Jo Darrington – Senior Program Manager

Jo is an adventurer passionate about all humans and all human potential around the world! She was born and raised in a changing multi-cultural family, with family from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and Thailand. She grew up in South East Asia, spending a lot of her youth in Bangkok. She studied languages at University, where she had the opportunity in her ‘year abroad’ to explore China as an outdoor guide and Cuba as an exchange student. She embarked on many adventures during her time as a student, from participating in a Bike Polo competition in Taiwan, to volunteering as a Chinese language mentor for Cuban students to hitch hiking to a different place every Tuesday afternoon in the UK. As a result, she has acquired quite a lot of hobbies.

After training as a languages teacher for high schools in the UK, she started working as a supply teacher, experiencing many different kinds of schools, teaching, subjects and ages. She also worked as a manager for the UK-based operations of a Spanish language school, sending Spanish students to the UK for intensive English language learning experiences. Her other work experiences include being a barista, making cocktails for London bankers, working in a bike shop and promoting things in the street.

Currently she is based in Beijing working for Jump!. Aside from Jump!, she is very involved in the LGBTQ+ and feminist community as well as in technology and art. She is a co-founder of Q-Space, a queer and feminist friendly grassroots community maker space in a hutong in Beijing that is dedicated to skills and knowledge sharing for empowerment, offering a variety of events from technology workshops and art classes, to language corners, film nights and community dinners! The space is run by a community of volunteers, many of whom live together in the space.

She is a strong believer in grassroots and radically inclusive community empowerment for sustainable change, and that understanding privilege and the unequal access to tools and resources are key to making this happen. After all, diverse groups are smarter groups. Her influences are rad people like Paolo Freire and the wonderful Grace Lee Boggs. Her contribution to artistic activism is a rainbow and hot pink three wheeled electric tricycle called the Rainbow Ride. It is a participatory and ‘experiential’ piece of public art where stories are shared through writing or drawing on rainbow paper and hung on the ride. Through reflecting on the diversity of human experience, it is hoped that the Rainbow Ride is a fun and powerful way to bring people together.

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