OBV wins Hansard Society Democracy Award - 23 Jan, 2008
Operation Black Vote's Welsh Assembly Shadowing Scheme has won this year's prestigious Hansard Society Democracy Award. The Award was presented by Peter Riddell, Chair of the Hansard Society at the Channel 4 Political Awards ceremony in London on the evening of Wednesday January 23.
The Hansard Society is the UK's leading non-partisan political research and education organisation. Its annual Democracy Award celebrates individuals or organisations which have advanced understanding of parliamentary democracy.
OBV's Welsh Shadowing Scheme, run in collaboration with the National Assembly for Wales, is aimed at encouraging black and minority ethnic individuals to get engaged in Wales' dynamic democratic political framework. Nine people from a variety of backgrounds are currently shadowing Members of the Welsh Assembly (AMs) representing Plaid Cymru, Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats.
Peter Riddell, Chair of the Hansard Society, said:
‘The Hansard Society has a long history of encouraging greater public involvement in the democratic process. This year's Democracy Award shortlist, nominated by our members and supporters, was particularly strong. It reflects the excellent work that is being done throughout the country with a wide range of local and community groups to advance understanding of our democracy and open up the political process to new voices.We are delighted to present this year's Democracy Award to Operation Black Vote's Welsh Assembly Shadowing Scheme for its fresh initiative in trying to raise awareness and encouraging black and minority ethnic individuals to engage in the democratic process in Wales.'
Simon Woolley, OBV Director said: ‘As an organisation that campaigns for social and racial justice winning an award is not at the forefront of our minds. However, to be acknowledged by the prestigious Channel 4 Hansard Society political awards, clearly tells us that others recognise the innovative work we undertake. I'm in no doubt the scheme we are running with the National Assembly for Wales will change the face of Welsh politics and inspire a new generation of BME communities to politically engage.'
For further information on the Hansard Society Democracy Award, contact
Virginia Gibbons at the Hansard Society on 020 7438 1225 or 07812 765 552
For further information on OBV's Welsh Shadowing Scheme, contact
Ashok Viswanathan on 077259 45877
- The Channel 4 Political Awards are broadcast on Sunday January 27 on Channel 4 at 7pm.
- The Hansard Society is the UK's leading non-partisan political research and education organisation which exists to strengthen parliamentary democracy and encourage greater public involvement in politics. (http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/)
Operation Black Vote (http://www.obv.org.uk/
) is a non-party political campaign, supported by a broad coalition of mainly Black organisations. Operation Black Vote is the first initiative to focus exclusively on the Black democratic deficit in the UK.
The Hansard Society Democracy Award (part of the annual Channel 4 Political Awards) is presented each year to the individual or organisation which has advanced understanding of parliamentary democracy. This year's shortlist comprised:
- Women's Parliamentary Radio - an important and original source of political content to help ensure that the voices of women in politics reach a broad audience in the UK and further afield.
- Operation Black Vote's Welsh Assembly Shadowing Scheme - the scheme, run in collaboration with the National Assembly for Wales, intends to raise awareness and encourage BME individuals to engage in the Welsh political framework.
- Hackney Council and Arcola Theatre - for their production Zoop Zoop, Hackney Who Asked You?, a play commissioned by Hackney Council as part of Local Democracy Week to get young people to engage and think about democracy in an innovative way.
The opportunity to nominate individuals and organisations for the Hansard Society Democracy Award was open to members of the public. The call for nominations was publicised via our website and our monthly newsletter. The shortlist for this Award was voted on by a Hansard Society judging panel comprising: John Bercow MP (Hansard Society Council), Peter Riddell (Hansard Society Chair), Michael Raftery (Director Citizenship Education Programme) and Virginia Gibbons (Communications Manager).