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Who's speaking at the TUC Black Workers' Conference 2017?

FLAG WAVERS: Delegates at last year's Trades Union Congress (TUC) Black Workers' Conference

THE TRADES Union Congress (TUC) Black Workers Conference is held annually and debates the major issues facing black workers in the labour market. It is attended by trade unions affiliated to the TUC.

The TUC Black Worker’s Conference 2017 is being held from today, Friday 7 April until Sunday 9 April at the TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Places at the conference were allocated to delegates months in advance.


Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary

Frances has been an active trade unionist and campaigner all her working life. She has been employed in a range of jobs from shop work to the voluntary sector.

Before the TUC, Frances worked for the Transport and General Workers Union where she worked on successful campaigns to stop the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and for the introduction of a national minimum wage, equal pay for women, and on a range of industrial wage claims.

In January 2013, Frances became the General Secretary of the TUC, the first woman ever to hold this post. Fair pay remains a core ambition – she was on the Resolution Foundation's Commission on Living Standards, and has been a member of the Low Pay and the High Pay Commissions. Frances is a strong believer in protecting the public service ethos, opposes privatisation and leads the TUC campaign to save the NHS.

Mary Boustead, TUC President

Mary was elected President at the General Council on the final day of the 148th Congress. She will serve in the role for a year, until the 149th Congress in Brighton in September.

Mary became General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in 2003. Her initial challenges included addressing declining union membership and profile. Under her leadership ATL, developed a strong policy base on key educational issues such as curriculum and assessment changes, school accountability and school structures.

Mary led the fight against the coalition government’s plans to change teachers’ pensions – steering ATL through the union’s first national strike, a one-day strike by teachers in England and Wales on 30 June 2011.

Mary writes a regular column for the Times Educational Supplement. Her columns focus on the politics of education and the lives of education professionals, and are regularly accessed online by hundreds of thousands of readers.

Dr Faiza Shaheen, Director of Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS)

Prior to joining the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) in February 2016, Dr Faiza Shaheen was Head of Inequality and Sustainable Development at Save the Children UK, where she led on the development of a new global campaign on inequalities in child outcomes, and Senior Researcher on economic inequality at the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Faiza is an economist, writer, activist and commentator. She is the author of a range of materials and publications covering the most salient social and economic debates of our times, including inequality, austerity, immigration, youth unemployment and social mobility. Faiza is a regular contributor to debates on popular news programmes including Newsnight and Channel 4 News, and has worked with Channel 4 and the BBC to develop documentaries on inequality.

Sandra Kerr, National Campaign Director for Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race Equality campaign

Sandra is the National Campaign Director for a business-led network of organisations from the private and public sector working and committed to race equality as part of their good business practice.

Before joining Business in the Community (BITC), Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising on diversity and policies on race, disability, gender, and work life balance across Whitehall.

From 2012 - 2016, Sandra chaired the Ethnic Minority Employment Stakeholder Group (EMESG) sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions.

In 2014 she became Chair of the Trustee Board for Elevation Networks, an award-winning youth employment charity that seeks to develop the leadership potential of young people to increase their employability.

Malia Bouattia, President of the National Union of Students (NUS)

Malia is the president of the National Union of Students (NUS), and was elected at the National Conference in April 2016.

She is the first female black British and Muslim leader of the NUS. She attended the University of Birmingham.

Malia served two years as Black Students' Officer of the (NUS). While in this position, she campaigned against the UK government's Prevent strategy. Malia also pushed for greater ethnic diversity amongst NUS candidates and campaigned for the establishment of a permanent officer for transgender students.

Chris Booth, founder and Clinical Director of CHAPS Men's Health Charity

Chris is a founder and the Clinical Director at CHAPS Men's Health Charity. The charity works extensively across eastern England to raise awareness, provide free tests at health events and campaigns for better NHS services devoted to men's health issues.

Before CHAPS, Chris worked for the NHS and established the Department of Urology at Colchester General Hospital commencing with my appointment as the first urologist in 1984. After achieving Regional Cancer Centre status for the department in 2006 , he left the NHS to pursue other interests such as working for the Department of Health, Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust and Care UK to establish new urology services in London and Manchester.

Marilyn Reed, campaigning for a thorough investigation into her daughter's death

Marilyn is the mother of Sarah Reed who was found dead in her cell at Holloway prison. She had been the victim of a notorious police brutality case in 2012 and suffered mental health issues known to prison officers, doctors, social workers, lawyers and police.

No further investigation has taken place and the family were told they could not see the body.

Marilyn is campaigning for a thorough investigation as to why her vulnerable daughter was put in prison and why she died in the hands of the state.

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