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Seminar series - Shaping the future: Race and racism in 21st century Britain

Is there an elephant in the room? If we live in a post-racial society, why do certain ethnic groups continue to experience disadvantage?

This seminar series, launched in November 2011 to coincide with the retrial into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, will debate these questions and seek to identify solutions to persistent and emerging inequalities faced by BAME children, young people and their families.

When and where

Seminars will be held in:

Tower Hamlets, 4.00 – 7.00pm, 22 February. To find out more and to book a place click here.

Hackney, 2.00 – 5.00pm, 28 February. This seminar will be followed by ROTA’s AGM. To find out more and to book a place click here.

Haringey, 4.00 – 7.00pm, 29 February. This event will focus on youth employment. To find out more and to book a place click here.

Islington, 4.00 – 7.00pm, 1 March. To find out more and to book a place click here.


We have seen massive changes in the law and there is no doubt that progress has been made in addressing racism in our country. Greater proportions of BAME young people are going on to higher education, for example. However, these increased qualification levels are not translating into labour market and wealth outcomes with disproportionate numbers of BAME young people being unemployed and underemployed. Nearly one in two young black people are unemployed, compared to one in eight of young people in general. We are not making the most of British talent.

Who will attend and what will happen

Each seminar will begin with a range of experts presenting their views on what needs to be done to progress race equality in key areas relevant to BAME children, young people and their families. Seminar Chairs will then facilitate solutions-focused discussions with panellists and participants, including representatives of the BAME voluntary, community and statutory sectors with roles and responsibilities relating to children and young people.

Who is involved

Confirmed speakers and chairs at the various seminars include:

  • Abu Mumin, Senior Manager, The Osmani Trust (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Cllr Alan Strickland (Haringey seminar)

  • Andrew Muhammad, Westside Young Leaders Academy (Islington seminar)

  • Ambrose Quashie, Economic Regeneration, Haringey Council (Haringey seminar)

  • Cllr Claudia Webbe, London Borough of Islington (Islington seminar)

  • Colin Adams, Chair, Hanley Crouch Community Association (Islington seminar)

  • Clasford Stirling, Broadwater Farm Football Club (Haringey seminar)

  • David Lammy MP (Haringey seminar)

  • Diane Abbott MP (Hackney seminar)

  • Elizabeth Henry, Chief Executive, Race on the Agenda (all seminars)

  • Graham Smith, Head of Planning and Equalities, Cambridge Education @ Islington (Islington seminar)

  • Professor Gus John, Gus John Consultancy (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Jake Ferguson, Chief Executive, Hackney CVS (Hackney seminar)

  • Jane Milligan, Borough Director, NHS East London & the City (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Dr. Jeanelle de Gruchy, Director of Public Health, London Borough of Haringey / NHS North Central London (Haringey seminar)

  • Jessica Hodgson, Work Services Directorate, North London District, Department for Work and Pensions (Hackney seminar)

  • June Jarrett, Principal, Haringey Sixth Forum (Haringey seminar)

  • Kamila Zahno, Zahno Rao Associates (Hackney seminar)

  • Leander Neckles, Necko Consultancy (Haringey seminar)

  • Lela Kogbara, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Islington Council (Islington seminar)

  • Leroy Logan MBE, Superintendent, Olympic Policing Co-ordination Team and Executive Member of the Metropolitan Black Police Association (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Mary Durkin, Service Head for Youth and Community Learning, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Muhammad Rabbani, Aasha Gang Mediation Project (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Young Mayor Nahimul Islam, London Borough of Tower Hamlets (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Narendra Makanji (Haringey seminar)

  • Dr Nicola Rollock, Visiting Research Associate, Institute of Education (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Omer Ahmed, Council of Somali Organisations (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Patrick Vernon, Chief Executive, Afiya Trust (Hackney seminar)

  • Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, Borough Commander (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Phillip Kissi, External Relations Manager, Job Centre Plus (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Dr Richard Stone, ROTA Patron (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Rita Chadha, Chief Executive of the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Robert Jones, Acting Borough Commander, London Borough of Hackney (Hackney seminar)

  • Rueben Tapper, Young Fathers Worker, Immediate Theatre (Hackney seminar)

  • Sandra Looby, Borough Commander, London Borough of Haringey (Haringey seminar)

  • Shaynul Khan, Assistant Director of the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, Chair of Tower Hamlets CVS, and Founder and Secretary of the Osmani Trust (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Superintendent Simon Corkhill, Acting Borough Commander (Islington seminar)

  • Sona Mahtani, The Selby Trust (Haringey seminar)

  • Steve Belk, Acting Chief Executive, The Learning Trust (Hackney seminar)

  • Sukhpal Grewal, External Relations & Partnership Manager, Jobcentre Plus (Islington seminar)

  • Deputy Young Mayor Tasmina Khanum (Tower Hamlets seminar)

  • Tony Warner, Black History Walks (Islington seminar)

  • Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, ROTA Patron (House of Lords, launch seminar)

  • Sir William Atkinson, Headteacher, Phoenix High School (Hackney seminar

The webpages about the seminar series, which are available here, will be updated as new speakers and panelists are confirmed.

This seminar series is being delivered in partnership with Hackney CVS, Islington BME Forum, The Selby Centre and Tower Hamlets CVS.

Race On The Agenda

c/o Voluntary Sector Centre

International Press Centre

76 Shoe Lane

London EC4A 3JB

Tel:  020 7842 8533

Fax: 020 7842 8535

What is ROTA?

ROTA is a social policy organisation focused on issues impacting on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

As a BAME-led organisation, all ROTA’s work is based on the principle that those with direct experience of inequality should be central to solutions to address it. Our work is actively informed by the lived experiences of BAME communities and their organisations.

How do I join?

Membership is free and the online membership form only takes a few minutes to complete. Members automatically receive our services including invitations to events, policy briefings, our monthly policy e-bulletin and more. The membership form is available at

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