Derek is a writer, philanthropy adviser, and former youth worker who argues for the centrality of racial justice in the funding sector. He started his journalism career in 1994. He has written for The Times, The Guardian, and British GQ, contributed to anthologies such as Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture and The Weeklings: Revolution #1, and appeared regularly on BBC radio.
Derek moved into the non-profit sector, where he directed award-winning programmes for the Stephen Lawrence Trust. Since 2009, Derek has led funding portfolios for Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good, and the National Lottery Community Fund. He has been responsible for distributing over £150 million to good causes in 34 countries.
Derek's first book, No Win Race (Mudlark/HarperCollins 2019), tackled race and racism in modern Britain through sport. It was a Sunday Times and Financial Times Book of the Year, shortlisted for Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the Indie Book Awards and longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.
Derek is currently working on a new book titled Outsiders Within (Dialogue Books/Little, Brown/Hachette UK), which reimagines philanthropy. He hosts the podcast Just Cause, exploring the intersections of race, culture, and social justice, and he is also a founding member of Future Foundations UK, which supports minoritised racial groups who work in philanthropy to connect and lead change.
Derek is a trustee of the Thirty Percy Foundation, a member of the Black Writers Guild, and a Churchill Fellow.