Sinead Burke is a disability rights activist and teacher. She has combined her love of education and style to campaign for more representation of diversity in the fashion industry.
Born in Dublin, Sinead has achondroplasia – a genetic condition which causes restricted growth – and is 3’ 5” tall. She refers to herself as a “little person” and knew she wanted to be a teacher after her first day at school. She has used the classroom environment to discuss openly with her pupils the issues surrounding disability. She believes openness and kindness are the ways forward to develop understanding and respect.
As a child she collected the September issues of Vogue and later on started writing a blog in which she held the fashion industry to account about diversity and representation. She continues to work towards greater inclusivity in fashion and her mission is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to realise the industry is open to them whether as editors, designers or models. Last year she was selected as one of 15 trailblazing women to appear on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.
In 2018 Sinead spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the only Irish female delegate. She has taken her message to the White House at the invitation of the Obamas and was appointed to Ireland’s Council of State to advise the president about disability rights.
DISC ONE: Like A Girl by Lizzo
DISC TWO: Awoo by Sofi Tukker, feat. Betta Lemme
DISC THREE: Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat
DISC FOUR: You Should See Me in a Crown by Billie Eilish
DISC FIVE: I Put a Spell on You by Nina Simone
DISC SIX: The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
DISC SEVEN: Vogue by Madonna
DISC EIGHT: Samhradh Samhradh by The Gloaming
BOOK CHOICE: Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
LUXURY ITEM: A necklace
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Like A Girl by Lizzo
Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Paula McGinley
Across-the-Pond alert! JV has the pleasure of conversing with the delightful Sinéad Burke (As Me with Sinéad) for a chat spanning ye olde Atlantic ocean, with topics including activism and the fashion world, the glory of a gyoza, and the imagination-activating wonders of the Hammer Museum.
This week, Sinead Burke sat down with Jarlath in the London Irish Centre in Camden for conversation like no other conversation featured in this series. Together they sift through the biggest moments in her incredible rise to prominence over the last three years. She tells Jar about the remarkable circumstances that lead to her Ted Talk and how her life changed almost immediately afterwards. She opens up about her stage fright and anxiety just prior to the filming and the four questions she now asks her self before taking on any sort of work.
Jarlath is keen to know how Sinead finds working with the fashion industry at a time when publicity seems to trump actual change. He asks Sinead what are the things that she beats herself up about the most and gets a really unusual answer he wasn’t expecting. What’s it like to deal with Oprah? What exactly is the limit and danger of self-kindness? What can we do to help make the changes Sinead is chasing? It’s all here in a remarkably expansive interview with one of the most influential and stylish Irish women of the last 50 years.
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Closing out Season 6 is a very special episode with Sinéad Burke, host of "As Me, with Sinéad." At The Webbys, we spend a lot of time looking at the Internet, and determining what we want it to be. Sinéad is someone actively doing the work to create the Internet we want. On her show, she interviews notable guests about what it’s like to be them, how they navigate life in their bodies, and how this can help everyone better understand what its like out there for other people. She and host David-Michel Davies discuss what kickstarted her passion for accessibility advocacy, her famous TED Talk "Why Design Should Include Everyone," and more.
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