About Us

Our Story

We are a team of experts from diverse backgrounds and disciplines covering politics, public policy, racial equity, ED&I consultancy, research community engagement, education, planning and academia. We joined forces to create the centre to address the inequalities that have a big impact on minoritised groups in the UK. We have seen the real consequences in our individual work across the years supporting under-represented communities.

With an equity-led leadership, our expertise includes also Eastern European communities engagement - as well as other minoritised groups. We offer constructive solutions in multiple areas, including cross-cultural communication, international skills transfer, policy development and analysis, culturally meaningful/competent recruitment, retention, and development, and inclusive language in the workplace.

The Team

Teo Benea - CEO & Co-founder

Teo is an experienced communications and community engagement consultant, having previously worked as an Account Director for a specialist public affairs and consultation company in the planning and regeneration sector. Prior to this, she worked as a consultant in renewable and housing sectors in Scotland, as a parliamentary assistant in Westminster and borough organiser for the Labour Party. She is a Labour councillor at Brent Council.

Teo has a Masters Degree in European Public Policy and Administration from Maastricht University.

Over the years, Teo has been involved in community projects helping Eastern Europeans who live in the UK and organised an Eastern European Festival in Brent, in June this year.

She also coordinated a donation collection when the war started in Ukraine, in Sudbury and organised the logistics for the delivery of these at the border between Romania and Ukraine in partnership with other Romanian organisations and activists.

Her skills and expertise include: project management. community engagement, advocacy, leadership, people management, community campaigning.

Adina Maglan - Director & Co-founder

Adina is an experienced social policy adviser with over 10 years of experience working in the public and the voluntary sectors, where she founded several projects for the Romanian and wider EU communities in London and the UK.

Holding qualifications in Community Development, Public Policy, and Equalities, she specialised in the last two years in the fields of Law and Racial Equity at SOAS University in London. 

Over the years, Adina has contributed to the development and implementation of various pioneering projects such as start up charitable organisations, Eastern European forums and events, round table discussions, and various other related activities.

Her skills and expertise include: project development, capacity building grassroots projects, policy development and audit, ED&I consultancy, inclusive communication, community organising, advocacy, and training delivery.

Teresa Norman - Director

Teresa is an experienced Diversity Consultant working across all sectors. Her expertise is in developing diversity strategies, conducting Equality Impact Assessments and diversity audits. All of this work involves consultation with under-represented groups.

She has a particular interest in migration and in 2015, she founded a social enterprise TogetherintheUK, a communications platform sharing migrant stories and providing useful advice for migrants.

Prior to becoming a consultant in 2015, Teresa worked for 15 years as a civil servant. This includes five years at the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, 18 months with the policy team at the National School of Government and her last job was as Head of Diversity at the Department of Transport.

Larisa Zilickaja- Director

Larisa has over 20 years experience working in the education sector and is currently a Labour councillor at Newham Council, being the first Lithuanian councillor elected in May 2022.

Over the years, Larisa has organised a wider range of socio-cultural and information events for the Eastern European communities in Newham and beyond. She has also organised a book donation event in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Lithuania where books written in Lithuanian were donated to one of the libraries in Newham.

Larisa has also established the first community surgeries in Newham for new and emerging resident groups such as housing services surgeries and domestic abuse support for the Eastern European residents, including a dedicated housing support service for the Ukrainian refugee community.

Other areas of her expertise include: crisis response, homelessness support, domestic violence prevention and shelter work for rough sleepers.

David Tross - Consultant

David has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Birkbeck, University of London for over 10 years, and currently lectures on Birkbeck's BSc Community Development and Public Policy and BSc Social Science programmes. He is also the academic lead on National Lottery Funded Community Leadership programme.

He delivers courses about Community Development, Happiness Research, Well-Being at Work. Host/ partner organisations have included: BBC, HMRC, DWP, Newham Council, TUC, Home Office, Greater London Authority, Southwark Council, Royal College of Arts, DEFRA.

He has also carried out a range of consultancy projects for a range of public, voluntary and private sector organisations, including the Home Office, UK colleges and universities, and local authorities.

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07752 137338
Social Equity Centre CIC, 124 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
Company Registration number: 15029573
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