FEI’s Vision, Mission and Values
Our vision is for the global facial difference community to live freely, without indignity or discrimination.
In order to achieve our vision, our mission is to position face equality as a social justice movement.
Together we can create a world where anyone with a disfigurement is free to be unapologetically themselves. In order to celebrate what makes us ‘different’, first we must recognise that it is society that must change, not us. It is the limiting perceptions placed on faces and bodies that do not conform to the ‘norm’ that we must change.
Phyllida Swift, CEO of FEI
As a growing Alliance of international NGOs, our collective actions will focus on:
- Advocating for disfigurement to be recognised as an independent equality and human rights issue, so that the rights and protections of those with facial differences are not limited to disability laws and spaces.
- Eliminating the life-limiting stigma and prejudice associated with facial difference and disfigurement through education and community-building.
- Growing and amplifying an inclusive, empowered community of organisations and individuals devoted to campaigning for face equality.
- Campaigning for an equitable society, ensuring people with facial differences have freedom and choice to be seen and heard on their own terms.
FIND OUR STRATEGIC FOCUS HERE.
Facial difference or disfigurement (FD) describes a facially-diverse or non-normative appearance of the neck and above. This indicates conditions or marks that an individual is born with, as well as changes of facial appearance that are acquired either permanently or temporarily.
Medical and legal settings have historically used the term disfigurement. Facial difference or FD can be more universal and inclusive terms to strive towards in the future. Self-identification and freedom of choice are always paramount.
As an Alliance, we build solidarity through working collectively towards a unified goal.
We embrace and create space for facial differences of any kind, be they acquired, from birth, or temporary.
We respect the importance of intersectionality, recognising the experience of all marginalised communities whose social identities may overlap and lead to heightened prejudice. We will align with other equality and human rights issues wherever possible.
We normalise difference and reduce shame with meaningful, open conversations.
We’re a community-first organisation, centring lived experience of facial difference always, at the heart of what we do.
We need humanity to acknowledge the facial difference community as an entity that has a strong identity and a standalone voice. To know that we exist. Respect our fortitude, our insight, our indomitable spirit.
Adele Lie, Member of FEI’s Lived Experience Working Group
Face Equality International’s remit is to advocate for people who have any condition which can affect their face – such as those which affect faces only like cleft lips and palates or facial paralysis and those that affect faces and bodies like burns, vitiligo and alopecia.
When campaigning for protection and recognition, FEI will make common cause with charities which campaign for people with body disfigurements and differences.
How we started
FEI was formed in 2018 by our late founder, Dr James Partridge OBE. The Alliance was formed to mobilise the many groups and organisations, big and small, national and international, which support and represent people with facial differences and disfigurements and thereby to create the critical mass and solidarity needed to gain global attention for the campaign for face equality.
We are proud to say that since our inception, we have achieved many of our original objectives, and we’re thrilled to be in a position to continue to build upon them, and evolve as a growing movement. Find our original strategy here.