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

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 24 May 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
  • Kashish Bhatia, youth panel member
  • Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Professor Ima Jackson, Co-Chair, Professor of Community Engagement in Research, Social Policy and Infrastructure Development, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Monica Lee-McPherson, Head, Scottish Highlands and Islands and Moray Chinese Association (SHIMCA)
  • Micheal Matovu, Co-Founder of Radiant and Brighter
  • Professor Nasar Meer, Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship, University of Edinburgh
  • Hazel Peters, young person with anti-racist expertise and lived experience
  • Romy Popotte, youth panel member
  • Dr Mark Wong, Senior Lecturer, Public Policy and Research Methods, Glasgow University 
  • Talat Yaqoob, Co-Chair, Independent Consultant and Social Researcher across equalities issues


  • 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)
  • Kate Miguda, Professor Ima Jackson’s Mentee
  • Dr Gina Netto, Reader, International and Forced Migration, Heriot-Watt University

Scottish Government

  • Frankie McLean, Strategic Anti Racism Team Lead
  • Nanjika Nasiiro, Strategic Lead, Equality Division

Items and actions

Key discussion points

Next steps with the Immediate Priorities Plan (IPP)

Officials presented a summary of a previously circulated paper on next steps beyond the IPP and how the Scottish Government proposes to take forward the work of the IPP. Officials informed the group that as a first step, the Race Equality team would be changing its name to the Strategic Anti-Racism Team to better reflect upon its work and our ambitions. This was welcomed.

Group members queried the level of communities’ participation in the production of the upcoming publication, particularly if it will be used as a baseline. Officials responded that the publication was essentially self-reporting and acknowledged that participation and co-production is fundamental in anti-racism work; this will be an area to develop going forward but this requires particular expertise that Scottish Government does not have at the moment. The group appreciated this reflection and requested that the team consider how it can include this within the publication.

IPP and Anti-Racism Interim Governance Group to Develop National Anti-Racism Infrastructure (AIGG) accountability reporting – update

Co-Chairs provided a verbal update from the community researchers. The community research and analysis have progressed a great deal with significant learning along the way. This research was a first in the involvement of the community. The researchers have been grateful for support from AIGG members.

The community researches are keen for meaningful additional input from AIGG members at this stage. They are especially interested in understanding and considering whether there are any other areas which have similar accountability / scrutiny similar to the work being done here (with the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls being an already known example).

Update – Co-Chair meeting with Ms Roddick and official letter to the Minister regarding Anti-Racism Observatory set up (process started)

Co-chairs had a positive initial meeting with Ms Roddick, the new Minister for Equalities, Migration & Refugees. A letter has been written to outline the Anti-Racism Observatory to the Minister. The next steps include a more detailed breakdown which will go to the Minister as a more detailed endorsement. This will allow a response by the policy team, following the Scottish Government process and protocol.

Co-Chairs explained the protocol to ensure that AIGG members had an understanding of it as well as how the AIGG were participating in the process. There was an appreciation that the relationships, including those with communities, parliament and with Scottish Government, as well as the public narrative would be important.

The creation of an Anti-Racism Observatory is an important step, but there will always be risks associated with creating something new. These may include a higher level of scrutiny, additional level of budget and the fact that this may create further demands on the Minister and her team as well as additional asks from other areas in the equalities sector.

There was a discussion about how the Anti-Racism Observatory could function and how others in the government, parliament and public sector might relate to it.  Relationships will need investment to be strong and beneficial to all.

Anti-Racism Observatory Board members process update and next steps

Co-Chairs provided an update on the process, noting need for new people, different expertise and perspectives. Everyone on the AIGG will have an opportunity to put themselves forwards to be a board member, but it is expected that the board will be formed of a mix of AIGG and new members.

Person specifications will be drafted and advertisement will be supported at pace.

Next steps and meeting update with Cat McMeeken, Deputy Director Equalities, Scottish Government

Co-Chairs provided an update on their meeting with Cat McMeeken, the new Deputy Director Equalities, Scottish Government. They found the meeting helpful and discussed next step processes, which included further developing an evidence base of the modelling options considered and operationalisation secondment support.

Co-Chairs will have regular meetings with the Deputy Director (Equalities) to support progress.

Proposal to extend AIGG by three months and proposed September launch

Co-Chairs updated members on the proposed extension and asked for commitment from AIGG members to support the new timescale, highlighting they would be working towards a launch in September, with the First Minister invited.

Co-Chairs recommended exploring liaison with Creating Dangerously – an exhibition by Alberta Whittle at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Co-Chairs asked whether AIGG members were able to continue. Unfortunately, the Young Persons Panel will be unable to continue. Co-Chairs thanked the young people for their valuable input and it was noted Co-Chairs will have further conversations with the young people regarding future engagement opportunities.

Appreciation was expressed for the contributions of the AIGG members so far, including the fact that there had been two babies born to members during the period of the AIGG operation.


  • Strategic Anti Racism Team to consider community input to the IPP reporting
  • AIGG members to contact community researchers if they are interested in providing additional input to community researchers regarding accountability/scrutiny research
  • group members to email AIGG secretariat if interested in joining the Anti-Racism Observatory Board.  Note – group members were asked to highlight any specific criteria they would like to be included in the selection process
  • Co-chairs to share a more refined version of the Anti-Racism Observatory vision and the accountability report with AIGG members
  • Secretariat to email group members with new AIGG end date. AIGG members to confirm whether they are able to continue
  • Secretariat to set up additional AIGG meetings to cover the next three months, expected to be end of June, July and August



Interim Governance 

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