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Long-serving rights activist nominated for European award

NOMINATED: Maxie Hayles

CIVIL RIGHTS veteran Maxie Hayles has been shortlisted from more than 500 people across almost every country in Europe to be a nominee in the European Diversity Awards 2013.

Hayles is one of eight shortlisted in the Barclays Campaigner of the Year category, which includes Irish politician David Norris, actress Julie Fernandez and the transgender campaigner Lydia Foy.

The awards, which were launched in 2011, honour individuals, companies and community groups throughout Europe who have excelled in the field of diversity.

Winners in all 13 award categories will be announced during a glittering ceremony, sponsored by Barclays and Google, at London’s Natural History Museum on Thursday, September 26.

Hayles’ name has been synonymous with the fight for civil rights, justice from racism and oppression for more than 30 years.

As the founder and former chair of Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit (BRAMU), Hayles has supported hundreds of people from different backgrounds who have found themselves the victims of racism.

BRAMU’s positive input was welcomed around the world and Hayles has been among keynote speakers at such prestigious events as the United Nations Convention (CERD) Committee for the Eradication of all forms of Racial Discrimination.

He presented a paper on the exclusion of African Caribbean pupils held in Geneva in 2000, and on death in police and prison custody in 2003.

No stranger to honours, he is the proud holder of a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by civil rights leader Rev Jesse Jackson in 2008, along with the Prime Minister’s Regional and National Active Awards 2000 for helping to build a fair and just community.

Earlier this year, the former mentor for the West Midlands Probation Service was also presented with a portrait of himself as a thank you from the inner-city community he has served in Birmingham.

The multinational banking group Barclays came on board this year as a headline sponsor for the event, as it is represented in more than 50 countries.

Linda Riley, managing director of Square Peg Media and founder of the European Diversity Awards, said: “It’s great that Barclays has come on board to co-sponsor this year’s awards. With their proven history as a diverse organisation, they will bring new ideas to the table and ensure the 2013 awards are the best yet.”

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