North West Migrants Forum

‘She will be an outstanding First Citizen and advocate for the City and District’

MEMBERS of the Board of the North West Migrants Forum say they are delighted that the charity’s founder and Chief Executive Lilian Seenoi Barr is to become the next mayor of Derry City and Strabane.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Chairperson Marija Stuke said members wanted to warmly congratulate Lilian on her selection, adding that she will be an outstanding first citizen and advocate for the city and district.

Ms Stuke said, “Lilian describes herself as ‘born in Kenya but made in Derry’. Since arriving here as a refugee nearly a decade and a half ago, she has built a formidable reputation as a relentless campaigner, activist and champion for social justice and human rights. She established the North West Migrants Forum to bring people and communities together, recognising the things we have in common as well as celebrating diversity and difference.

Whilst it’s hugely significant that Lilian will be the first person of colour to become mayor of a Northern Ireland council area, it is testament to her ability to reach beyond traditional binaries and earn the respect of people from all backgrounds.”

Chair of the North West Migrants Forum Board, Marija Stuke.

As to what the appointment will mean for the Migrants Forum, Marija Stuke said arrangements were being put in place to ensure that it will be business as usual for the busy organisation.

“We appreciate that Lilian’s mayoral commitments over the coming year will involve having to scale back some of her day-to-day involvement in NWMF.

“We’re in the process of confirming interim arrangements for the duration of her term of office and in the meantime have reached out to our funders to reassure them and others it will be business as usual as far as all our exciting plans and projects are concerned.”