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Power of Words - Jo Cox - September 2021

Another instalment of feminist inspo for you, and this time I wanted to share with you someone whose passion for the underdog - and whose legacy - are especially personal to me and my path.

The campaigner, activist and humanitarian

Passionate, honourable, courageous. These are the admirable qualities that come to mind when I think of Jo Cox – the MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire who was murdered by a far-right extremist on June 16 2016. Jo lived by the words she expressed in her maiden speech in Parliament a year earlier: “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”

Her powerful message was one of the reasons I decided to make a difference – to stop being a keyboard warrior and start putting my head above the parapet. And in 2019 I graduated from the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme which helped me to decide to run for Parliament. (The pic below is of me and some of my Jo Cox sisters with Dawn Butler MP, including the late Maxine James. RIP, beaut.)

A proper Yorkshire lass

Jo was an internationalist, a feminist, a devoted mum, wife and politician, and a proud Yorkshire-woman who believed in speaking out about the things that mattered. She was driven by her belief that a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world was possible. She believed that even the greatest challenges could be overcome and she was a passionate defender of the European Union and immigration.

On her way to a constituency surgery to meet with residents five years ago, Jo was murdered by a white supremacist because of her beliefs. The tragedy sparked a global wave of grief and solidarity which showed that Jo’s values of respect, unity and compassion are widely shared.