Christian Aid appoints university professor to be its first race and diversity lead

Christian Aid has appointed a university professor to be its first race and diversity lead.

Dr Kamna Patel takes on the role at the charity in July, joining from University College London, where she is associate professor of development studies and faculty vice-dean for equality, diversity and inclusion.

The role has been created by Christian Aid as one of a number of measures to tackle racism and inequality in its organisation.

This follows a charity commissioned report published last year that said the charity had an “organisational culture in which Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff encountered racism at work and did not feel confident in the organisation’s willingness to name and challenge it”.

Christian Aid chief Executive Amanda Khozi Mukwashi said the report made “for painful reading”.

Dr Patel, who has joined the charity in a two-year contract said: “I’m very excited to join Christian Aid and to bring a different element to thinking about race and racism to the organisation, drawing on my own academic research and other studies of structural racism.

“Through this I hope to enhance the depth and reach of the Race and Diversity plan to enable us to realise its full potential.”

The charity’s director of strategy and global change Mervyn McCullagh, Christian said: “We recognise how far there is for us to go on this journey and it is a journey we all need to go on together.

He added: “We are delighted that Dr Patel will be joining us as a key driver to take us from where we are to where we hope we will be in years to come.

“Kamna has the skills we need to lead on delivering a progressive work plan which is owned across the organisation, honours the voices of our people and helps us realise our ambition of becoming a truly anti-racist organisation.”

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