The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights will mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with an inaugural symposium which seeks to challenge the cosy consensus that Scotland has tackled racism more effectively than other parts of the UK. ‘Race Equality in Scotland – the next 10 years’ will provide a platform for experts in the field of anti-racist work. The three speakers at this initial event are:
- Professor Kay Hampton, Professor in Communities and Race Relations and former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality.
- Dr. Colin Clark, Head of the Graduate School for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde.
- Dr. Philomena de Lima, Director of the Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of the Highland and Islands.
Professor Hampton will challenge the claim that race inequality is no longer a problem in Scotland stating that “although successive Scottish Governments might appear to engage positively with matters relating to inequality, evidence on the ground suggest that they have not succeeded in demonstrating a sustained, progressive realization of race equality.”
With the Independence referendum next year, Dr. Clark will look ahead to where Scotland might be in 2023, arguing that “One thing is clear – we are long overdue a return to what has been termed the ‘liberal hour’, especially regarding issues of ethnicity, identity and migration.”
Dr. de Lima’s presentation ‘Post Race or Coming back full circle?’ will address the feeling amongst anti-racist campaigners that the early hopes that Devolution would mean that ‘racism’ was taken seriously at the strategic level have been short lived. “..having ‘done race’ the policy emphasis shifted to ‘diversity’, difference, identities and so on. There appears to have been a deafening silence on race.”