In March 2019 Leslee was awarded the UN Women for Peace Activist Award at the United Nations. Leslee was voted by the NY Times the No 2 Most Impactful Woman of 2015 (second to Hillary Clinton), and has been awarded the prestigious Swedish Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize (previously won by Madeleine Albright). She has also been named Safe’s Global Hero of 2015, Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, and the GlobalmindED award for Arts and Education in 2019. In October 2019 Leslee will be awarded UN Association’s Global Citizen of 2019.
A former filmmaker and now campaigner for a system change on education, Leslee is no stranger to successful campaigning films. “Who Bombed Birmingham?” (starring John Hurt) for HBO and Granada TV, directly led to the release of the ‘Birmingham Six’ after 17 years of wrongful imprisonment. Her feature film “East is East” (35 prestigious awards worldwide, including a BAFTA for Best Film) did much to promote tolerance and the celebration of diversity as between the Asian and British communities and has become a classic film taught in schools across Europe. Her documentary “India’s Daughter”, has been critically acclaimed around the globe, won 32 awards (including the Peabody Award and the Amnesty International Media Award for Best Documentary 2016) and sparked a global movement to end violence against women and girls.
The searing insights yielded by the 2½ journey making “India’s Daughter”, led Leslee to found UK-and-US-based Not for Profit global education initiative “Think Equal”, of which she is the CEO. This early years education programme, the solution to the problem the film laid bare, is currently impacting children in 13 countries across 5 continents (Australia, Botswana, Canada, Colombia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Northern Macedonia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK, USA). Partners to Think Equal include Pope Francis’s Scholas; the AC Milan Foundation; Montessori; the Institute for Healthy Minds (Wisconsin Madison University); Charter for Compassion, the Dalai Lama’s SEE Curriculum / Emory University and the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence.