Christian Aid appoints first race and diversity lead

The academic Kamna Patel will take up the role on a two-year contract

Kamna Patel
Kamna Patel

Christian Aid has appointed a race and diversity lead as part of its work  to become an anti-racist organisation. 

The development charity said it had hired Kamna Patel, associate professor of development studies and faculty vice-dean for equality, diversity and inclusion at University College London, to fill the new role. 

Christian Aid said it determined last year to establish the position as part of a drive to address the signs of structural and systemic racism in its work. 

Patel, who will join the charity in July on a two-year contract, will be charged with devising and implementing a three-year plan of action on race and diversity. 

Christian Aid said Patel was “dedicated to addressing questions of global inequity through a race and racialisation lens” and has significant development experience, having worked on projects in countries including Rwanda, Jamaica, Guyana and Kyrgyzstan. 

She 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.”

Mervyn McCullagh, director of strategy and global change at Christian Aid, 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. 

“This key role will lead and help us deliver the commitments we’ve made in our race and diversity plan, in line with our vision and global strategy. 

“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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