I am hugely pleased and proud to take up my post as Chief Executive at ROTA. I follow in the footsteps of two very influential and inspiring black women: Dinah Cox and Elizabeth Henry,  who not only put Race on the Agenda but also put ROTA on the map. As a small strategic and policy organisation we focus on challenging race equality in London and beyond. Our work has national implications and is led and directed by our membership of organisations and individuals concerned about issues of race and their impact on policy, legislation, service delivery and inclusion. Membership of ROTA is free to individuals and organisations and you can join on line. Please join and help us develop new approaches to putting race on the agenda.

Equalities are currently under  serious attack from the Government. The Public Sector Equalities Duties are being questioned even though they were only introduced in 2011. Action on equalities is now seen as being about “over-regulation” and “tick boxing” rather than as a tool that helps public bodies deliver their services fairly and more accurately. If we are not careful and we allow some in the Government to have their way,  we will return to the kind of country we were before the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Following the Inquiry,  the notion that public bodies should consider the equalities implications of all their decisions, work to eliminate institutional discrimination at all levels and foster good relations between different groups of people became commonplace.

We must not allow the Government turn back the  progress that Britain has made in establishing legislation  to overcome institutional racism and other forms of discrimination.