Every morning I say the following prayer:
I fly and land where needed,
Where Justice finds her heart hurting,
And we hold the gods accountable,
Opening eyes to her love,
To the love of her,
I am man on a mission to galvanize men to co-create equality in the world with women.
“Let us be lovers of life & work that matters for all.”
I pursue my mission in three ways: in how I think and feel, how I work and how I gift.
How I think and feel – Poetry Campaigns: I capture my thinking in poetry campaigns, heart felt poetry that changes people’s idea of God. My poetry takes apart notions of God infused with male dominance and espouses mutual adoration, of God, of the masculine and feminine intwining to create new life and wonder. Let us not set out to dominate but be lovers of life and one another. Read my poetry, tell me what you think and feel! You can browse my poetry blog at wingedboots.com.
How I work – SOPHIA Oxford: I am the CEO of SOPHIA Oxford. SOPHIA Oxford is bringing rigorous world class measurement of poverty and wellbeing into economics and corporate management. SOPHIA builds on the work of Professor Sabina Alkire of Oxford University. Her mission is equip the world’s most powerful organizations, countries, with the tools that accurately reflect levels of poverty and wellbeing and assess impact. I am helping bring her work to the private sector. This work integrates measurement of human needs with financial needs. SOPHIA Oxford has developed the Wise Responder Action Kit to enable companies to measure and respond to poverty and wellbeing issues among their workforce, (currently available in Latin America). Let me know if your organization is interested – visit sophieoxford.org
How I gift – Women’s Education. Providing education for women to have equality opportunity with men is for me at the heart of what we call civilization. Without it, we do not have it. I am involved in supporting Lady Doak College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. Lady Doak is a women’s college with about 5,000 students. The college prides itself in helping students who have no one to advocate for them. I serve on the Association that elects the board of the College and I founded the Lady Doak College Foundation, in Boston, Massachusetts to support the College. Please join me in supporting Lady Doak College. If you want to change the world, giving the gift of a scholarship for a women’s education is great way to do it.
I was born in London and had a privileged background, being sent to the private high school Eton. I am left handed, dyslexic and struggled with school which has given me a life-long appreciation for minorities. I rail against the “right-handed, linear, text based thinkers” who control our education system and make us “others” feel stupid! I started my volunteer work in my teens working with severely handicapped children.
My father, Ivor Coats, told me of story when he was prisoner of the Germans in 1945 that has greatly influenced me. My father, was in a parked train containing ill and badly wounded prisoners. He feared that overnight many prisoners would freeze to death so he, missing a foot, crawled in front of the train to demand blankets for the freezing prisoners. When a German soldier threatened to shoot him, he told the soldier that he was a British Officer and demanded to speak to a German Officer, who was summoned. Blankets were provided. My father’s message to me was that if you have rank or status use it for the least.
In my early twenties a couple of high school friends died and my mother was severely ill. From these experiences I decided that life is too short to not make a difference everyday. At that time I started writing poetry as way of guiding what I do in life. I write poetry to know what I truly think and feel.
In 1991 I moved to Boston. I have had career that spanned economic development, social investing, and non-profit management. From 2006 to 2018 I worked for an order of Episcopalian monks, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, who have a monastery in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. I helped the monks close a loss making publishing business, rebuild their monastery that was falling down, build up their endowment and launch a new online publishing initiative that has worldwide reach. I learned how to build a thriving economy for the monks built on giving away their wisdom and kindness. (To learn more about my work for the monks read this article.)
In 2010 my older sister, Emma, was found dead at foot of a cliff after disappearing from the Warnford Hospital in Oxford, UK. This had profound impact on me. I maintain a website to celebrate Emma’s life and art. At Emma’s funeral I said, “go tell the story that must be told and let it touch the hearts of all throughout the world.” I determined that I would work for women’s equality, opportunity for women, and economic justice.
Today I am focused on supporting practical steps to support the least in the world.
Please contact me or subscribe to my email updates.
President & CEO, SOPHIA OXFORD
an Oxford University linked non-profit partner of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
Executive Director, Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Trustee, Trustees of Donation,
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
Association Member – Katie Wilcox Education Association that oversees, Lady Doak College
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Director & Secretary, Lady Doak College Foundation
Member, Appeal Steering Committee
Colleges & Universities of the Anglican Communion