We’re pleased to announce that Dr Dayo Eseonu and Paul Braitwaite have been appointed to our board of trustees.
Dayo is an academic in the Politics Department at the University of Manchester researching racial equity and justice in public services delivery. Her research examines institutions that facilitate or constrain racial equity in public services delivery.
Before that, she worked as a Chartered Human Resources professional in the private, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors leading on Organisational Development, Learning and Development as well as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Paul is Head of Innovation & Voice with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, leading their work on social and democratic innovation. Since joining the Foundation in 2013, Paul has developed a number of creative co-design, collaboration and grant-making programmes that have resulted in Northern Ireland's first citizens' assembly and participatory budgeting initiatives, as well as political commitments around open government and citizen participation.
Prior to his return to Northern Ireland in 2011 Paul worked in international development, partnering with civil society groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America around participatory governance and human rights.
Dayo and Paul were appointed following an open call for new trustees launched in November 2020. They attended their first board meeting in May 2021 and join seven serving trustees: Ed Cox (Chair), Dr Hannah White (Deputy Chair), Golam Morshed (Treasurer), Claire Ainsley, Dame Julie Mellor, Kathy Jones and Sharon Squires.
We’re delighted to welcome Dayo and Paul to the board. We know that having diverse perspectives around the table improves decision-making in almost any context and this is true for the way we run Involve. With a growing focus on power and privilege and with the expansion of our work in the devolved nations, Dayo and Paul will galvanise our work in those areas and have a vital contribution to make to the wider strategic direction of the organisation as a whole.
Ed Cox, chair of Involve
I am excited to join Involve as a trustee because they are at the forefront of innovative public participation practices ensuring that people are at the heart of decisions that affect them. I am looking forward to working with the superb staff team and trustees to improve democracy and related practice.
Dr Dayo Eseonu
I am delighted to be joining the board of Involve, an organisation I have admired and worked in close partnership with over several years. At this critical time for democracy in the UK, and across the world, I want to play my part in the movement for more deliberation and participation as the alternative to polarisation and creeping authoritarianism. Involve has led the way in recent years in establishing the credibility, effectiveness and utility of methods like citizens' assemblies and I'm excited to be part of the next chapter of scaling this up and pushing for meaningful democratic reform.