Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group

Meet the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group, which will shape, influence and guide the delivery of the Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Role of the Group

  • To act as the main body which brings together expert representatives from equalities groups and civil society in the shaping and delivery of the Mayor of London’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
  • To guide City Hall’s work to tackle inequality and create a fairer city.
  • To advise the Mayor on equality and diversity-related issues in the capital, including those faced by specific communities and/or equalities groups.
  • To support the Mayor to ensure the experiences of specific groups are represented in policy and programme, through convening stakeholder equalities groups drawing in wider expertise to inform the development of policy initiatives and/or programmes.
  • To help catalyse new strategic partnerships to deliver the Mayor’s objectives and priorities for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion objectives.
  • To provide a powerful advocacy voice on inclusive practices in the capital’s communities and businesses.

When do they meet and what happens?

The Board will meet bi-annually, usually at City Hall. Meetings are held in private, with attendance by invitation only. - Members will convene Stakeholder Networks and hold regular meetings and events to draw from a wider pool of London’s expertise.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group Meeting Dates, Agendas and Minutes

Chair - Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard

Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement. Read more about Debbie.

 

Harris Bokhari OBE

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Harris is a member of Prince's Trust Mosaic initiative, its first honorary patron and an ambassador for the British Asian Trust. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award for Philanthropy Advocate and he now serves as a judge for the awards.

Harris co-founded the Naz Legacy Foundation, a recipient of the 2014 Big Society Award from the Prime Minister, that was established in memory of his late father, Naz Bokhari OBE. Harris was one of the first Muslims to be invited to the Chief Rabbi's installation ceremony and was an Ariane De Rothschild fellow, in partnership with Cambridge University's Judge Business School and King's College. Harris also organised the first youth interfaith iftar at Lambeth Palace, bringing together the Archbishop of Canterbury, Chief Rabbi, Mayor of London and over 100 youth leaders from every London borough - representing all faiths and none.

Harris was awarded an OBE in Her Majesty's Birthday Honours List for services for young people and interfaith relations; named as one of 40 people in finance who goes further for good causes by Financial News Extra Mile List; and named as one of London's most influential figures by the Evening Standard's Progress 1000 List. 

 

Ellen Clifford

Ellen is a disabled Londoner living with mental distress who has worked in the disability sector, predominantly within user led Deaf and Disabled People's Organisations, for the past twenty years. She is on the national steering group for the campaign Disabled People Against Cuts.

Ellen is committed to disability equality issues and the social model of disability and has played a leading role in reporting to the United Nations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

Dr Carole Easton OBE

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Carole’s work focuses on raising awareness and improving services for groups subject to disadvantage and discrimination, ranging from abused children to adults with physical and mental health issues. Currently she is Chief Executive of Young Women's Trust, the charity supporting and representing young women at risk of lifelong financial disadvantage.

Carole has extensive experience of charity leadership, having been Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Care, ChildLine and CLICSargent. As an independent consultant she advises on senior team, board and organisational development, both in the UK and overseas. Until recently Carole was Chair of Young Minds, (the young people's mental health charity) and Trustee and Chair of the Services Committee at DepaulUK (youth homelessness) and has served on many Boards and working groups including the Greenwich Fairness Commission.

 

Maggi Ferncombe

Maggi Ferncombe
Maggi has worked in the trade union movement for 30 years and is the Regional Secretary for UNISON Greater London. Campaigns for equal pay and gender equality. Leads on UNISON’s living wage campaign in London and the fight to overcome poverty and discrimination.

She is proud to be working class, empowering workers and campaigning to improve working conditions for some of the lowest paid people in London.

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Harding

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Roger is Chief Executive of RECLAIM, the working-class youth leadership charity. RECLAIM fights to ensure working class people are represented and heard wherever decisions are made that affect their lives. It does it through programmes to support a diverse new generation of young working-class leaders, helping them campaign for change, and working with organisations who want to be inclusive of working-class talent.

After being raised by a single mum in a council house, Roger began his career fighting for social justice at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation before becoming Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter. Since 2017 he has been a member of the Trustee Board of Victim Support.

 

Megan Jarvie

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Megan has worked for Coram Family and Childcare since 2016 and has been Head of Coram Family and Childcare since November 2018. Megan is a leading voice for families, parents and childcare, and makes a demonstrable difference to policy on families and childcare in the UK.

Before joining the organisation, Megan worked in campaigns at Child Poverty Action Group and Diabetes UK and in policy and strategy for local government and the NHS. Her work for local government and the NHS involved service improvement and change management, as well as working in family services.

 

 

 

James Lee

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James Lee was born and raised in London by two visually impaired parents who immigrated to Britain in the 1970s. James considers himself to be a disabled person and uses a wheelchair to assist with his everyday mobility.

James has worked across the public, private and voluntary sectors in roles which take an intersectional approach to fostering equality, diversity and inclusion for all.

He currently serves as the Chair of the Grant Making Advisory Committee for BBC Children in Need (London and South-East), as a consultant with the City Bridge Trust and is a member of Transport for London’s Independent Disability Advisory Group.

 

 

Laks Mann

Laks Mann
Laks has worked for the Metropolitan Police Service for ten years in various roles. He is a Committee Member of the MPS LGBT+ Network, an active member of the MPS Sikh Association, and an alumni of Stonewall’s flagship LGBT+ Workplace Leadership Programme. He is currently seconded to Lambeth College working with young people on The Prince’s Trust Team programme and is also an accredited Prince’s Trust mentor.

Laks is Co-Chair of Pop Brixton Steering Group, a Lambeth representative for the London LGBT+ Forums’ Network, and a Co-Founder of Gaysians. He has over twenty years of volunteering experience across numerous community organisations.

 

 

Laura Marks OBE

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Laura’s work revolves around breaking down barriers between people from different backgrounds to reduce misconceptions and prejudice. In particular, her interest is in women and in the faith groups. Laura founded Mitzvah Day, now an international interfaith day of social action ten years ago, and co-founded Nisa-Nashim, a Muslim/Jewish women’s network in 2015. Laura also chairs the government-funded Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. This ensures that thousands of events run around the country bringing people together to consider where identity-based hatred, against any group, can lead.

In addition to grass roots activism, Laura believes in the need to engage with policy makers at all levels. Laura is a frequently heard contributor to Radio 2 Pause for Thought and writes and broadcasts regularly. She is delighted to join the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working Group.

 

Samantha Mauger

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Samantha is Chief Executive of the Third Age Trust and has worked for over 23 years in the areas of Health, Wellbeing and Voice with and for older people. Sam was the CEO for Age UK London before joining the Third Age Trust which supports the more than 1,000 U3A charities across the country. She has also been the Co-Chair of the Age England Association, Chair of City of London Healthwatch, Chair of the London Voluntary Sector Forum, and a Trustee of LASA and Westminster Arts. She is a trained mediator.

U3A is a cooperative movement of Third Agers who come together to continue their educational, social and creative interests in a friendly and informal environment.  U3A members have reported major benefits to being part of the U3A learning model in terms of confidence, feeling supported in new communities, learning new skills, combatting loneliness, feeling valued and enjoying life. Sam wants to see a wider debate about the benefits of positive ageing built on group learning, skill sharing and volunteering.

 

Kimberly McIntosh

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Kimberly is policy officer at the Runnymede Trust and Race on the Agenda, focussing on research, network building, debate and policy engagement. She is also a writer, commentator and columnist for outlets such as the Guardian, Sky News and gal-dem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Ruth Owen OBE

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Ruth joined Whizz-Kidz as Chief Executive in 2004, having previously forged a successful career in the private sector in the technology industry. Whizz-Kidz is a national children’s charity providing mobility equipment, ambassador clubs, wheelchair skills training, employment opportunities and life skills training for young disabled people. Last year, Whizz-Kidz directly supported 4,000 children and young people nationally, working extensively to lobby to reform NHS wheelchair services through NHS England and government policy.

Ruth is also a Non-Executive Director of Motability Operations Group and was recognised with an OBE in 2012 for services to disabled children and young people.

 

 

Lisa Power MBE

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Lisa came out in 1975 and has been an LGBT+ campaigner ever since. She was with the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard for 14 years and the Terrence Higgins Trust (as Policy Director) for 17 years.

Lisa was one of the founders of Stonewall and the Secretary-General of the International Lesbian & Gay Association and the first out LGBT+ person to speak on our rights at the United Nations in 1991. She is currently a Trustee of Queer Britain, the museum project and Chair of the global HIV Justice Network.

 

 

 

 

Tebussum Rashid

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Tebussum has over 25 years' experience of working with the voluntary and community sector, not only assisting with organisational development issues, funding and fundraising, but also helping create and develop new organisations and projects, influencing policy and societal change. She is currently Deputy Chief Executive at Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG)

Using her skills in planning, analysis and problem solving, Tebussum has successfully supported a range of projects around the country. The breadth of her expertise has led her to work in the areas of criminal justice, race equality, mental health, abuse and domestic violence, education and employment. She also coaches and supports people in their personal development - especially BAME women.

Tebussum is passionate about the work of the voluntary and community sector and its potential for bringing about significant changes to people's lives. 

 

Asma Shah

Asma Shah Headshot
Asma has spent much of her career in the cultural and creative sectors at organisations such as Channel 4, Roundhouse and Creative Skillset, and was inspired to create a truly effective programme for young working class women in East London.

Motivated by her back story of growing up on a council estate in Peckham and living in Bethnal Green for 17 years, Asma chose to fight back against the devastating effects of austerity cuts and increasing gentrification. She wanted to empower other women from similar backgrounds to hers to access the confidence, skills and knowledge to transform their lives. 

She is the Founding CEO of You Make It, established in 2011 as a virtually funding-free pilot. You Make It combines creative workshops, mentoring, work placements, business initiatives and holistic care to help guide working class women of colour to happier and more independent lives. 

 

Nizam Uddin

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Nizam Uddin is a proud Londoner who has spent much of his life living in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. He is the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince's Trust, where he has a national role overseeing the Mosaic Initiative. Nizam has previously worked for the University of London and the Quality Assurance Agency, and was previously the elected President of the University of London Students' Union. 

Nizam has a strong interest and background in social mobility, particularly in addressing the challenges and obstacles preventing young people from fulfilling their potential. Nizam is currently a Trustee at SOAS University of London and a Governor of Mulberry Academy, Shoreditch. He holds an MA in Public Policy from King's College London.

 

Michael Christopher Walsh

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Chris Walsh, BA, MCIM, has been active in the age, equality and anti-poverty movements for over 20 years. With his background as a senior 'not for profit' marketing director for local authorities, private and voluntary sectors, as well as a University lecturer in marketing and marketing research, he has brought this expertise to his work as a social entrepreneur. He is currently Chief Executive of Wise Age Ltd - the specialist older working age agency - and is Chair of Positive Ageing in London and Age Platform (UK section).

Chris has been committed for many years to enabling self-organisation among those women and men who are excluded and face discrimination because of class, race, gender or age in areas such as housing, employment, health and civic engagement. 

 

Harri Weeks

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Harri has worked in the Education and Health sectors, within sector infrastructure and oversight bodies, unions, front-line organisations, and as an independent consultant, always specialising in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, with a particular focus on LGBTQ communities, gender, intersections of identity, and engagement with marginalised communities.

Harri works for The National LGB&T Partnership and is a member of NHS England Specialised Commissioning’s Gender Identity Services Programme Board. Harri has worked to progress health sector projects focusing on trans people’s needs by drawing on and developing intra-community relationships and conducting outreach into trans and LGBTQ spaces.

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