Monday 16th November 2020,
North Edinburgh Community News

Sir Geoff Palmer to chair new Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group

The Council has appointed Sir Geoff Palmer OBE to act as independent chair to lead the Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group. 

The Group will review features such as statues and street names in Edinburgh which commemorate those with close links to slavery.

Sir Geoff, a Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, will lead the group as they investigate links with slavery and colonialism legacy in Edinburgh’s civic realm. 

Sir Geoff Palmer speaking at Black Lives Matter event in June 2020.

Alongside his academic work he is a prominent human rights activist and serves as the Honorary President of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC). 

Sir Geoff will lead on recruiting further members in the coming weeks, with the aim of bringing together people from a range of backgrounds and expertise including community leaders and figures from the cultural and arts world, as well as academic representatives.

Whilst the membership is delegated to the Chair, there is an expected emphasis on having a very strong BAME representation. 

He said: “I regard this appointment as a great honour and duty to work with the Group and the community to ensure that the Council’s aim of fairness and justice to all is realised.”

As a result of the review, the Group will make recommendations to the Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee on a programme of actions and activities needed to rectify the glorification of slavery and colonialism which these commemorations in the capital represent to many people. 

The group will consider all options, including removal of statues.

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