Our Story

When I founded Sour Lemons, I was riddled with survivors guilt – Why me? Why am I the only person ‘allowed’ to sit at this table? Surely all of those incredible people over there should be here too?

I’ve been a cultural producer and strategist for the last ten years with the mandate to make the inside of cultural buildings reflect the outside. I became the poster girl for all things diversity and a celebrated anomaly.

Sitting at a table with people who all look and sound the same is mediocre at best, and infuriating at worst.

It’s an injustice that the smallest part of society – the white, formally educated & most privileged part – form the majority of creative decision makers, who get to tell stories on behalf of us all. What a narrow lens.

A year into launching Making LEMONADE – Our flagship creative leadership programme for young leaders who have experienced a ‘sour lemon’ or two in life – the systems designed to prevent people like me from reaching the top became a lot clearer. Continuing to only focus on the individual making lemonade was repeating my experiences of assimilation and I had no choice. Once you know, you know.

So I designed Enabling Environments to interrogate systems of oppression and put the responsibility back on to the organisations to change – not the individual. Systemic racism is not a new concept, but the amplification of Black Lives Matter has taken the conversation to a new level. And we are here for it. 

Our model involves tooling up our Young Leaders to hold mirrors & interrogate decision making through intentional  questioning. We work with a team of Intersectional Experts to ensure we are coming at it from all angles & we don’t focus on quick wins or short term solutions. This work is in depth and systemic which means it won’t be ‘fixed’ overnight. 

 

Sade Banks

Founder and Chief Executive

Meet the Team

Natalie Fiawoo

Programme Producer 

Read My Biography

Chloe Osborne

                   Critical Friend        Friend                                  

Divya Satwani 

              Live Events Producer                                                      

Meet the Board

Claire Tavernier

(Chair) Digital and Media Advisor

Carmen Cheng 

(Treasurer) Director at RBS (compliance)

 

Raymond Tannor

(Alumni) Facilitator & Founder of Peace of No Mind Podcast

Sereena Abbassi 

Worldwide Head of Culture & Inclusion at M&C Saatchi Group

Joe Gray

Strategic Consultant and dot-connector 

Bernadette Kisaalu 

Solicitor at BT & Deputy Chair of BT’s Ethnic Diversity Network 

Dee Jas 

People & Culture consultant and Founder of Colourfull Blog

Miška Groidlova

(Alumni) Creative Producing MA Student at CSMD