North West Migrants Forum launches Advancing Race Equality Awards 2023

Race Awards now open | NICRC

The North West Migrants Forum has launched its Advancing Race Equality Awards for 2023. Held annually, the Awards aim to celebrate those at the forefront of championing racial equality and anti-racism in their local communities.

The Advancing Race Equality Awards for 2023 will take place in the Everglades Hotel, Derry, on 7 March 2024. 

To officially declare nominations open, the North West Migrants Forum travelled to Mallusk Integrated Primary School in Antrim. Mallusk was the 2022 winner of the Anti-Racism School of the Year, chosen in recognition of the work staff and young people do to embed diversity and inclusion in every facet of educational life.

Announcing this year’s Advancing Race Equality Awards, Director of the North West Migrants Forum, Lilian Seenoi Barr, said the accolades were designed to salute the achievements of grassroots communities working to tackle racial inequalities.

“I am delighted to be launching our awards which aim to recognise the unsung heroes and community organisations doing phenomenal work to enhance the lives of minority ethnic communities,” Lilian said. “In such deeply troubling times as these, there can be no better way to bring to the fore the commitment of individuals and groups working day in, day out, to challenge racism. All too often these efforts go unheralded but through our Advancing Race Equality Awards, we want to acknowledge that dedication to building a truly welcoming and inclusive society.”

The Awards are made up of 10 categories: Anti-Racism School of the Year; Anti-Racism Teacher; Primary School and Secondary School Anti-Racism Ambassadors; Advancing Racial Justice Award; Young Leader; Community Champion; Anti-Racism Media; Anti-Racism Leader; and Lifetime Achievement.

Among the distinguished judges is Dr Raymond Russell. A researcher in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Dr Russell has been involved with equality issues for nearly 25 years. In 2018, he was commissioned by The Executive Office to write a report which explored the issues around introducing ethnic monitoring to the public sector in Northern Ireland.

Alongside him will be former UN Policy Advisor Hannah Davies, Policy Officer at the Committee on the Administration of Justice Eliza Browning, Nurse and Unison activist Beverly Simpson, social worker and cultural musician Donna Namukasa, Ulster University Professor Duncan Morrow and former head of the Racial Equality and Social Cohesion Unit in The Executive Office Ken Fraser.

Nominations are open until 12 January 2024.

Dr Raymond Russell described the Advancing Race Equality Awards as an opportunity to “come together and celebrate the remarkable work of those who promote racial equality in Northern Ireland”.

He said, “Northern Ireland is changing fast and our anti-racism champions have a crucial role to play in nurturing this change.  

“By challenging racist attitudes and stereotypes, they are helping to bring about a society where one day all races and creeds in our society will feel comfortable in living and working together.”

On what winning Anti-Racism School of the Year had meant to Mallusk Integrated, Principal Susanne Kinsella said it had instilled a great pride among pupils.

Ms Kinsella said, “They were very proud to win the award and the children are always talking about it.

“When they heard the 2023 awards were going to be launched in their school out of all the schools in Northern Ireland, they were so excited.”

Nominate Now

If you know someone who merits a place on the list of this year’s Advancing Race Equality Awards nominations, visit

Alternatively, contact the North West Migrants Forum by phone on 028 7136 2184 or email