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The Conservation Issue #4

The KOL Social Magazine

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The Conservation Issue #4

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Editor's Letter

A number of the challenges that we face in the world today boil down to how we choose to spend and invest our money; how it creates an impact on the planet and our fellow man. The British now cite the environment as the third most pressing issue facing the nation, according to the market research company YouGov. Last year, Glassdoor, a recruitment and company review site, found that 64 per cent of workers claimed that their companies are investing more in diversity and inclusion than ever before.

More often than not, the communities that are most affected by environmental issues, such as climate change, are often the heritage countries of people labelled as BAME in the UK. The one thing that labels such as BAME, LGBT+ and climate change all have in common is that they are hot topics with the ability to raise temperatures.

As Australia burns and there is talk of forced migration from the Caribbean due to rising sea levels and coastal erosion, what we do as collectives is much more important than what we call ourselves. Take, for example, Kofi Owusu Bempah, co-founder of PASH Global, who entwined his legal and cultural background to find a way in which to empower developing countries through social investing. Find out his insights on page 53.

Of course, you do not have to have a large bank account to make a difference. It can be as simple as the goods you choose to purchase. If you are looking for that piece of guilt-free jewellery to treat yourself or a loved one, this Valentine’s Day, wise up on ethical jewellery on page 26.

We have become use to using a label in describing someone, a group of people or something in a word or short phrase. More often than not, we do not even notice that everything has a label but it is a necessary way of life. It gives people a sense of order, and a way of distinguishing things. Lifting a label does not make things disappear. With the Oscars taking place this month, and the lack of statistical representation at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, UK film producer Melanie Sharee who is based in the States, shares with us how the industry can turn labels into positive action on page 9.

In honour of LGBT+ History Month, we interviewed Asifa Lahore, Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen. She shares her perspective of being her authentic self, whilst navigating the challenges of labels that are used to define her identity on page 16.

It is clear that titles like BAME are academic and not helpful when they are used to replace specific experiences with a homogenous, rather than a spectrum, point of view. At The KOL Social, our tribe have many names but we all share one thing in common – we live multi-dimensional lives. In 2020, we look forward to you joining us over the next decade as we inspire the breaking of glass ceilings rather than the ticking of boxes.

Marcia Degia


Featured Contributors

The Identity Issue #4

Subrina Kidd

Subrina Kidd

Subrina is based at the London hair salon The Collective where she is the resident textured hair expert. Whether straight, wavy, curly or coily, she is an expertise in all hair types. During her 20 years experience in the industry, she has worked for top fashion shows and with many global hair brands as lead hairstylist and educator. She also features in online tutorials and fashion and beauty magazines as the go-to hairstylist for styling tips. Go to page 50 for her tips on natural hair.

Damian Duncan

London based photographer Damian Duncan prides himself in being able to tell a story through images and engaging portraiture. Inspired by Jazz, he honed his craft in Camden’s Jazz Cafe and became one of the In-house photographers at Sony Music, photographing Beyoncé and Calvin Harris, to name a few. He beautifully captures the essence of entrepreneur Kofi Owusu-Bempah during his interview about The Evolution of Impact Investing on page 57. See more of Damian’s work on

Damian Duncan
Melanie Sharee

Melanie Sharee

US-based Melanie Sharee is co-producer of Storm Over Brooklyn, which airs on HBO this spring. In her position as Director of Programming, at the American Black Film Festival she has watched over 7,500 films from new and upcoming filmmakers providing access into the industry. Raised in Sudan, and a resident of New York, her third culture kid lens has given her a unique perspective of the world. She gives us her insights on the controversy surrounding film nominations in First Word on page 9.