation’s research, policy, advocacy and communications teams to develop and fundraise for campaigns and projects that challenge a variety of anti-corruption issues. Louise was instrumental to the development and realisation of Transparency International UK’s Corrupt Capital campaign. This campaign aims to reduce the role of the UK as a safe haven for international corruption. It successfully developed and advocated for new legal powers to deal with corrupt wealth hidden the UK, which became UK law in 2017, and secured widespread media coverage of corrupt money in the London property market.

Louise’s career began through community action in her local area of South East London. Louise managed outreach and training projects providing English language and general life-skills training to local people through Eclectic Productions, a social enterprise using media to empower people to make their voices heard. Together with the company Directors and a small group of committed volunteers, Louise co-founded Reprezent Radio, a community project enabling young Londoners speak out to challenge inequalities, and debate directly with decision makers.

During Louise’s time, the project empowered hundreds of young people across South East London.  She set up numerous radio interviews and debates between young people and decision makers on issues that affected their lives, including discrimination in police stop and search, lack of educational opportunities, and mental health.

Louise led the successful application to secure Reprezent Radio’s licence to broadcast on FM, which significantly expanded the project’s reach from its online audience. Reprezent FM became the only UK radio station entirely programmed by young people. Louise and the team collaborated with mainstream media to further amplify young people’s voices, including BBC Radio 1Xtra, ITV News, and a live discussion about gang and knife crime in Peckham between Harriet Harman MP and young people who had been close to these activities, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

As Reprezent FM grew in popularity, Louise spent more time fundraising to expand its work, before going on to spend two years as a professional fundraiser at CLIC Sargent, a charity helping young people across the UK overcome social, emotional and economic challenges of cancer.

Louise is on the Trustee Board of Economy, a charity using media and campaigns to make economics understandable and increase public engagement with economic issues. The charity was established by Rethinking Economics, an international movement of students, academics and professionals promoting pluralism and critical thinking in economics.

Louise holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising, the professional membership body for charity and NGO fundraisers in the UK.

 

Personal Statement

My interests in social and economic equity are broad, encompassing large-scale transfers of wealth from the public to private individuals – for example through corruption and tax (in)justice issues; processes through which wealth is retained in the private sphere – including global financial secrecy and the use of corporate networks; and the role of private wealth in efforts to tackle inequalities.

I am interested in how economic systems can become more equitable, and specifically in how greater public participation in economic debates can facilitate greater economic equity. In order for genuine democratic engagement, I believe that better public understanding is needed; education and changing the narrative within mainstream media have key roles to play.

My background in fundraising has led me to become interested in the role of philanthropy in tackling inequalities – both globally and within the UK. It has contributed to me viewing philanthropy as an active influence on charities and policies, and within societies. I am particularly interested in how questions of transparency and public accountability interact with philanthropy and affect its ability to tackle inequalities.

I ultimately care about people’s lived experiences of inequalities, and this has informed my career to date. From working with local communities in inner city London, I know how different inequality issues can interact and compound the impact experienced by people. My thinking and motivation for creating change is informed by this and framed in terms of empowering all citizens to be part of, and benefit from, improving economic and social equity.

I applied to the Atlantic Fellowship in order to learn from and share experiences with others engaged in challenging inequalities around the globe, and to underpin my professional skills with relevant academic knowledge. I am enthused and honoured to be part of this important, collaborative opportunity to advance social and economic equity, and look forward to further developing my thinking and future work through the Fellowship.

My long term ambition is to lead a campaigning organisation that challenges inequalities. Following the MSc course I aim to further develop my understanding of campaigning approaches, deepening my understanding of ‘what works’ in different contexts, and the organisational skills and resources needed to achieve success. My main motivation is to continue making change happen in practice. I hope to achieve this by working within both international and national organisations challenging inequalities, and am keen to tackle a variety of inequality issues throughout my career.

 

Louise will be undertaking the fellowship on a part-time basis, over 24-months.