Race Equality Foundation’s Jabeer Butt honoured with OBE

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THE deputy chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation has been awarded an OBE for his work promoting equality.

Jabeer Butt will be given the award by the Queen as part of her New Year’s Honours list.

Mr Butt, who has gained an international reputation for the use of evidence in developing interventions that help overcome discrimination and disadvantage, leads the Foundation’s work on health, which has seen the development of the critically acclaimed Better Health briefing papers and website, as well as a range of activities to strengthen the black and minority ethnic-led voluntary sector working on health related equality.

In addition, he leads the housing work which has resulted in the Better Housing briefing papers and website and in 2005 saw him awarded the BMESpark Innovation and Good Practice prize for his co-authored guide Different Paths.

He also provides leadership for the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities team.

This has seen widespread adoption of an effective parent education programme because of its success in reaching parents from all communities with over 25,000 parents impacted.

His studies have been used to inform Government thinking on issues such as the development of effective support for black and minority ethnic older people, as well as interventions such as Sure Start.

Mr Butt is also a member of the NHS’s Equality and Diversity Council.

Speaking about the award, he said: “At a time when many individuals, their families and communities face tremendous hardship and political leadership on equality is lacking, any celebrations for this award will inevitably be muted.

“However, I am grateful for this recognition and wish to thank my family and in particular my partner Kurshida and our children Imtiaaz and Zulehka for their many sacrifices and support.

“Also, what I have achieved would not have been possible without the intellectual rigour and dedication of my colleagues at the Foundation.

“This has inevitably benefited from the many voluntary organisations and others who have worked with us to make equality a reality for all.”

Chairman of the Foundation’s Trustees, Timothy Leung, said: “Making real progress in race equality has never been easy, but Jabeer and colleagues at the Foundation have demonstrated that we all benefit when race equality is progressed effectively. Therefore, we take great pride in Jabeer being awarded an OBE.

“Also, I am pleased to note that this is the second Foundation staff member to achieve this recognition, with Ratna Dutt being awarded an OBE in 1999.”

And Foundation chief executive, Mr Dutt, added: “I feel a great sense of pleasure and pride in Jabeer receiving this award in recognition of the huge contribution he has made in the field of race equality.

“He has been an outstanding deputy CE and his contribution and commitment to race and other equality issues in general and to the work of Race Equality Foundation has been unwavering.

“He is held with great regard by all his colleagues at the Foundation and importantly, by colleagues outside of the organisation.

“He has not only helped to set a very high standard for the work undertaken and produced by the Foundation but has managed to create a positive profile of the organisation locally, nationally as well as internationally. This is a truly well deserved OBE.”

Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford was also named an MBE, while Caroline Ward, who founded the Little Oaks Community Nursery in Wavendon, was named an MBE, and Bletchley Park codebreaking hero, Captain Jerry Roberts, was awarded an MBE.