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National Assembly Operation Black Vote Scheme wins Channel 4 award for groundbreaking scheme.

The National Assembly for Wales and Operation Black Vote (OBV) AM Shadowing Scheme, has won the highly acclaimed Channel 4 / Hansard Society Political Awards.

The scheme, launched in October 2007 involves nine BME people from all over Wales shadowing Assembly Members from all four main parties. The project encourages those from BME communities to participate in the democratic process and aims to increase the number of BME AMs,

This is the second year that OBV has been nominated for its mentoring scheme as this project follows on from successful MP, Magistrate and Councillor shadowing schemes.

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales said: “We are deeply committed to increase the participation of all the communities of Wales throughout our society. Currently we have only one member of the black and minority ethnic community representing in the National Assembly as a Member. We hope that the success of this scheme will lead to more Members in national and local government and throughout the public services and business management, and I am sure the Assembly Commission will wish to repeat the experience represented by the shadowing scheme.”  

OBV's Director Simon Woolley 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.”

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