We are delighted to announce the following patrons of Why Comics?!
Director of SOAS University of London
“Delivering complex theoretical information in a medium that is not just understandable, but also builds empathy, is a difficult task. PositiveNegatives and their new charity, Why Comics? manages this through their interactive comics, embedded with contextual multimedia. They manage to tell the human stories behind the conflicts and refugee situations we see across the world. Bringing these topics into schools is important given the current socio-political climate. The Why Comics? educational resources encourage students to engage with and learn about contemporary world events and human rights issues”
Valerie joined as Director of SOAS University of London in September 2015. From 2010, she served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN. She served in a number of roles in the public sector including in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Valerie was an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership, change, management and strategy issues between 1994 and 1998. She was appointed a Labour Life Peer in 1997 and became a member of the Government in 1998. She was a Foreign Office Minister, Secretary of State for International Development, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She also served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN. In June 2016, she was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s Emergencies Director and an expert in humanitarian crises, is responsible for coordinating the organization’s response to major wars and other human rights crises. A Belgian-born Stanford Law School graduate specializing in the laws of war, Bouckaert is a veteran of fact-finding missions to Lebanon, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Macedonia, Indonesia, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, among others. Most recently, Bouckaert has been working on the Mediterranean Refugee crisis, where he has conducted investigations into human rights abuses by European border controls and the difficulties faced by refugees on their journey. His work has been profiled in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Stanford Lawyer, and The Santa Barbara Independent Newspaper. Most recently, Bouckaert was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Catholic University of Louvain for his work on human rights.
Chief Foreign Correspondent, BBC
“Never has there been a world with so much information. Never has there been so much misinformation and misunderstanding. Why Comics? strives to build understanding, and even more than that – empathy. Comics create compelling narratives which draw us in, and leave us with a greater awareness of global issues affecting all of us, no matter where or how we live. Comics shape many of my childhood memories. I still delight in their stark simple power to transform complex issues into memorable characters and human chronicles. And Why Comics? now uses new technologies that allow us to be part of this storytelling. It becomes our story too.”
Lyse Doucet is an award winning Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter for BBC World News television and BBC World Service Radio. She is regularly deployed to anchor special news coverage from the field and interview world leaders. She played a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the “Arab Spring” across the Middle East and North Africa and has covered all the major stories in the region for the past 20 years. Her work has also focused on major natural disasters including the Indian Ocean tsunami, and more recently Pakistan floods. Before joining the BBC’s team of presenters in 1999, Lyse spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in Jerusalem, Amman, Tehran, Islamabad, Kabul and Abidjan. She was nominated for two Emmy awards in the United States last year. Her most recent awards include, in 2012, an Edward R Murrow award for radio reports from Tunisia, a Peabody and David Bloom Award in 2010 for television films from Afghanistan, and Radio News journalist of the Year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in the UK.