Bright Lights Co-Leader
Tom Ana is a campaigner, activist and history of art student at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Before joining New Unity he was a charity worker, farmer, burger-flipper, carpark attendent and children's worker. He has worked with children and young people in several countries and also does very boring adult work in support of LGBTQ rights, anti-racism and decolonising eduction.
He joined the NU children's team as a member of our congregation in 2016 and now spends his Sundays struggling to be the most mature member of our younger children's group.
Ama Josephine Budge is a London-based writer, curator and artist whose work navigates explorations of race, gender, diaspora and feminism. She works as communications officer at New Unity, building on her experience in communications and administration at Creative Islington, and her social justice and events experience.
Ama's work challenges neo-liberal feminisms, working to activate and catalyse movements that emphasize human rights, ecological revolutions and de-gendered identities. Ama was a writer, curator and co-editor-in-Chief for HYSTERIA feminist collective from August 2014 - June 2016. She has worked with Autograph ABP with the Missing Chapter Collective from 2015-17. Ama has also been interviewed by Vice and Dazed Digital, written for The Independent and RoadFemme amongst other subversive publications, and has spoken internationally on climate change and feminism, queer practices of resistance, and black LGBTQI+ resistance.
Ama is currently completing an MA in Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University and is about to complete her thesis on Queer Modes of Encounter with Climate Colonialism and Pleasure as Resistance. She is the co-founder of Black queer performance night The Batty Mama and is currently programming the I/Mages of Tomorrow anti-conference, hosted by the Centre for Feminist Research, Goldsmiths.
Bright Lights Co-Leader
Jasmine Ann Cooray is a poet and therapist from London, of Sri Lankan and mixed European lineage. She aims to use creative tools to cultivate emotional literacy and joyful expression. In 2013 she was Writer in Residence at the National University of Singapore and was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow with Spread the Word in 2015. She comes to New Unity's Bright Lights Programme with a passion for finding fun ways to ask big questions. She also does an excellent line in cakes and hugs.
Finance, Administration & Event Tech Support
Daughter of a chinese wonder-chef, singer-songwriter Sophie Yau is committed to a life of soup and bread to do what she loves. In a former life she was a charming evangelical and theology graduate.
Slight OCD means that she is well suited to the minutiae of financing and administration which is what she does for New Unity and a few other places when she is not music making. A permanent do-gooder, Sophie also volunteers with Citizens UK to co-lead the Hackney Welcomes Refugee Resettlement Team.
Loves mohair jumpers, Michael J Fox and that dog from the Cesar dog food adverts.