Independent Chair to be appointed for Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Implementation Group

Irene Mosota

Irene Mosota has been nominated to chair the new Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Implementation Group, which will take forward the group’s ten recommendations.

Councillors will consider a report recommending her nomination at a meeting on Tuesday (21 March) as well as discuss the proposed composition, remit and governance of the group.

If appointed, she is expected to convene the first meeting in summer 2023 and with members develop a delivery plan to implement the outstanding recommendations.  

In August 2022, the Policy and Sustainability Committee endorsed ten recommendations produced by the independent Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group, which was chaired by Sir Geoff Palmer and operated over an 18-month period between December 2020 and July 2022 involving public engagement.

The first recommendation made by the review group was that the Council publicly acknowledges the city’s past role in sustaining slavery and colonialism and issues an apology to those places and people who suffered. In October 2022 the Lord Provost Robert Aldridge apologised on behalf of the city.

Irene Mosota, an Edinburgh-based social enterprise practitioner with experience in delivering a variety of social projects and campaigns, has been nominated to chair the implementation group. With a Master of Science in Intercultural Business Communications, Ms Mosota is founder and managing director of Knowledge Bridge, which supports organisations to translate equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and sustainability strategies into meaningful action, change and impact.    

Council Leader Cammy Day said: 

We originally commissioned the independent review because we felt it was an important and useful starting point for a wide-ranging public discussion about the modern-day impact of this legacy. Racism must be talked about, and action to end it must be supported if it is to be stamped out and we are to be the inclusive and welcoming city that the vast majority of its residents wants and expects it to be.

Following on from the endorsement of the Group’s recommendations, the Council has apologised for the city’s past role in sustaining slavery and colonialism and now I’m delighted that things are moving forward to implement the remaining recommendations.

I very much welcome the nomination of Ms Mosota, whose contribution to the Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group was invaluable. Her skills in change management, research and diversity, equity and inclusion, will be key in taking the work of the group forward.

Irene Mosota, said: 

Our city acknowledges the impact of the past, yet we must also embrace the present and work towards a future that embodies the fundamental values of dignity and equality for all. We possess the power to heal and pave the way towards a more equitable future, and it is our obligation to ensure that all voices are heard and all people are valued, not just for our own sake, but for the sake of future generations.

Published: March 16th 2023