Spotlight On Our Founders: Natasha Blank

 

Natasha
Natasha Blank

 

Who are you and what do you do for a living?
Hello, I’m Natasha. I’m a marketing professional and freelance writer covering cultural and religious identity, politics, disability and interfaith dialogue.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, when you’re not busy being a social activist?
I really enjoy cooking, crotchet, playing guitar (badly but enthusiastically), yoga, and lying on the sofa in my mermaid blanket and reading my kindle 🙂

What do you think we need more of in Britain?
I think we need more social cohesion and understanding. One of the saddest things from the incidents reported in our Facebook group, is when those who do offend with their actions and behaviours, are completely unwilling to understand why and how they have impacted another person, rather, they berate the victim and try to dismantle their right to be offended in the first place. We need more education in this area. We need more support on a regional and community level to get to work in our local areas and start to debunk some of the bitter tensions that are dividing us, the same bitter tensions that prevent us from treating one another with basic human decency. Otherwise, I fear, we’re just reaching an impasse and there really is nowhere productive to go from there.

What do you think we need more of globally?
Personally, I think we need to make a serious commitment to sustainable energy and a movement away from fossil fuels. We need to respect one another and the planet we share together. In terms of politically, I think we need to stop blaming religion and nationality and start realising that what we are fighting is hate. Radicalisation and extremism exist in every society and people have been hiding behind both religious and political ideologies to commit atrocities since the beginning of civilisation. We need to focus on eradicating hate and hateful behaviour and to stop blaming each other. More Tea Less Hate, I say.

What’s your favourite dessert?
Make me a deep chocolate torte with black forest fruit compote and a splash of cream and I’m yours forever.

You are holding a dinner party, you can invite 5 people, fictional or non-fictional and from any period in history. Who’s coming to dinner and why?

  1. J K Rowling because I respect her commitment to charity and the way she speaks out against injustice.
  2. Iago from Othello. He destroyed everyone’s lives around him and gave no earthly reason why. Basically, he was sociopath in pantaloons and I find him utterly fascinating.
  3. Justin Trudeau because he always reminds me that we can do better.
  4. Metella from the Cambridge Latin books because I think she could do with a day out, don’t you? Also, as a woman in ancient Rome, she had a successful husband, a nice house and servants, but no real legal rights or privileges of her own. I’d love to hear her story.
  5. Ellen Ripley because she’ll keep the dastardly Iago in check. Also, she can kick a** should any aliens invade and try to ruin our evening.

What is your favourite thing about being involved with the Worrying Signs project?
Since this whirlwind began and we formed the group, one of my favourite things has been witnessing the kindness and goodness of strangers, up close. The way in which our community rallies around one another really gives me hope. Our More Tea Less Hate campaign in August was particularly moving, we saw people from all over the country stand together and celebrate Britain’s diversity in the face of all this senseless fear and violence. It was incredibly humbling to see one small idea blossom into such a bold display of love and acceptance all over Britain and Europe.
Being able to see this side of people, and our collective capacity for compassion and kindness, makes it all worthwhile. There is so much good in the world, our group members show us that every day. I hope we can all keep coming together, supporting one another, and standing up to hate wherever we find it.