Online Zoom Forum: Inclusion and Diversity - Living with Diversity, Becoming Community: Conditions, Challenges, and Wisdom.

Date: Wednesday 19 October 2022.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).
Event Description:

Format: There will be five talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers, the chair, and the audience, followed by Q & A.


Simon Barrow:

Bio: Director, Ekklesia think-tank. Managing Editor, Ekklesia / Siglum Publishing. Media, research, consultancy, public policy, training and development, politics, and beliefs. National Union of Journalists' Ethics Council. New book: 'A Better Nation: The Challenges of Scottish Independence' (Luath Press, May 2022).



Anila Mirza:

Bio: Anila Mirza is a human right activist who campaigns to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. She has vast experience working in the gender-based abuse sector, where she worked to promote women’s rights and justice by having an intersectional approach.

Anila has an in-depth knowledge of issues related to migrant women living in the UK.

She is the project initiator and co-editor of ‘Real Women: Unheard Stories - based on true stories of migrant women living in Scotland.

She writes short stories and poems in two languages, Urdu and English.

Professor Sir Geoff (Godfrey) Palmer:

Bio: Professor Sir Geoff (Godfrey) Palmer was born in Jamaica in 1940. He migrated to London in 1955 and unexpectedly had to return to school because he was one month younger than the school leaving age of 15 years. He was designated Educationally Sub-Normal and attended a Secondary Modern School. In 1958 he secured a job as a Junior Laboratory Technician at Queen Elizabeth College where Professor Chapman ‘changed’ his name from Godfrey to Geoff and assisted his entrance to Leicester University in 1961.

He gained an Honours Degree in Botany in 1964 from Leicester University, a PhD Degree in 1967 from Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt College and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in grain science at Edinburgh University and Heriot-Watt University in 1968. At the Brewing Research Foundation (1968 to 1977) he used the fundamental research from his PhD to develop the industrial process of Barley Abrasion and pioneered the use of the Scanning Electron Microscope to study cereal grains. In 1977, he returned to the Heriot-Watt University as a staff member, gained a DSc degree for his research work in 1985, retired in 2005, and became Chancellor of the Heriot-Watt University in 2021.

He sits on the Boards of Community Organisations and has received Honorary Degrees from various Academic Institutions. His awards include an OBE (2003) and Knighthood (2014) for his scientific research, charity, and human rights work. He was the fifth recipient and the first European resident to gain a distinguished research award from the American Society of Brewing Chemist. His work on the history of the enslavement of African people as British slaves has led him to work on slavery projects with Glasgow University and to chair projects set up by Edinburgh City Council, the Scottish Government on Museums, and Edinburgh University. In 2021 Leicester University gave him its Diversity and Inclusion award as part of its 100 years old celebrations. He has published books on race relations and cereal science and technology. He is the first Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Scotland and the Freeman of Midlothian. In 2021 he received the Pride of Scotland’s Lifetime Award and in 2022 he was made an Honorary Keeper of the Quaich by the distilling industry.

Pinar Aksu:

Title: Asylum and Refugee Rights in Scotland.

What are the current rights of people seeking asylum in Scotland? How can we support people? What needs to Change?

Bio: Pinar Aksu works with Maryhill Integration Network as a Human Rights and Advocacy Coordinator in Glasgow, bringing refugee, migrant, and local communities together through art, social, and educational groups. Her other roles and involvements include: theatre maker, and campaigner. She has been involved with asylum and refugee rights since a young age and is involved with various campaigns about ending detention to anti-racism. Pinar is also a PhD candidate at University of Glasgow, UNESCO RILA, her topic explores Art and Law in Migration.

David Moodie:

Title: The Role of Churches in Refugee Integration.

Description: The arrival of thousands of Ukrainians to Scotland has seen an incredible response from churches and faith communities all across Scotland. What role do faith communities have in ensuring that integration is a two-way process, and how can our traditions inspire us to build communities based on mutual respect?

Bio: David Moodie works as Churches Support Officer for Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, a multi-faith partnership project that engages and equips faith groups to support asylum seekers and refugees. David’s work primarily focuses on responding to the Ukraine crisis, ensuring that churches play a key role in welcoming and supporting Ukrainians within their communities.

Vineet Lal:

Title: Working as a Translator: Diversity and Legitimacy.

Bio: Vineet Lal was born in Singapore and grew up in Edinburgh. He has degrees in French from the University of Edinburgh and Princeton University, and also studied translation and conference interpreting at Heriot-Watt University. After a career in tourism and marketing with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, and VisitScotland he turned to literary translation, and he has now translated a number of leading French authors including Guillaume Musso, Michel Bussi, and Grégoire Delacourt. He has been a Trustee of Edinburgh City of Literature since 2013.


NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.


Inclusion and Diversity

Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.

If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).

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