In association with Citroën

The Big Issue Changemakers of 2023: Education

These inspirational changemakers are using the power of learning to help others find their place in the world

Changemakers: Girls into Coding

Girls Into Coding want to help girls to develop tech skills, a sector where diversity is a problem

Association from Citroën

These are The Big Issue Changemakers for 2023 who are dedicating their time to creating a fair, equal and progressive education system.

Find the rest of the series on the links below and pick up the magazine from your local Big Issue vendor.

Ayve Couloute, Girls Into Coding

Couloute started coding and attending computing workshops at the age of seven. Now 15, her passion and talent for coding and tech is still thriving. In 2018 she founded Girls Into Coding, providing free workshops and learning opportunities for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 on topics like coding and robotics. Each year her organisation aims to get 1,000 girls involved, and 2023 is looking to be the most exciting year yet. “You are never too young for your ideas to have value,” Ayve said. “I want all girls to feel empowered to access opportunities to learn how to code and develop their digital skills regardless of where they come from.”   

Stuart Lawrence

It’s 30 years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence, a Black British teenager from London whose death shook the nation. Since his killing, his family have kept his memory and legacy alive through their continuous campaigning for racial justice and equity. Stuart is the younger brother of Stephen – he is a former teacher with a career spanning 15 years. In recent years he has written a book, Silence is Not an Option, as a guide for younger people to recognise their agency and power to create change in this world. In it, he draws upon personal experience, his campaigning and his work with young people to create a guide to inspire the next generation. 

Onyinye Udokporo

Changemakers 2023 Education. Onyinye Udokporo

In the UK one in 10 people are thought to have dyslexia. Onyinye Udokporo is one of them, and in her 2022 book Dyslexia and Me she shared her story of growing up in a world where narratives around neurodivergence prioritise the experiences of white men. “[Dyslexia is] something to be proud of,” writes Udokporo. “Dyslexia can be found in people of every colour, creed or circumstance.” Udokporo’s story is one of survival. In her book she offers tips for overcoming difficulties, and wants to inspire confidence in readers who might be going through the same. 

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Decolonising Economics

Created by Guppi Bola, a senior consultant strategist, and Nonhlanhla Makuyana, an artist and educator, Decolonising Economics is exposing the ways our financial systems uphold racial power systems and withhold reparations. The group is combining research with workshops for handing the financial power back to Black and marginalised communities. Coming in 2023 is the book Nourishing Economics, which argues for oral histories from Black people and people of colour to be recognised as part of the UK’s economic history.  

Greg Foxsmith and Matt Tiller, Jack Leslie campaign for recognition

Greg Foxsmith and Matt Tiller Jack Leslie campaign for recognition.
Former players Dwight Marshall and Ronnie Mauge attended the unveiling. Photo: MATTHEW ELLACOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Jack Leslie was an English footballer who played for Plymouth Argyle from 1921 until his retirement in 1934. He was set to become the first non-white player to represent England at international level in 1925 – but had this opportunity snatched from him solely on the basis of his race. The exclusion of Leslie from the sport was a grave injustice that Greg Foxsmith and Matt Tiller set out to put right. They set up the Jack Leslie campaign to raise money for a statue of Jack Leslie in Plymouth – and to share his legacy. They were successful on all counts and in 2022, a statue of Leslie was unveiled standing outside Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park stadium, restoring his rightful place in the club’s history. 

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.

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