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About

Meet the Founder, Director & Class Leader

Hi I’m Kate, I am a mother of two toddlers, I am white British which shapes my experience in the world and I believe that we all have a responsibility in creating a fairer and safer world for everyone.

After studying a degree in Global Development at SOAS University in London, I held management positions in the travel industry which allowed to me work and travel in over 120 countries. This helped open my eyes to what countries and cultures are actually like beyond the media stereotypes in Britain.

I set-up Tiny Travels in 2022 to help children in rural areas gain an understanding and appreciation of cultures within the UK and around the world to help combat racism. Since starting up, our cultural learning experiences have helped thousands of children and their families and teachers across the South West learn about cultures of the world beyond stereotypes.

 

I am a graduate of Nova Reid’s internationally recognised “Becoming Anti-Racist with Nova Reid” course. I have received one on one trainings with both local and globally recognised anti-racism trainers such as Nikki Blak, Louisa Adjoa Parker and Maia Thomas. I have undertaken courses and trainings from anti-racism organisations such as Everyday Racism, Interrupting Racism, Black History Studies, Cargo, Active Bystander Training with Britain’s East and South East Asian Network, DARPL and The Black Nursery Manager. I use the “own voices” ethos and get my information about cultural identity and history from people of Black, Asian, Indigenous, Mixed, Jewish, Roma & Traveller heritage who use intersectional approaches.

I am an advocate for social change and have led successful campaigns such as getting the popular book, The Colour Monster republished, helping local shops remove products containing racist stereotypes, campaigning for the upgrade of local signs to not whitewash Devon’s historical connections to slavery and colonisation. As well as constantly learning myself and putting my values into consistent action, I also help local parents and educators gain confidence and feel empowered to make changes in their own families and work places. I have a popular Instagram page where I share resources that educational leaders around the country say they use in senior leadership meetings to help guide their practice. 

For radio or press interviews, workshops for conferences, podcast guest speaking, interviews for research projects on racism, consultation and information on booking our Cultural Education and Anti-Racism sessions, please send an enquiry on the Contact page.

The Story Behind Tiny Travels

The seeds of my Tiny Travels journey were planted when I was in Year 8 in the early 2000s. In my large predominantly white secondary school in Devon, I had a teacher from Ghana and it was the first and only time in my life including at university that I was taught by someone who was not white. This experience of having a teacher from a racial and cultural identity different to mine, profoundly shaped me. 

My teacher helped me learn about his country through his eyes, not through a white European perspective. He helped open my eyes to seeing beyond the stereotypes of Africa. He opened my eyes to issues of the wider world outside of Devon. As a 12 year old witnessing his experience as a Black teacher in Devon, this opened my eyes to racism in Britain and the need to address social issues and equality.

If I had another teacher that year, my life would be very different today.

My main source of inspiration to travel and learn about different cultures outside of Europe was sparked by a Ghanaian teacher I had when I was 12 years old.

Because of his huge influence, I studied Global Development with a focus on West Africa at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. I travelled extensively and spent a lot of time in Ghana and throughout different countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia. After I met my husband, we decided to relocate back to Devon to start a family. 

Moving back to Devon and becoming a parent were big life changes. My life changed from adventuring around the world to being knee deep in nappies. Travelling was no longer possible but I wanted to expose my children to different cultures through resources like books and toys but I quickly began to notice subtle racial stereotypes in many children’s resources, especially perpetuating stereotypes of Africa. I started seeing stereotypes in popular children’s books of Africa used widely in schools. I saw stereotypes in children’s maps just showing mud huts in Africa where there were skyscrapers shown everywhere else. I attended baby and toddler sensory classes where a common theme was “African” week, which reinforced harmful stereotypes. I was shocked that the same racist stereotypes I learnt as a child several decades prior, are the same stereotypes children of today’s generation are learning and thus will go onto reproduce.

I also began speaking with many other white parents who had also decided to move to Devon to raise a family and were concerned by the lack of diversity. I set-up Tiny Travels after these conversations to help children gain an appreciation of cultures different to their own. I began hearing from people from ethnically diverse backgrounds living in Devon and hearing their stories. This led me to learn more about race and racism with a focus on anti-Blackness and white supremacy and how it shapes our society.

My main source of inspiration to travel and learn about different cultures outside of Europe was sparked by a Ghanaian teacher I had when I was 12 years old.

After moving back to Devon and starting up Tiny Travels, my old teacher and I saw each other at a Devon anti-racism event in October 2022 and have since reconnected, we hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years!

Whilst humans have always had bias; racism, as a system based racial hierarchies, is specifically a white peoples invention so if white people care about equality, it is our responsibility to do something about it. The world doesn’t change on good thoughts just by thinking we are caring, kind, not racist and thinking that we treat everyone equally. The world changes through continuous collective action.

I envision a world that is of a fully equal society where all children can feel free and safe to live in their authentic self-expression and full humanity.

There’s a lot of work to be done and we’re all on a journey but I would not be doing this if I didn’t have faith and hope that one day, long after I’m gone, a world without racism is possible. I hope to bring others along this journey to listen to people from the Global Majority, take action and help co-create future where all people are safe, equal and free.

“you have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time” Angela Davis

Tiny Travels - Cultural Learning Through Play

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