Zerbanoo Gifford

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Biographical Information

"Human rights campaigner, author and International Woman of the Year 2006, Zerbanoo Gifford, is the founder of the ASHA Centre. Zerbanoo is recognised as a pioneer for Asian women in British public life. She made political history when elected as a councillor for the Liberals in 1982 as the first non-white woman. She then went on to be the first non-white woman to contest a Parliamentary election, which she did on three occasions. A former advisor to the British Home Secretary, and chair of the Race Relations Forum, she has also chaired the Commission, ‘Looking into ethnic minority involvement in British Life’.

"A patron of numerous international organisations, Zerbanoo is the Founder Director of the ASHA Foundation, which encourages and supports philanthropy worldwide and works for interfaith and intercultural understanding, especially among the young. She has been the director of Anti-Slavery International, London Organiser for Shelter, and helped set up Charities Aid Foundation in India... Zerbanoo has authored seven books: “The Golden Thread: Asian Experiences of Post-Raj Britain”; “Dadabhai Naoroji: Britain's First Asian MP”; “The Asian Presence in Europe”; “South Asian Funding in the UK”; “Celebrating India”; “Thomas Clarkson and the Campaign against the Slave Trade”; “Confessions to a Serial Womaniser: Secrets of the World’s Inspirational Women”...

"Zerbanoo has also been a magazine editor and written widely on historical, social and political themes, with all proceeds from her writings going to nominated charities. She is a sought-after, dynamic speaker, and often appears in the media as a commentator on current affairs. She is married to Richard, an international lawyer, known for his work with the displaced Chagos Islanders." [1]

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  1. ASHA Zerbanoo Gifford, organizational web page, accessed April 5, 2012.