Racial Justice commissioners

Find out more about the commissioners for the Racial Justice Commission.

Chair: The Rt Hon Lord Boateng, Former Cabinet Minister and High Commissioner to SA

The first Black Government Minister (1997-2002), then  Cabinet Minister (2002-2005) serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury till he stood down from Parliament to become the UK's High Commissioner to South Africa ( 2005-2009), the Rt Hon The  Lord Paul Boateng PC DL is a Civil Liberties Lawyer. Prior to entering Parliament, he had been active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and served as Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Programme to Combat Racism 1983-1990. He was also on the Drafting Committee of the 1987 WCC Lusaka Statement which declared Apartheid a Sin. Ennobled in 2010 as Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley, he serves on numerous commercial and philanthropic boards with a focus on Africa, Youth, Health, Agriculture and Economic Development. Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, he is a Vice President of The London Library and Chairs Book Aid International, the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Foundation and the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust. Lord Boateng is also Methodist Lay Preacher attached to Hinde Street Methodist Church and Ecumenical Chalice Bearer at Grosvenor Chapel, and Founding Moderator Emeritus of the  British and Foreign Bible Societies African Biblical Leadership Initiative.

 

Professor Anthony Reddie

A leading international researcher and the Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture in Regent’s Park College, at the University of Oxford, Prof. Reddie is a member the University’s Faculty for Theology and Religion. He is also an Extraordinary Professor of Theological Ethics and a Research Fellow with the University of South Africa. He is the first Black person to get an ‘A’ rating in Theology and Religious studies in the South African National Research Foundation. He has a BA in History and a Ph.D. in Education (with theology) from the University of Birmingham and is a prolific author. His latest publications include the co-edited Intercultural Preaching edited with Seidel Abel Boanerges with Pamela Searle, and Theologizing Brexit: A Liberationist and Postcolonial Critique (Routledge, 2019). He is also the Editor of Black Theology: An International Journal. He was a recipient of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lambeth, Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship, given for ‘exceptional and sustained contribution to Black Theology in Britain and Beyond’. 

 

The Revd Canon Dr Chigor Chike

Former interim National Advisor for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, Rev. Canon Dr. Chike has worked in the social justice field in Britain for many years and set up projects for homeless people and refugees in Birmingham and London. He is currently the vicar of Emmanuel Church, Forest Gate, having started his ministry in Birmingham as a Church Army Evangelist. He chairs a number of organisations in the UK, including the Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN) which is a national network of minority ethnic clergy and lay people in the Church of England.  He also leads the equalities organisation ‘Rights and Equalities Newham (REIN)’, and ‘Faithful Friends’ which is a London-based interfaith project. He is also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Roehampton where he teaches Christian Mission, Pentecostalism and World Religions

 

Professor Duncan Morrow

Politics lecturer, published widely in the fields of conflict resolution, Northern Ireland politics and the relationship between religion and politics. He is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Ulster University developing relationships with groups and organisations across the community. His research interests include Conflict and Religion, Ethnic Conflict, Northern Ireland Politics and the work of Rene Girard.  For ten years, Duncan was Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council where he championed the concept of a shared future and peace-building by developing the Council’s role in policy in research and active learning, in organisations and work on key issues such as interfaces, parading and regeneration and in work with victims and survivors of conflict. Between 2012 and 2015 he was also Chair of the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism and in 2016 chaired the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Tackling Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion

 

Dame Melanie Dawes

Chief Executive, Ofcom, Dame Melanie Dawes joined Ofcom as an Executive Board Member and became Chief Executive in March 2020. Prior to joining Ofcom, Melanie was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 2015. She has held a range of senior roles across the Civil Service, working in partnership across the public and private sector, including as Chair of the People Board and Champion for Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion. She started her career as an economist and spent fifteen years at the Treasury, including as Europe Director between 2002 and 2006. She was Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat at the Cabinet Office between 2011 and 2015, and prior to that she served on the Board of HMRC. As Director General for Business Tax she was responsible for all UK business taxes and duties and led HMRC’s relationships with the largest companies. Melanie has held various non-executive roles including with the consumer body ‘Which?’ and is a trustee of the ‘Patchwork Foundation’, which helps under-represented young people get involved in democracy.

 

Professor Mike Higton

Leading Anglican theologian at the University of Durham, specialising in doctrine and pedagogy, he is a part of the leadership of the Common Awards scheme, which provides academic validation for much of the Church of England's ordination training. He is also the vice-chair of the Faith & Order Commission and the president of the Society for the Study of Theology (SST). He is the author of a number of works including The Life of Christian Doctrine, A Theology of Higher Education, and Difficult Gospel: The Theology of Rowan Williams, and he pursues inclusive Anglican theology that remains true to its virtues and values.  

 

Lord Wei of Shoreditch

Serial social entrepreneur with an interest in social reform. He is the first British-born person of Hong Kong origin to have become a member of the House of Lords, sitting as a Conservative, and was the youngest member of the House from 2010 to 2016. He is also a former adviser to the UK Government on social policy. Lord Wei is the founding partner of the Shaftesbury Partnership, the founder of Maker Life, a member of the founding team of Teach First and a former adviser at Absolute Return For Kids. He is also a former fellow of the Young Foundation and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

 

Dr Nirmala Pillay

An international Human Rights Law scholar and a qualified lawyer (non-practicing), Dr. Pillay has taught and lectured at several universities in the UK and abroad. She is presently a Reader at Leeds Beckett University with a research interest in philosophy, jurisprudence, human rights, and professional and research ethics.  She is a lay member of the Anglican Church and served on the College of Canons at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. Dr Pillay has  rich experience in dealing with issues relevant to racial justice, and has served on several regional and national trusts including the Council of the University of Liverpool, Milapfest, a leading cultural trust, and is a trustee of the national board of Initiatives for Change (IofC), UK

 

The Revd Canon Patricia Hillas

Long-standing member of the Church of England’s synodically appointed body concerning race and ethnicity,  the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC), Rev. Hillas has a background in social work, specialising in supporting those diagnosed with HIV & AIDS, and people with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. She is the Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons providing support to the Speaker in his role and pastoral support to staff and Members across the House of Commons. In this role she works closely with the House Diversity and Inclusion team, and has contributed to a review of the experience of UKME staff and members, working to develop and deliver a faith literacy approach for the Commons. Tricia was previously the Canon Pastor at St Paul's Cathedral and has recently been appointed by HM The Queen to serve as fourth Canon Residentiary of Westminster, with a special oversight of pastoral care and engagement with visitors. When St Paul’s cathedral held a memorial service in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, Tricia worked with survivors and bereaved families to shape the Cathedral’s pastoral and liturgical work enabling the voices of those most directly affected, to shape the service. 

 

The Revd Canon Dr Philip Anderson

Former Area Dean of Wigan, and a driving force behind the ‘Transforming Wigan’ movement, which was one of the first of the Church Commissioners’ Strategic Development Fund projects aimed at turning around the missional and financial resilience of the Church of England in this former mill and mining town, Rev. Dr. Anderson has recently been appointed the Canon Precentor of Liverpool Cathedral. Philip brings an expertise in Modern History and his doctorate in Church history is on the place of public welfare in the theology of the Book of Common Prayer and the Tudor Poor Laws, and his published work brings an alternative understanding of how the Church has historically served the vulnerable, marginalised and disenfranchised. Philip also has a background in Refugee and Asylum seeker support, Chaplaincy work in Higher Education Institutions, and is trustee of a number of organisations that serve Global Majority Heritage peoples. He is also an ‘Assistant Director of Ordinands’, and serves as a national advisor in the vocations process for ordination. 

 

The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin

Bishop of Dover and the first Black woman to be appointed Bishop, +Rose was appointed in 2007 as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and in 2010, became the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. She has served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, and on the Panel of Chairs of the Synod. She has also represented the Church of England at the World Council of Churches (in Zimbabwe & Brazil) and served as its priest representative on the Anglican Consultative Council for 9 years. She also served as a Selection Secretary for the Church of England and was a member of the Broadcasting Standards Commission and has wide experience of media engagement including religious broadcasting. She is a Fellow Emeritus in Public Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary, USA.  In 2019, Bishop Rose was given the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government (Rank of Commander) and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. In November 2019, she was consecrated as a Bishop in the Church of England and installed in Canterbury Cathedral as the Bishop of Dover with responsibility for the diocese of Canterbury on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

The Revd Sonia Barron

Former Co-chair the Church of England’s Anti-Racism Taskforce, and a co-author of the ‘From Lament to Action’ report, Sonia is the Director of Ordinands and Vocations in the Diocese of Lincoln. She trained as a secondary school teacher, taught RE, and ran RE departments in schools in London and Surrey. She left teaching and was appointed to the post of CMEAC Adviser in 2005 during which time she trained for ordination at St Mellitus college. She was ordained in 2011, served her curacy in her sending diocese Southwell and Nottingham before taking up her first incumbent post in a group of rural parishes in the diocese of Lincoln, and held this alongside the role of Rural Dean. She was appointed as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations for the diocese of Lincoln in 2019 and served as co-chair of the Archbishops’ Anti-racism Taskforce.