Jonathan Cox is Lead Organiser and Director of CITIZENS for Sanctuary, the campaign to secure justice for people fleeing persecution and rebuild public support for sanctuary.
Jonathan was previously Co-ordinator of the Independent Asylum Commission – a unique citizens’ enquiry into how the UK treats people who seek sanctuary here.
Jonathan has also worked at the Refugee Council, advising on lobbying, parliamentary affairs, and campaigning with faith groups.
In 2006 Jonathan took part in Church Action on Poverty’s Living Ghosts Endurance Challenge – living as a refused asylum seeker for a week. He kept a record of his experiences on his blog which delighted and informed some, but horrified his grandmother. He also wrote about it for Third Way.
Before all that Jonathan worked on policy and political communication for Rt Hon Alun Michael MP.
Jonathan studied at the University of Durham, is an alumnus of the International Young Leaders Network (IYLN), and sits on the National Executive of the Christian Socialist Movement.
In the past three years he has chaired a Junior Question Time panel that won the national final of the BBC Junior Question Time competition; delivered a speech to 150 delegates and then featured as a panellist at a Holyrood Events political conference on asylum; chaired seven Independent Asylum Commission public hearings; been a panel speaker at the Fabian Society annual conference; led a session on asylum destitution with 60 delegates at the Student Action for Refugees (STAR) conference; given a speech to the Zimbabwean opposition in exile; run six training seminars on voluntary sector lobbying for the National School of Government; and featured as a guest on TV and radio, including on Radio 5Live’s breakfast show and BBC 1’s The Big Questions.
Yes We Can? – What Obama Means For Us
Barack Obama’s experience as a Community Organiser working with churches in Chicago helped him win the Presidency. Do we believe churches can make political change in our communities? How can we ‘organise’ our communities with others to pursue social justice and the common good? Find out how churches in London have organised to improve the treatment of people seeking sanctuary in the UK and how you can bring ‘change you can believe in’ to your community.
Barack Obama’s election as President of the USA has been accompanied by the greatest hope and the greatest hype in living memory.
It was Obama’s experience as a Community Organiser, empowering faith communities to work together for the common good on the streets of Chicago, that is the key to understanding the Obama phenomenon.
This talk will look at how churches and other faith institutions in the UK are using the same techniques as Obama to organise for ‘change we can believe in’ – from persuading major corporations to pay a Living Wage to the poorest people in London, to convincing Boris Johnson to
back a regularisation for vulnerable migrants.
Hear the story of how ordinary churchfolk organised with their communities to take on the UK asylum system, run their own national enquiry, and negotiate for changes to way that people seeking sanctuary in the UK are treated.