Doctor (Honoris Causa)

Liam Hackett

A headshot of Dr Liam Hackett MBE in 2023
Born (1991-01-19) 19 January 1991 (age 33)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
Occupation(s)Activist, Entrepreneur, Author
Years active2012–present
AgentNorthbank Talent
Known forFounder and CEO of Ditch the Label
Notable work'FEARLESS' (2020)
HonoursOrder of the British Empire, Doctorate of the University (University of Sussex), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Liam Hackett MBE (born 19 January 1991, in St Helens) is an activist, entrepreneur and author best known as the founder and CEO of the global youth charity Ditch the Label. Hackett is also known as one of the stars of Huffington Post's reality series, 'The New Activists'[1][2] also appearing in MTV's Geordie OG's series one.[3]

Hackett's debut book 'FEARLESS' was published by Scholastic in 2020.[4][5]

Hackett is a regular contributor towards the global conversation surrounding technology and bullying and has advised the British, European and American Governments[6][7][8] and speaks often at the United Nations[9][10][11] in addition to writing for the United Nations about technological progression and challenges.[12]

In 2017 he became the youngest person to receive an honorary degree from the University of Sussex.[13]

Early life

Hackett grew up in St Helens, United Kingdom and experienced both physical and emotional bullying at school. In the last few years at his secondary school, he was physically assaulted outside of school, causing him to be hospitalised. Hackett has said in some interviews that the bullying he experienced was homophobic.[14]

Hackett first came out as bisexual and, in his college years, he came out as gay.[15] After college Hackett moved to Brighton to study business and management at the University of Sussex.[16][17][18]

Ditch the Label

Main article: Ditch the Label

In 2006, Hackett launched a Myspace profile to host conversations that were taking place following his and others' experiences with bullying and physical assault, naming it ‘Ditch the Label’.[19] He received a grant from the St. Helens Chamber of Commerce to develop a dedicated Ditch the Label website to provide help and support to the victims of bullying. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in business and management; he registered Ditch the Label as a legal entity and began to formally develop the organisation, funding it with his own money.[20]

In March 2014, Ditch the Label was officially recognised and registered as a charity in the UK. In 2016, Ditch the Label announced their international expansion into the United States as "Ditch the Label". Shortly after, Ditch the Label gained 501(c)(3) status in the US and then opened their office in Los Angeles.[21] Hackett splits his time between both offices.

In 2023, Ditch the Label launched as 'Quítate las Etiquetas[22]' across Espańol communities.


In 2019, Hackett publicly called out Brighton Pride for their alleged discrimination against pride-goers with a disability after his relatives were confined to a 'disability tent' with no view of the stage. A backlash ensued with thousands turning to Twitter, with many sharing their own experiences and some calling for a complete boycott.[23][24]



  1. ^ "The New Activists | Monkey". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. ^ "New Activists: Watch The First Episode Of HuffPost UK's Daily Docu-Reality Series". Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Geordie OG's". Lime Pictures - Great stories, brilliantly told. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  4. ^ "How Liam Hackett is teaching young people to be Fearless". CelebMix. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Scholastic snaps up anti-bullying charity founder's non-fiction debut | The Bookseller". Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  6. ^ Elgot, Jessica (5 January 2017). "Children in England sign over digital rights 'regularly and unknowingly'". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Liam Hackett". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Cyberbullying Among Young People" (PDF). European Parliament. June 2018.
  9. ^ kathrinegarrison (10 May 2018). "Commission on the Status of Women: Raising Our Voices". Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Cyberbullying and Its Implications for Human Rights | UN Chronicle". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  11. ^ anne.balonier (9 August 2017). "Bullying Survey 2017: Cyberbullying impacts young people's real lives". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Cyberbullying and Its Implications for Human Rights | UN Chronicle". Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  13. ^ Tremlett, Rose. "University of Sussex awards degree to youngest ever honorary graduate". The University of Sussex. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Together We Can Change Society And Beat Bullying Once And For All". HuffPost UK. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Liam Hackett". RUComingOut. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Liam Hackett - Founder and CEO Profile". Ditch the Label. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Introducing: Ditch The Label". Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  18. ^ "R u coming out features: Liam Hackett". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  19. ^ Bhandari, Bibek (6 August 2012). "Liam Hackett: "It Does Get Better"". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Liam Hackett : Community heroes : ... : About us : University of Sussex". Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  21. ^ "It Took Us Just Under Twelve Months, But We Finally Got Charity Status In The USA". HuffPost UK. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  22. ^ Inc, B. R. P. "BRP AND YOUTH CHARITY DITCH THE LABEL LAUNCH SUPPORT PLATFORM TO RIDE OUT INTIMIDATION IN MEXICO". (Press release). Retrieved 9 June 2023. ((cite press release)): |last= has generic name (help)
  23. ^ Newsbeat, BBC (5 August 2019). "Brighton Pride sorry over lack of disabled access to Kylie's show". BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  24. ^ Duffy, Nick (5 August 2019). "Disabled people confined to 'access tent' during Kylie Minogue Brighton Pride show". Pink News. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Top 30 charity chief executives on social media in 2016 announced". Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  26. ^ "History". Ditch the Label. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Gscene Gay/LGBT Magazine. News, Reviews & Listings for Gay/LGBT Brighton, UK, National Diversity Awards 2013 | Gscene Gay Magazine - What's on in Gay / LGBT Brighton". 13 May 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  28. ^ "'Ditch the Label' CEO receives honour | Gscene Gay Magazine - What's on in Gay / LGBT Brighton". 15 August 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  29. ^ "WINNERS REVEALED AT 26th SUSSEX BUSINESS AWARDS – Sussex Business Awards". Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  30. ^ "The 2015 European Diversity Awards – Shortlist Revealed | BoardroomMum™". Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  31. ^ Team, Web. "Liam Hackett : Spotlight on: alumni stories : ... : Development and Alumni Relations : University of Sussex". Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  32. ^ "BBC Radio 5 live - 5 Live Breakfast, Your Call, Bullying, Rise in cyberbullying: Your experiences". BBC. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2020.