Summat 2016: event in Leeds

Get connected, share skills, and join in action for change! You are invited to a day of guest speakers, workshops, children's activities and lots more in between. By Laura McFarlane-Shopes and Alex Webster

April 16, 2016 · 4 min read

Leeds for Change, in collaboration with the Economic justice Project and SenjaNet invite you to Summat 2016, 23 April 9am – 6pm at the University of Leeds.

With 25 different workshops, covering issues from the Rojava revolution to flooding in West Yorkshire, plus workshops focused on sharing skills and experience, there really is something for everyone. We will also be creating a Summat choir which will perform at the end of the day, have masses of kids activities, a marketplace with almost 40 stalls and much more.

Key speakers include:

Dan Glass – award-winning activist, academic, performer and writer who was named as one of Attitude Magazine’s campaigning role models for LGBTQI youth + a Guardian ‘UK youth climate leader’.

Sheila Menon – filmmaker, environmental campaigner and one of the Heathrow 13 climate activists with Plane Stupid.


Aderonke Apata – human rights activist, feminist and LGBT equality advocate. Winner of Positive Role Model for LGBT National Diversity Award 2014.

Andy Greene – national steering group for Disabled People Against the Cuts and has been part of many campaigns for disability support and against welfare reform.

Jess Bradley – long-term campaigner with Action for Trans Health.

This year Summat has also expanded because it just can’t fit in one day.. Not only is there the main event on Saturday 23 April, but everything kicks off on Tuesday 19 with one of the first UK screenings of ‘The Divide’. Inspired by ‘The Spirit Level’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, this documentary tells the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in modern day US and UK:

We’re also excited to announce that the screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the the film’s director, and living wage campaigner and Leeds Citizens organiser, Tom Chigbo.

The Summat is also followed up the next day by ‘Summat More’, a free day workshop on creative direct action training with the excellent Beautiful Trouble trainer, Dan Glass.

Because we just can’t collaborate enough, this event is twinned with Resistance Rising – a War on Want event taking place on the same day in London.

This is the fourth Summat in Leeds and we’re delighted that 2700 people have been to one of the events in the past five years. Our aim is to offer opportunities for movements to come together and recognise their commonalities as well as reach out to potential new supporters and activists. By offering a space in which groups can exchanging skills and experiences we also hope to strengthen the overall movement for positive social change.

Here’s what one of the workshop facilitators from the last Summat said:

“A woman came to talk to me after our workshop and we are now working together on how Bedford Fields forest garden initiative can engage with the asylum seeker and refugee community to learn about nutrition, gardening and well-being. Lots of other good connections were made, we’ve got over 30 new people signed up and we’ve got new volunteers and steering group members as a result”.

This is what drives us to keep putting on massive events like this. In 2014 a big group came from the Together Women Project and stayed for the whole twelve hours. One of the women told us: “We’ve lived in Leeds all our lives and had no idea all this was happening”.

The Summat really is something special. We look forward to seeing your there.

Book your tickets (free with options for solidarity donations) here.


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