“The greatest thing you will ever give to the world is your commitment to leave what you find in better condition than the way you found it. Leave a single light in a place where there was once darkness so those coming behind you may see further and begin where you left.” — Tonny K. Brown
Meet Joseph Williams, a young, vibrant & visionary entrepreneur with an adventurous spirit and an insatiable drive to make the world a better place for everyone.
A motivational quote that helped through lockdown:
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!
If you could travel back in time, the first person you would like to meet ...
Leonardo Da Vinci. When he died, Leonardo Da Vinci, said “I have offended God because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” Nothing saddens me more than when people don’t recognise the impact they have and the value they bring. Unlocking how people see this in themselves is one of the things I love about coaching and mentoring.
Also Leonardo is recognised as suffering with poor mental health and is a fellow ADHD-er. I understand these struggles and not always being able to take a step back to see your impact or just refusing to acknowledge it comes hand-in-hand. So having the opportunity to show Leonardo Da Vinci, or anyone else who never really got to see the value of their existence, would be pretty special to me.
What book inspired you the most growing up?
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I lost my mum in my teens, and then one of my closest friends a few weeks later. I was struggling with my identity and already being treated for anxiety and depression, so things weren’t great. This book was recommended by a family friend and it unlocked a paradigm shift in the way I viewed the world and was also one of the drivers for me to go on and read psychology.
The book, which I think everyone should read, teaches the principles of perspective in the most simple but effective way. I understood purpose and contribution and gratitude after reading this book and it helped shape the beginning of my journey to healing and adulthood.
What song makes you feel empowered the most?
This is such a difficult question because outside of work, music is my life. I’ve spent the most time on this question(?!) because there are so many ways I use music to cleanse, shape and motivate my spirit. Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap – there’s something about the way it builds up into a crescendo that has always made me feel unstoppable. It’s one of the songs I’ve always added at the end of my marathon/running playlists!!
One piece of advice you would pass onto the next generation
Don’t listen to anyone when they tell you, you can’t change the world.
The most incredible thing about cause and effect is that we possess the potential to change the world, or at least someone’s world, every day through our actions.
My mum, Deborah. She possessed the power and intelligence to do whatever she wished but she dedicated her life to helping create pathways & opportunities for children who had no access to quality education. She was taken from the world at a time it needed her most, but the purpose of legacy is that it gets continued. We must not just idolise people who did great things but be inspired to continue where they left off.
Self-care is ….
Giving yourself the time and space to acknowledge yourself, your feelings, your state, and the belief that you deserve to commit the time to yourself to act on what you feel.
What are your hopes/aspirations for 2021?
Outside of the obvious answers, less tragedy and death, greater social cohesion, more responsibility standards in the media etc., I only ever want to continue realising my purpose(s) whilst being a supportive and kind father, partner, and manager.
My time, effort+love get poured into ensuring I add value to those around me in the roles I have and continue to improve in them; whether this is in the approach to life my daughter adopts through my parenting, the number of disabled LGBTQ+ people that benefit from the programmes of ParaPride (the charity i co-founded), or the number of people that benefit from the social democratisation software we’re building out through my company, Included.AI.
What never fails to lift your spirits?
My daughter, Thea! She is the most incredible and bountiful source of positivity in my life.
About Joseph Williams
Joseph Williams is an LGBT+ community hero doing amazing things with invincible determination and courage including supporting those within the LGBT community who have been erased, ignored, and discriminated against because of their disabilities.
He is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of ParaPride, the UK's first official charity focussing on the connection between the disabled and LGBT+ communities. ParaPride claims that as many as 40% of LGBTQ+ people are recognised as having a disability, including mental health conditions, sensory or physical impairments, or a chronic health condition.
Joseph said, “There’s a need for further inclusivity and visibility of disabilities in the LGBT+ community. We are increasingly reminded of the limitless contribution LGBTQIA+ people with disabilities offer to society, however there is still a long way to go in ensuring all facets of our community are included and empowered.
We are fighting to ensure that we are seen as equal, and furthermore from this country, it sends a beacon of acceptance to all the countries where our rights are being repealed and cancelled.”
ParaPride is also the first ever activists-in-residence at London’s Kings College working with the university on programmes and content covering disabilities, LGBT, and broader diversity issues.
Joseph is also on the advisory board of Think Equal, a non-profit charity registered in the UK & USA, and is writing the world's first EQ childhood curriculum. It is currently adopted in 17 countries, reaching over 100,000 children so far, and lists award-winning actress & advocate for gender and human rights issues, Meryl Streep and The Pope amongst its Patrons & Ambassadors.