SHIV SAMA – CO CHAIR
Shiv Sama has led the organisation since its inception. He is the chair for Avon Indian Community Association and has organised many events for the community celebrating Diwali and others. Shiv is a former businessman in Northern Ireland and has a broad range of experiences from working within a number of cultures.
Shiv has been an active volunteer in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire voluntary and community sector for a decade. He supports CVS South Gloucestershire on a range of community initiatives and boards. His commitment is to see equality and inclusion for all and is what drives him forward. His passion has led him to become the voice of racial equality and speak up for those that feel they have no voice as he guides the next generation of race equality champions into future leadership.
ABISHEK RAVINDRAN – CO CHAIR
Abs is an Engineering Project Manager at Defence Equipment and Support and an Engineering lecturer for City of Bristol College. Abs has led various multi-cultural programmes for his company. Abs has actively engaged in assessing the Equality Impact assessments on various policies and been active in the Race Network at City of Bristol College. Abs describes himself as of Indian descent, arriving in Britain to gain a degree from Brunel University, London and moving to Bristol in 2014. As an active community member, he volunteers for the Indian Tamil Association Bristol.
While observing the various cultures within UK, he realised societies behaviours towards BAME people has been the barrier to achieving an inclusive culture. He joined SGREN to work with BAME communities and the council to promote equality and create a platform to discuss and resolve the key cultural/community issues. He wishes to see strategic progression and cultural integration of multi-cultural communities within South Gloucestershire.
Carmen has both worked and lived in South Gloucestershire for over 12 years and has witnessed and experienced racism and inequality in that time. This has given her drive and determination to seek racial equality within South Gloucestershire and beyond and seek justice for her community members.
Carmen has been an active committee member for SGREN since 2014. She has been integral in sharing SGREN’S aims, objectives and responsibilities including organising and attending SGREN race equality events, meetings and forums. She prides herself in holding service providers such as South Gloucestershire Council to account across the SGREN race equality priority areas: Education, Health, Policing & Criminal Justice, Housing and Business and Employment. Her key inspirational phrase that best captures the work Carmen and SGREN believe in comes from Dr Martin Luther King which reads “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Alisha Airey, works at the University West of England as the BAME Project Coordinator. Leading on the BAME student support Programme, developing activities for BAME students in Health and Applied Sciences Faculty. This includes development and launch of BAME student advocate programme and student listening groups to ensure the voice of students who identify as Black, Asian Minority Ethnic students are heard. Within this current role she has the opportunity to support and advocate for BAME students throughout their university experience whilst also challenging discrimination and inequality. Alisha has used the role to build positive working relationships with community groups and professionals to widen the impact of the work and to ensure students have a wide network of support. Alisha also delivers training and workshops to academics, staff and students using the platform to highlight the importance of cultural competence, accessible curriculums and unconscious bias, all key components in tackling structural inequality and addressing the attainment gap between BAME students and their white counterparts in university.
ALEX RAIKES – MBE
Alex is Director of Stand Against Racism & Inequality – SARI, a charity tackling hate crime, promoting equality and community cohesion. https://www.sariweb.org.uk/
Alex has specialist and practical knowledge of hate crime and of delivering services to victims incidents. She has extensive knowledge of other equalities and support services in the region. Alex has facilitated many complex situations involving conflict and she sits on a number of local strategic partnerships. She is a trustee of the Learn @ Multi-Academy Trust and is a member of the University of Bristol Court.
Alex was awarded an MBE for her contribution to community relations in 2009, was given an Honorary Doctorate by UWE Bristol in 2019 and announced as High Sheriff in Nomination for 2022. She brings a valued personal understanding as a dual heritage individual with four teenaged sons, first-hand experience of racial harassment running a busy and lively household and strategic and community leadership.
SUDHANSHU MARDIKAR (MARDI)
Mardi works for international Law firm, DAC Beachcroft and is a PhD biomedical scientist. He has been the sustainable transport champion winning Travel West Business Awards each year for his company for the last 4 years including 2 personal awards in 2017 and 2019. His is a unique journey ranging from being a Pizza delivery operative, to studying at five British Universities. Mardi can empathise with subtle innuendos and tell-tale signs of racist behaviour including unconscious bias and systemic racist abuse.
Mardi loves cooking and is a great enthusiast of ethnic vegetarian food. He is happy to engage socially to understand various cultures. He enjoys walking and is keen to start a SGREN Walking Club. He cares for all lives, animals, plants and interested in environmental issues. Being an idealist – he dreams big that one day it shall be a world free of racism, where everyone will be treated fairly with no prejudices.
RAMYA HARIHARASUBRAMANIAN – ADMIN SUPPORT