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Women of colour in politics and challenging racism

Wednesday 09 August 2023 6:15 PM


What has inspired women of colour to enter politics and/or be activists? And how has this intersected with their experiences as black and minority ethnic women? Join the panel to discuss the routes into the conventional political system and activism, whether the Black Lives Matter movement played a part in inspiring activism, and how can effective change be made both inside and outside the political system. Chair Kimberley Wong, Public Affairs and Policy Officer, CRER Panellists Kaukab Stewart MSP was elected as a MSP for Glasgow Kelvin at the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2021 – the first BAME woman to be elected to the Parliament. Kaukab is Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee. She is the Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Pakistan, the Co-convener of the Cross-Party Group on Children and Young People, and Vice-convener of the Cross-Party Group on Colleges and Universities. Prior to her election, she worked as a primary school teacher for nearly 30 years. Councillor Shamin Akhtar was elected in 2012 onto East Lothian Council. She was the Cabinet Spokesperson for Education & Children Services for nine years. Currently she is the Cabinet Spokesperson for Health & Social Care and Depute Leader – making her the first ethnic minority women to hold the position of a Depute Leader of a Local Authority in Scotland. Prior to being elected as a Councillor, Shamin was Policy Officer for Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations for over a decade. Her previous jobs have included leading the National Union of Students in Scotland as President and Assistant Director of Lothian Equal Access Programme for Schools. Zandra Yeaman is the Curator of Discomfort based at the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow. Curating Discomfort is looking at ways outside of traditional museum authority to explore the interpretation of contested collections and to design and deliver a series of museum interventions that takes the museum out of the institutional comfort zone. As an anti-racist activist, Zandra works with museums to gain an understanding of current social systems and how they are influenced by the legacy of empire, slavery and colonialism.

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