Meet the minds behind the mission
An introduction to our Board of Trustees; a dedicated, diverse team of individuals with a shared passion for fighting hate and injustice in all forms.
Martin Walker, Chair
In 1984 Martin started working in the criminal justice system and he qualified as a Police Station Accredited Representative in 1995. He has established a strong loyal client base and manages a large volume of serious criminal work preparing cases throughout the criminal process from Magistrates Court to the Court of Appeal.
His work as a solicitor involves undertaking a wide range of work including; advising clients at police stations, predominately in relation to extremely complex and very serious allegations. He also considers case papers, interviews clients and witnesses, prepares statements and liaises with experts and professionals. He instructs and sits behind counsel and devises and advises on case strategy and legal arguments.
Martin also undertakes voluntary work, most recently becoming the new Chair of SARI after being a trustee for five years. He also sits on the board of the Bristol Hate Crime Service Users Strategy Group and regularly attends the Safer Bristol’s Strategic Partnership Against Hate Crime meetings.
Christine Fernandes, Treasurer
Christine joined SARI’s Board in March 2018. Christine was born in Kenya and has been living in England since 1971. She is passionate about the ethos of SARI and has been helping at events, festivals and attending AGM’s prior to becoming a board member. She is currently working as a Director’s PA in Defra’s IT department. Christine loves singing and sings in two choirs, one of which is a Gospel choir. She also is on the committee for CAFOD and WaterAid helping in fundraising events. Christine believes very strongly in equality for everyone.
Abdul Samad Tariq
Abdul Samad Tariq is a retired mechanical engineer who has worked with the MOD and British Aerospace as well as running his own mechanical security business. He has been actively involved in community work, helping to construct several mosques in Bristol, is a founding member of the Council of Bristol Mosques, and has worked with the NHS on issues related to Muslim deaths. Additionally, Tariq acts as an independent advisor to the police, providing valuable insights and perspectives.
For the last 8 years Luke has been the General Manager for Mitchells & Butlers PLC where he manages public houses. He is also an active volunteer with St Johns Ambulance, where he worked throughout the pandemic as a vaccinator. He is currently working towards becoming an Emergency Paramedic. Although he is only 31, Luke has a vast amount of experience, with the majority of it working in the public/charity sector advocating for disadvantaged young people as a Project Lead and Mentor for Mentoring Plus.
Luke has also sat on the BANES Equalities and Diversity panel, shaping policies and services in BANES for a number of years. During this time, his work in this sector has been recognised multiple times. He was named Mentor of the Year at BANES Pride in Bath Awards 2013, and Mayor’s of Bath’s Young Person of the Year.
Alongside this, Luke is a Master Joiner, with multiple Diplomas in handcrafted cabinet making and is also a proud veteran of HM Armed Forces. Luke has a passion for advocating for people, who for whatever reason, may not be able to do it themselves. He is am a firm believer in there being no such thing as a lost cause and that everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their life.
Reuben grew up in central Bristol and attended Cotham School. After studying for a degree in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, Reuben worked for a Member of Parliament in a busy constituency office in North Croydon. Reuben returned to Bristol after living in London for several years to work with Children in Care at Bristol City Council’s HOPE Virtual School. He then became a Project Worker here, at Stand Against Racism & Inequality. His time working at SARI was a formative experience – and he has been keen to get involved with SARI again ever since leaving the post of Project Worker.
After working at SARI, Reuben has worked at the University of Bristol, first in the Widening Participation Team running the Bristol Scholars Outreach programme, and currently in the Student Resolution Service, supporting students who make serious complaints. He is also a co-chair of the University’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff network and a regular appearance at staff 5-a-side football matches.
Ronald was born in Jamaica, and emigrated to Bristol aged twelve. Attending school in the 60’s and 70’s was challenging, having to travel in groups, due to the open culture of racism in society at that time.
Upon leaving school, he studied Marine Radio and Radar. In 1977 he joined the British Merchant Navy as a Radio Officer. In 1987, he moved to London to join the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). As a result of submitting a paper entitled “Racial Equality – The Reality,” he was appointed to the “NATS Equal Opportunities Committee” in 2001. Whilst living in London, he volunteered as a Parent Governor at two local schools. At that time there were no Ethnic Minority representatives on the Governing Bodies despite there being a number of Ethnic Minority pupils at both schools.
He returned to Bristol in 2009 and secured a position with Defence Equipment and Support, working on a project to supply the Air Force, Army and Navy with sophisticated identification equipment. During this time, he represented the Ministry of Defence in national and international forums.
During his formative years, Ronald was inspired by his father, Delroy Douglas and family friends such as Owen Henry, Roy Hackett, Guy Bailey, Paul Stephenson and others. This resulted in him participating in activities at St. Pauls’ Festival. He believes that being part of SARI will provide an opportunity for him to play a small part in continuing the work started by his childhood role models.
Sumayyah Malna is a solicitor and lecturer of Law at the University of Bristol. As a practising solicitor she supervises Law students in the provision of pro bono legal support to members of the local community who are unable to access legal services. Her areas of expertise are inquests, family law, and medical law.
Sumayyah also teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Law School, with a particular interest in teaching the importance of anti-racism in legal practice – something she has recently written about in a soon to be published volume.
As the Law School’s Director of Careers and Employability, Sumayyah also spends time supporting students with their careers-related ambitions, as well as forging links and partnerships with various organisations and professional bodies to support student employability.
She is keen to facilitate links to the legal profession for those students who are less privileged, or who are from an underrepresented demographic. Sumayyah is passionate about racial equity and anti-racist action, and is thrilled to be appointed to the board of SARI.
Vicki worked for 25 years in the voluntary sector in mental health, substance misuse and public health projects, including 19 years as Chief Executive of three different charities. She now owns and runs two small businesses in Somerset. With a lifelong concern for the impact of structural and cultural inequalities, Vicki is committed to the important work of SARI in supporting individuals to overcome the discrimination, prejudice and hate they experience in our local communities. Vicki follows the mantra of Bryan Stevenson, who says, “the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.”
Vishal was born in Bristol and has lived here all his life. He has faced numerous incidents of racism and discrimination through being an ethnic minority that is part Indian, Pakistani and Iranian, whilst also being a minority Asian Christian and married to a Caribbean person. He can therefore understand and empathise with victims of hate crime and discrimination.
At university Vishal studied sport and business, where he compiled a dissertation on the football association’s Kick It Out campaign to fight racism. Vishal is an ex-police officer, based in Bristol, during times when the police were being reported as institutionally racist. He has also previously run his own company, beginning with just £10,000 and within two to three years was turning over £250,000.
In 2014, Vishal was diagnosed with a chronic illness and now lives with a hidden disability. This also helps him to understand and empathise with those that are victims of disability hate crimes. He has worked in social housing, tackling anti-social behaviour and hate crimes for 15 years. During this time, he worked jointly with police, various local authorities and SARI case workers for several years on tackling hate crime.
In 2020 Vishal became founder and co-chair of the LiveWest BAME staff network. He has expanded the network and recently formed a Housing Ethnicity Network in the South-West. Vishal is proud to have a Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging for All qualification and in 2022 he completed a CMI Level 4 vocational qualification in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Vishal wants to be able to contribute to the journey we’re all on, in building equality within our society for our future generations – and he believes he can contribute to that in his role as a member of the Board of Trustees at SARI.