Meet the Members: Dilhani Wijeyesekera
Global social justice strategist, activist, writer and movement facilitator, Dil’s passions lie in racial justice, gender and the climate. 2021 has seen her set-up the Baobab Foundation which focuses on communities impacted by systemic racism, as well as appear on the board of Doc Society and Pop Up Projects; Dil is at the forefront of change. Her passion for movement sees her on a mat as often as not, and she brings yoga, mindfulness and meditation to people through her classes.
Can you tell us what you do and what an average workday looks like?
My workday has changed so much over the last year. I used to spend less than two hours a day at my screen, I would be out and about at client meetings and workshops and generally causing trouble. I’m trying to break out of the 9-5 style work routine at the moment. More early mornings out with the dog, social lunches, collaborative working with friends, clients and other co-conspirators. But essentially, a mix of meetings, events, writing, pulling together ideas and persuading people. I work with charities, movements, companies and funders working across racial justice, climate and gender.
Do you have a favourite place to practice yoga?
Definitely. I have many favourite places. I love practising outdoors, I often have a stretch at Victoria Park on a weekday morning when I’m walking the dog, if it’s not raining. I’ll basically have a stretch anywhere I can get my mat out.
What kit/tools can you not live without?
My yoga mat! That goes with me most places. My scribble book for ideas, thoughts, doodles, class flows, workshop brainstorms and the like.
Anything you’re working on at the moment that’s exciting you?
I’m helping to set up a new organisation in the UK called (working title) the Baobab Foundation which will resource communities affected by systemic racism in this country. It will be the first of its kind led by and for black and brown community groups. It’s been an incredible process so far, I have met so many inspirational thinkers, leaders, artists and changemakers.
Do you have a favourite artist/designer/photographer/yoga practitioner who really inspires you?
Not sure I have favourites, but there’s a sequence of things I look at or listen to obsessively on repeat before I move onto the next thing. Years ago I saw an incredible five minute film of ants carrying confetti across a rainforest floor. I’ve always remembered it, mainly because the visuals and sound were captivating, I watched it at least three times. Rivane Neuenschwander, I think. Currently listening to Geoffrey Oryema, Land of Anaka has made it onto my slow moves playlist. Yoga-wise, I’m a huge fan of Tracee Stanley, she’s all about nature, rest and reconnecting to our roots.
What are you listening to/watching at the moment?
Weirdly with all the sports that have been on, Radio 5 Live has become a regular feature. Odd. But my morning wake up at the moment is La Piragua by Umoja. Black Country, New Road and Sylvan Esso are on my current listens, but there’s been a lot of nostalgia in lockdown, PJ Harvey and Bjork have been out a fair bit.
Watching, nothing of note except We Are Lady Parts had me rolling around.
Why did you choose to come to Gather Round?
I was jumping out of working in-house to pursue work that I’m passionate about and needed a space away from my home that was more than a desk and internet connection. I checked out a few places, Gather Round is a beautiful space with a community feel.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Dil! If you want to find out more about Dil’s work and perhaps work with Dil, pop her over an email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to get to know all things Gather Round and meet more of our creative members.