Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racism Infrastructure minutes: April 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 19 April 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Moi Ali, author and expert on communications and marketing
  • Dr Addy Adelaine, International Social Worker and expert in action research and inclusive accountability
  • Tuoyo Ayiku, Head, Heart of Africa charity and manager, Heart in the Community Café
  • Ndaye Lisa Badji, Head of Advocacy and Partnerships, Intercultural Youth Scotland
  • Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Riaz Hassan, Head of Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan (ARWAP) Implementation Team, Welsh Government
  • Professor Ima Jackson, Co-Chair, Professor of Community Engagement in Research, Social Policy and Infrastructure Development, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Micheal Matovu, Co-Founder of Radiant and Brighter
  • Monica Lee-McPherson, Head, Scottish Highlands and Islands and Moray Chinese Association (SHIMCA)
  • Kate Miguda, Professor Ima Jackson’s Mentee
  • Professor Nasar Meer, Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship, University of Edinburgh
  • Hazel Peters, young person with anti-racist expertise and lived experience
  • Adebusola Ramsay, Information Analyst and expert in racialised data
  • Dr Mark Wong, Senior Lecturer, Public Policy and Research Methods, Glasgow University 
  • Talat Yaqoob, Co-Chair, Independent Consultant and Social Researcher across equalities issues


  • Dr Halima Begum, CEO, Runnymede Trust
  • Hana Bloedel, Youth Advocacy Lead, Intercultural Youth Scotland
  • Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director for London, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) within the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • Dr Gina Netto, Reader, International and Forced Migration, Heriot-Watt University

Scottish Government

  • Jeff Macdonald, Secretariat
  • Frankie McLean, Race Equality Team Lead
  • Nanjika Nasiiro, Strategic Lead, Race Equality

Items and actions

Welsh Government – overview of the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan (ARWAP)

Background to the ARWAP was outlined. The challenges in developing the plan included: community trust deficit, doubt around resources and sanctions, regulatory bodies understanding of racism, intersectionality and acknowledging systemic, structural and institutional racism.

The ARWAP journey included providing community consultation grants to appoint seventeen community mentors to support policy makers to co-design the plan. This was followed by a process of roundtables and consultation.

ARWAP governance, buy-in and accountability

An External Accountability Group was established – comprised of eleven community representatives with lived experience and seven independent Race Experts.

Internal Welsh Government Support and Challenge Group – to ensure timely delivery and progress towards the purpose of the plan for actions that lie within the control or influence of the Welsh Government.

Race Disparity Unit – this group focuses on data and works to overcome gaps which are identified in governance processes.

Race Forum – established in January 2023 and meets bi-monthly. Each meeting has a different thematic focus, such as education or health, where officials are invited from each policy area to discuss progress.

Buy-in: The First Minister of Wales and Minister for Social Justice have committed giving the ARWAP their highest priority (included in Programme for Government). The First Minister meets with the External Accountability Group twice a year, and the Minister for Social Justice meets the group more regularly.

Buy-in was achieved across government via bilateral meetings and the Permanent Secretary for Welsh Government is involved, Co-Chairing the External Accountability Group.

The Welsh Government slides will be shared with the Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racism Infrastructure (AIGG) and it was highlighted the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan - Appendices contain the Terms of Reference for both the External Accountability Group (appendix 5) and Internal Support and Challenge Group (appendix 6). 

The AIGG were invited to review these documents, which include detail about the accountability processes. Welsh Government noted further information could be provided regarding the ARWAP (including sanctions and escalation processes where challenge is identified to government regarding progress) however it was highlighted the above Terms of Reference contain information relevant to this point.

Further engagement with Welsh Government

The AIGG thanked Welsh Government for their input, commending the approach taken and an action was highlighted – the AIGG propose taking forward formal engagement between Welsh Government and Scottish Government, at a Ministerial Level, and an official level, to collaborate on anti-racism strategies and share best practice on accountability processes.

Welsh Government noted their agreement to engage with Welsh Government officials regarding this action. 

Overview of recent AIGG meetings, upcoming AIGG workshops and next steps

An overview of the next steps of the accountability process was provided. Group members were asked to review and provide feedback, which in turn will be incorporated into a report which is sent to government.

Two consolidation workshops will be set up to allow further discussion.

Letters from Co-Chairs to Ministers

The Co-Chairs updated that a meeting has been scheduled with the Minster for Equalities, Migration and Refugees to discuss the AIGG, accountability and the forthcoming Anti-Racism Observatory for Scotland. 

The Co-Chairs highlighted a letter has been sent to the First Minster regarding meeting.

The Co-Chairs noted this week’s publication of the First Minister’s policy prospectus: ‘New leadership - A fresh start’. It was noted the name of Observatory has been updated in this publication to ‘Anti-Racism Observatory for Scotland’, both online and in the PDF version of the document.

Scottish Government Race Equality Conference and internal SG relationships to the future Observatory

Co-Chairs noted they provided feedback to Scottish Government (SG) to bring community into any forthcoming SG Race Equality Conference.

SG officials provided an update, noting the Co-Chairs approach was really valuable, to use as an opportunity to get the views of the community, as a way forward.

SG officials advised that the conference is focussed on anti-racism, and it would be helpful to have everyone in the same room, given there have been a lot of changes lately – including a new First Minister, and new Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees.  

It was noted that it would be helpful to have a more collaborative approach to develop policy, with robust accountability, to set the scene for anti-racism work across government.

The group noted an appropriate facilitator is required to provide advice on the conference – which should include considerations regarding content, the language used, the food which is offered and the space which the event is held in. A risk assessment covering all relevant aspects should be completed.

Summary and next steps 

Co-Chairs will engage with SG officials to discuss next steps regarding conference planning.

Co-Chairs thanked the group for their efforts and progress made to date, noting the accountability report will be produced by the end of May. Workshops will be set up soon and group members were encouraged to participate.


  • Secretariat to send the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan (ARWAP) Welsh Government slides and the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan - Appendices, containing the Terms of Reference for both the ARWAP External Accountability Group (appendix 5), and Internal Support and Challenge Group (appendix 6), to the AIGG
  • Welsh Government and Scottish Government Officials to continue engaging with each other to share best practice, including in relation to accountability processes
  • AIGG to formally propose Ministerial engagement between Welsh Government and Scottish Government, to collaborate on anti-racism strategies and share best practice on accountability processes
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