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Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats

Learn more about why Marisha Ray is standing to be Vice President

November 20, 2021 11:14 AM
By Marisha Ray
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

You, as Liberal Democrat members, have asked me for a diverse, inclusive party that represents all sections of all our communities well.

I am standing to be your Vice President for minority communities to promote inclusion and to eliminate racism and other discrimination from inside our party, to inspire more and more candidates from under-represented groups to stand and to inspire all of us to engage on a sustained and substantive basis with all of the UK's communities so that we eliminate exclusion and disadvantage.

I successfully campaigned for an inquiry, the Alderdice Inquiry, to take place and was involved with bringing those with evidence of racism to the inquiry. I will not only see that its findings are implemented, but also will work to ensure that we have a diverse party. Since it was completed my attention has continued to be on the grassroots of the Liberal Democrats. Few if any understand these issues in such detail.

I am your "Mastermind" special subject candidate on racism in the Liberal Democrats and I will work to dismantle it in a liberal way, for racism is not liberal.

I have worked: in scientific research and IT in industry and academia, in changing a blue-chip company's working culture throughout its global supply chain to deliver measurable benefit, as a leading councillor in England's then fastest improving council, for the NHS on equalities and inclusion and on governance: in education including higher education, the Liberal Democrats, charitable trusts, NHS governance and democratic accountability, economic development and regeneration and on public policy development in health, regeneration, the regional economy and other related fields. My dad was involved with the civil rights movement in the US and my mum's family with the Indian Independence movement. We all work for major change. I was brought up in London and have lived in London, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridge, Paris, a provincial French city and a sparsely populated part of rural France. I spent much of my teenage school holidays accompanying extended family members who travelled for work in South Asia and have friends all over the UK.

My dad was involved with the civil rights movement in the US and my mum's family with the Indian Independence movement. We all work for major change. I was brought up in London and have lived in London, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridge, Paris, a provincial French city and a sparsely populated part of rural France. I spent much of my teenage school holidays accompanying extended family members who travelled for work in South Asia and have friends all over the UK.

For 8 years, I was a leading local councillor in one of the most diverse Liberal Democrat-run local authorities. I am successful both in inspiring candidates from under-represented groups and have been remunerated to engage with diverse communities both for local government and the National Health Service.

I was recruited to an NHS Trust Board to address exactly these sorts of issues, a role which few have held in general let alone in the Liberal Democrats, where we are so much in need of culture change.

This is the only political party I have been involved with and I have held many, many different roles within the party over decades.

If you want to tackle racism inside our organisation to make it more diverse, whether institutional or individual, because that's just not liberal, give me your first preference vote.

Thank you for your attention.