Grants committee

The Grants Committee makes decisions on grants up to £350,000 and oversees the initiative’s grant-making and direct work to deliver the strategy and live its values. The Committee includes three Justice Collaborations Trustees:

  • Jen Ang (Chair)
  • Jacqui Broadhead
  • Matthew Smerdon

It also includes three external members who bring lived and learned experience of the UK immigration system, alongside a wide range of skills and expertise. They are:

  • Dylan Fotoohi
  • Dami Makinde
  • Zain Hafeez
  • Isata Kanneh
Jen Ang Chair
Jen Ang

Jen Ang is a Founding Director of Lawmanity, a project that aims to tackle inequalities in the law by working with people-led movements to secure positive change. She was formerly Founding Director of JustRight Scotland, a human rights charity which use the law to defend and extend people’s rights.

Jen is an experienced human rights lawyer qualified to practice in Scotland, England and Wales, and New York State. She is a legal expert on asylum, human rights and children’s rights, and on the rights of survivors of torture.

She is also a lecturer in law with the Open University, and believes in making legal education open and accessible to all.

Dylan Fotoohi
Dylan Fotoohi

Dylan is founder and director of Refugees for Justice. He has previously worked as a Programme Manager at Migration Exchange funder network, Service Manager and Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council, and as a Senior Community Development Officer at Freedom from Torture. Dylan has a degree in Community Development and a Master’s degree in Global Migration and Social Justice from the University of Glasgow. He is a member of Young Academy of Scotland – Royal Society of Edinburgh. Dylan is originally Kurdish. He was born in Mahabad, a beautiful town in Eastern Kurdistan – Iran. He has been living in the UK since 2013 and is now based in Glasgow, Scotland. He is fascinated by nature, obsessed with pistachio, Turkish coffee, and chess.

Zain Hafeez
Zain Hafeez

Zain has a decade of first-hand experience of the asylum and immigration system. This evoked a deep passion in Zain to campaign for reform throughout. Zain has given several public speeches on issues related to the asylum journey, mental health, access to higher education and more. Delivered talks at universities and produced an award-winning podcast series: We Are Voices.

Zain obtained a full-paid scholarship to go to university and graduated with a First-Class Honours in Philosophy and Global Studies. Zain is currently a Community Organiser with Citizens UK, a Funding Manager at the Civic Power Fund and a Board of Trustee at IMIX.

Zain looks forward to contributing to JTI by combining his organising skills with his understanding of the challenges grassroots groups striving for justice face. In his spare time, Zain loves to read and study Philosophy.

Dami Makinde
Dami Makinde

Dami is an activist, a campaigner, a public speaker, and a community organiser. Her passion for activism began when she, and many other young migrants like herself were faced with an injustice that prevented them from achieving their potential and contributing fully to the British society they call home. In 2017, Dami was seconded to the London Mayor’s office and began a forum to build a bridge between the Mayor and all London migrants. In the same year, she became an Eisenhower Youth Leader, and has spoken out against the UK’s hostile environment worldwide. In 2019, Dami co-founded an organisation called We Belong, which tackles systemic barriers that young migrants are facing and prevents them from living a fulfilled life.

Jacqueline Broadhead
Jacqueline Broadhead

Jacqui is the Director of the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity at the University of Oxford where she manages a wide portfolio of knowledge exchange and research projects on migration. Jacqui’s own work focusses on local government and migration, integration and inclusion.  Prior to this, Jacqui managed the Refugee and Migrant Team at Islington Council, providing social services support to families and vulnerable adults with No Recourse to Public Funds. In 2016, she received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to cities in the United States and Italy to understand how cities can better integrate migrants. It is this experience, alongside her role in delivering the council’s contribution to the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme that have informed her commitment to the vision of Justice Together Initiative.

Matthew Smerdon
Matthew Smerdon

Matthew joined TLEF in October 2013 as its first chief executive.

He has had longstanding involvement in the role of law as a tool for social justice, both through grantmaking and work in delivery charities. Matthew has worked in the foundation sector since 2004 when he joined the Baring Foundation as deputy director.

Previously, he was director of community work at Community Links in east London, where he continued as an advisor from 2004-2012; and, from 2007-2009, was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Council on Social Action. He is the author of publications on legal advice, social action, public services, the voluntary sector and grant-making.

In September 2013, Matthew was appointed to the Civil Justice Council. He is the vice-chair of governors at a primary school local to his home in Hackney.