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Race Equality Steering Group Members

Profiles of the members of the Race Equality Steering Group

Chairs of the RESG


Marcia Jacks
Marcia Jacks

I am Co-Chair of the Race Equality Steering Group and have been at UCL for over 15 years, my current role is Institute Manager for Women's Health. I have been part of the RESG Group since its inception and feel I can offer my own experience into the group. As a senior manager I can influence my colleagues both junior and senior and can help to bring about awareness of issues that affect ethnic minorities and make suggestions on how inequalities can be addressed at work, not just for BME staff but other groups too.


Members of the RESG


head shot of Asma Ashraf
Asma Ashraf

I have worked at UCL since 2013 as a Research Nurse.  I joined the RESG mainly because I took part in a research focus group about race and racism organised within UCL, this highlighted issues that I have been blind to.  Being part of the RESG is enabling me to learn more about BAME issues and I am also contributing to racial equality at UCL and wider by talking about race and racism.  I am also very passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion at work and this role fits in with this. I am one of the events leads for the group.


Sarah Alleemudder
Sarah Alleemudder

I've worked in UCL for many years in different roles. I am now the Finance Team Manager for the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences. I'm also very involved in my union, Unison, and am the Equalities Officer. As such, I've represented members and experienced at first hand, inequalities due to race, which some would say deny exist in an institution like ours. Being part of the RESG, makes me feel that, at least, I am contributing to the work that would eventually erase discrimination and establish equality across the board. I am the Finance Officer for the group.


Jess Bharj
Jess Bharj

I have been at UCL for over 25 years and started working in the Department of Medical Physics as the IT Support Officer. I now work as Lead Software Tester in ISD. I joined the Race Equality Steering Group for a number of reasons but mainly because BME Staff were not recognised for their work and contribution and wondered how this could be promoted within our department and UCL as a whole. Being a member of this group, I have seen that progress is being made and with the dedication of all the members, I hope this will continue. It is also very enjoyable to be part of this group and the wider network. I am one of the events leads for the group.


Zara Chaudhry

I am a Talent Consultant in Organisational Development, UCL Human Resources and Co-Chair of UCL RaceMatters – a consultative forum where the views of BAME staff can feed directly into the RESG and wider EDI initiatives. Through my membership of the RESG, I hope to create and support ongoing dialogue and understanding around race and equality at UCL. And enable changes which aid the representation, progression and success of our diverse community of staff and students.


Maki Kimura
Maki Kimura

I'm Maki, Teaching Fellow in Gender and Politics. Before joining UCL, I undertook many projects as a researcher exploring the experience of black and minority ethnic students and staff in universities including, 'The experience of Black and Minority Ethnic Staff in Higher Education in England' funded by Equality Challenge Unit. Through these projects, I have learnt that it is important that universities acknowledge that some BME students and members of staff go through negative experiences in their institutions. While it poses a lot of challenges in the area of policy and practice, I still believe an intersectional approach to race equality is vital. 


Head shot of Lia Li
Ying Lia Li

I’m Lia, I completed my PhD in Physics at UCL and have been a postgraduate research fellow in quantum technologies since 2017. Alongside research, I strive to amplify and support underrepresented communities in academia, especially within science. Through my experience in running the UCL Women in Physics group between 2016-2019, my belief is that many institutionalised barriers and cultural stereotypes must be proactively challenged. I joined the Race Equality Steering Group to address the BME attainment gap and support actions to address bullying and harassment.


Kamma Patel
Kamna Patel

I'm an Associate Professor in The Bartlett Development Planning Unit and have a research interest in, and ethical commitment to, applying postcolonial thinking to development studies. I'm also the Bartlett Faculty Vice Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. I consider my membership to the RESG as part of a professional dedication to racial equality at UCL and the production of anti-racist scholarship by helping to bring an awareness to the role race plays in academia and action initiatives that can augment change in the university.


Prince Saprai
Prince Seprai

I am Prince, and I joined the Faculty of Laws at UCL as a Lecturer in 2009. Before that, I taught at Warwick and Oxford. My research is in the fields of private law and legal theory. I have been a member of the Race Equality Steering Group since 2012.


Head shot of Ijeoma Uchegbu
Ijeoma Uchegbu

I am Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at the UCL School of Pharmacy and UCL’s Pro-Vice Provost for Africa and The Middle East.  I am also the Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality.  I chose to join the Race Equality Steering Group because I really want to ensure that all staff and students are able to work and study in a place where they all feel valued and wanted.  In an aspirational environment such as UCL, I believe that everyone will benefit if our institution is truly colour blind.  I do not under estimate the scale of this challenge, however. 


Paulette Williams
Paulette Williams

I work in the Office of the Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs) as the Senior Projects Manager for Learning Outcomes. I am responsible for a range of projects related to improving outcomes for students including a major project addressing the BME attainment gap. I joined the RESG because I value equality in education and believe that BME students and staff at UCL should feel their contributions are valued, that they belong and that they are supported to excel here.