Wales TUC Black Activist Development Programme is a leadership programme like no other

Published date
Wales TUC’s Black Activist Development Programme was launched in March 2023.

Tansaim Hussain-Gul is one of 9 participants on the programme and she’s been telling me all about her experiences so far and how this programme is different from other leadership programmes she’s been part of.

Tansaim Hussain-Gul

Tansaim Hussain-Gul

My life is a testament to my belief in equality and equity, which I actively promote both in my workplace and personal life. I dedicate my time to helping people.

I tirelessly advocate for fairness and justice which makes me feel like a remarkable individual and I aim to leave a lasting impact on those I encounter.

My name is Tansaim Hussain-Gul and I am a dedicated professional working in the private sector.

I am active within Unison holding many positions including Cymru/Wales Equality Chair and Disability Committee Chair.

Outside of work and union responsibilities, I am a strong-willed woman who balances her professional life with the role of a devoted mother to four children.

I am a proud Cardiff born woman.

Expectations and reality with the programme

I joined the Wales TUC Black* Activist Development programme early in 2023 thinking that this programme would be like any other leadership programme I have encountered before.

These talk about leaders and leadership skills and then nothing happens.

I was so wrong. This programme has vastly invested in knowing me and my colleagues. It allowed us to work on our concerns collectively and individually.

On the programme we discussed the injustice and racism we see daily and issues we have been facing when trying to develop ourselves in our workplaces. We have all at some point hit a brick wall or have been told we didn’t get a position as we were overqualified or just missed it by 2 points, etc.

Building the programme ourselves

The thing that I most love about this programme is that it’s based on what we want to achieve from the programme and not what others want us to do and complete.

We have been given the opportunity to build it ourselves, to say what we want or need.

Building the programme ourselves

This programme has been fab and so refreshing. We have a breadth of diverse knowledge from different age groups, different work backgrounds and home lives. And we have been able to share an array of life stories.

The Wales TUC team who launched this programme - Humie, Amarjite and Flick - have been fab. They have really engaged with us on a personal level by holding 1-2-1 meetings and finding out what we think of the course and what we would like covered in the next module.

When this pilot is finished and goes on to a new programme it will definitely benefit all Black Asian and Minority Ethnic union members to help them achieve great heights in their personal and work life.

This is why joining a union is so important – it can provide you with all the tools and knowledge you need to succeed in life.

Aiming to become an MP or MS

I am working towards taking up a leadership role within my union. But I am also looking at progressing myself in my public life as I feel there is not enough Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in our Parliament and Senedd.

I am currently a candidate for Welsh Labour running as a MP for Carmarthen and I have successfully passed the long listing interview and short-listing interview.

I will be attending a husting, where members will be taking the vote, as I am one of three strong candidates standing for Labour.

My commitment to my work is characterised by my unwavering determination to make my voice heard and by putting relentless effort into supporting and empowering others.

This has been an amazing experience for me even if I am not selected. I am more than happy that I have had this experience of putting myself out of my comfort zone in such a way.

It has provided me with more beneficial skills which interlink with my union, work, and public life as a candidate. My future long-term goal is to become a member of the Senedd and be a voice for my union members and my community and to make sure I am breaking the barriers for other Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people in Wales to seek these avenues.

*Using the term Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic when collectively discussing racism against a group of people, using terms or acronyms can be helpful in illustrating the collective experience of racism.
However, when in workplaces or services – respecting a person’s expression of their personal identities in the way they choose is important. We take on board the consultation feedback that Welsh Government received in their Anti-Racism Action Plan. We will continue to use the full term of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people when referring to a collective. However, we also recognise that for Gypsies and Traveller people, Jewish people and people of the Islamic faith, there are concerns about how much this term includes their identities.