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  • purposelypodcast

Challenging and inspiring philanthropy, Derek Bardowell

Welcome to Derek Bardowell, CEO of Ten Years’ Time, an agency focused on racial justice and social transformation. Derek is also an author, philanthropy commentator, and charity trustee.


He has written and published two books, his first book, "No Win Race," explored racism in sport and his second book, "Giving Back: How To Do Good Better," published in 2022, critiqued philanthropy. The book explored new ways of giving that can bring about real and meaningful change, and dramatically increase positive impact.


One reader described "Giving Back" as "Important and timely... Deeply felt and illuminating... Essential reading for everyone committed to fairness and equality in life."

In this episode of Purposely, Derek shares his career journey that started as a music journalist and his experiences growing up in the UK, where he faced aggressive and direct forms of racism like being spat at in the street, as well as more subtle but damaging forms that affected his confidence and self-esteem.


Derek discusses how being a young black man limited his career options, but at the same time, it made him more determined to succeed as a freelance music journalist and work for himself. He transitioned his career to one of purpose and helping young people to reach their full potential, initially in his own area of East London, where he grew up by delivering a 'get into' journalism course.


Derek has held various roles in charities, including direct service delivery programs aimed at empowering people and making their lives better. He also worked for the Stephen Lawrence Foundation, a UK charity set up and named after 18-year-old Stephen who was brutally murdered in a race-motivated act of violence in April 1993.


Derek's frustration with the funding experience during his years of delivering services led him to switch to the funding sector. He moved to a charitable foundation and began making decisions about who should receive the funds and for what charitable project. He discusses the disconnect that often exists between those with money and those working to bring about change, and how the scarcity and fragility of funding can negatively impact vulnerable young people who have been bounced around from different social services and arrive at a charity looking for support.


Derek's life journey and his professional experiences in the charity sector have informed his writing as well as his thought leadership. He challenges the philanthropy sector, individuals, and organisations to consider their roles and how their behaviours and ways of working may be maintaining or furthering injustice.







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