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June 22, 2020

Since March 2020, when reports that the UK’s minority ethnic groups were being disproportionately affected by Covid-19 first came to light, CRER has been keeping a close eye on data showing racial disparities in the impact of the virus.  Early reports showed that the first medics who lost their lives from the virus were all from BME backgrounds, and as time went on, evidence on this was building consistently in other parts of the UK.

Meanwhile, the silence on this in Scotland...

June 16, 2020

As the public eye has been cast on racism in Scotland, its gaze stronger than anything we at CRER have seen since our organisation was founded 20 years ago, it’s possible that you missed the annual hate crime statistics being published.

Police Scotland defines hate crime as a crime against a person that is motivated by “malice or ill-will towards a social group”. A person can be a victim of a hate crime if either they or a witness believes they were targeted due to:

  • Disabil...

June 10, 2020

In the 20 years since CRER was founded (under our original name, Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance), we have never seen anything approaching the level of interest in racism and racial inequality triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It is genuinely unprecedented. Indeed, you might be coming across our work for the first time right now – in which case, welcome!

The upsurge of Black voices and the strength of solidarity from allies (including most of Scotland’s promi...

April 22, 2020

As the impact of COVID-19 grows within the UK, there have been reports that it is the “great leveller”. However, with this statement comes the assumption that we are all equal when it comes to being affected by COVID-19, ignoring both the diversity of the UK and the inequality that has pervaded our society.

A statement like this ignores that the NHS has identified groups that are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. This includes people who have heart disease, diabetes, and si...

November 22, 2019

Day One

My first day of shadowing was on the 28th of October 2019 in the constituency of Motherwell and Wishaw. I was given an introduction to Clare’s office and an overview of how Clare’s staff deal with correspondences, particularly emails. I thereafter accompanied Clare Adamson on a constituency visit to Parksprings Care Home in order to present one of its residents, Margaret Mitchell, with a motion which Clare had submitted to Parliament, which was titled: RAF Veteran Marg...

November 14, 2019

Day One 

I was really looking forward to the time I was going to spend with MSP Fulton MacGregor and his team. I was invited to the Scottish Parliament by Fulton at around mid-day on the first day of my shadowing programme. My energy levels were very high, and I was really excited to meet Fulton and his team.

I was welcomed by the very lovely Elaine (from Fulton’s team) and Niamh (who was interning with the team at that time). Niamh and Elaine accompanied me to Fulton’s office...

November 7, 2019

As part of 2019’s Trustees’ Week (4-8 November), the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) and Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS) are asking Glasgow’s voluntary organisations to sign up to an Equality Action Pledge committing to improve representation in the voluntary / third sector.
The general underrepresentation of many people with protected characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) in employment, participation, and volunteering is well...

September 3, 2019

In the 20 years since the Scottish Parliament opened in 1999, what has been done? Overall, a lot: approximately 300 bills have been passed, 1700 public petitions have been lodged, 8500 committee meetings have been held, and 660 FMQ sessions have taken place. [i]

When we consider what precisely has been done for race equality, the answer is a bit trickier.

CRER has conducted an overview of how race has been considered in the past two decades of the Scottish Parliament, looking p...

June 11, 2019

Day One 

The night before my first shadowing experience, I was nervous but I couldn’t wait to get started. I was looking forward to meeting with Clare Adamson and her team in the Motherwell constituency office. Clare Adamson is the SNP representative for the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency.  The constituency is in central Scotland.  She was formerly a councillor with North Lanarkshire council and she has a background in IT. She is the Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s E...

May 21, 2019

Day One

23rd April 2019

The first day of shadowing was started officially at 10:00am in the lobby of Scottish Parliament, awaiting to be collected by Jackie Baillie’s assistant and parliamentary researcher Shonagh. I was pretty nervous seeing as I was running late after 3 trains to Edinburgh had been cancelled, but it ended up be very fitting as I was later to write a press release on behalf of my MSP about ScotRail’s poor services.

Luckily my first day was also the first day o...

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