The spirit of the NATIONAL DIVERSITY AWARDS is one of mutual support and appreciation. I celebrate the work that all nominees do, every single day, to heal this world through the celebration of our uniqueness and acknowledgement of our similarities. Tireless and tenacious advocacy is often an additional activity, over and above full time work and that passion and commitment should be commended.


This year, Mark MacKenzie MBE has been nominated in the same category as myself and we have both agreed that for either to be shortlisted and to win would be wonderful.

At the awards last year, I was already a winner – a lovely meal, some wine, great company – that the award itself seemed irrelevant. Winning the award was the cherry on a very tasty cake but the whole event was such a validating celebration for all who attended.


Once nominated, the nominees require endorsements to validate their nomination. Each has a profile page, where information on their diversity initiatives are outlined.

Mark and I have endorsed each other and if you’d like to add your support for either, or both, of us please use the links below.

This is what Mark generously had to say about me:

Sunday, February 15, 2015 – “I was approached by David to be part of his Never Blend In book and talk about my experiences from being from a small town to moving to a big city and especially changing attitudes within a Transport related organisation. As a trustee of 17-24-30 I approached David about speaking at one of our Hate Crime Vigils as I was impressed by his professionalism and tenacity and I know that he is a very inspirational speaker. His Give Em Hope campaign is fantastic and I was particularly pleased when I was invited to provide a video for the campaign and also wha the campaigns aspirations are. David has worked tirelessly to support, develop and profile issues for all diversity groups. Whilst saying David is a people person may sound cliche’d its true, his personal manner, solutions based approach to issues and how creative these can be, make him a perfect choice for this award. He treats people with respect and is a pleasure to work alongside. He is professional and knowledgeable whilst striking a balance of friendliness and good humour into the mix. He has presence and speaks with authority and commands respect from his peers. A positive role model who models best practice in terms of if he says he is going to do it, he does it! Just look at the Give Em Hope Campaign and the Never Blend In Book as two examples of this. He will always do all in his power to make good on a promise. He is generous with all of the previous mentioned and his time and this strong work ethic is what allows him to deliver what he sets out to do! David is a pleasure to work with and I am glad that I can call him a friend and am honoured to know him. He is truly deserving of a role model award.

My sincere thoughts on Mark are:

“I have known Mark for many years and first approached him to be part of my forthcoming role model book, Never Blend In, in which he talks about his journey from feeling limited by external labels to overcoming those to become the active equality advocate that he is today.

As a trustee of 17-24-30, Mark approached me to speak at their 2010 Hate Crime Vigil in TRAFALGAR Square.

It was then that I saw a proactive energetic equality advocate who has passion and professionalism combined.

I had no doubt that his voice would be invaluable as part of my Give ’em Hope Campaign and I was thrilled to receive his candid and eloquent video contribution. Watch it here,, to see what I mean!

Mark is a sincerely committed agent of change in both his personal and professional life; a role model for others on their journey towards self-acceptance.

He gives hope and support by giving us the greatest gift of all; his authentic and altruistic self.”



I know that you’re going to write an endorsement and I know it will be glowing with praise.

Here’s where to leave your endorsement for my NDA nomination:

I’m also nominated for an Excellence in Diversity Award through Andover college but it wouldn’t hurt to get a second nomination in a different category.

Hope I’m not becoming a complete awards whore here but I have a task for you…can you use this link and make a nomination for me?:

To endorse Mark MacKenzie:

I was so lifted by my nomination for a national diversity award for being a positive role model. Quite taken aback but happy to think that it may help me to build my reputation enough to finally get my book published. These awards only matter if they help us to do more good in the world. I’m sure you agree.

Respect to you all for all that you do



About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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