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The Talk 

Drawing on what he sees as key reflections and insights gleaned from his 7-year tenure as the first black president of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), David will proffer his views on what is to be done to define and accelerate an anti-racist approach to mental health, both within the profession and wider society. He refuses to dodge the question, ‘what is the role of Black and Asian professionals?’ Instead, he insists that we as professionals must hold a mirror up to ourselves and step forward to play a leading role in driving forward the change.

David’s keynote argues the urgency for establishing anti-racism at the epicentre of the counselling professions and reframing it to serve every part of the population. Central to his argument is the view that BAATN and similar bodies have an increasing responsibility to play a transformative role in making the profession culturally relevant and in so doing, contribute to the dismantling of systemic racism in society.

About David Weaver

David is past President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2017 to 2022). Prior to that, he served as a Governor / Trustee (2012 to 2016) and Vice President (2004 to 2009). He has played a key role in BACP’s drive to embed social justice as a core principle / aspect of its work; and strongly advocates the relevance of the counselling professions for ordinary people and communities’.

A former social worker, university lecturer, local authority senior manager and political advisor, David leads a leadership change organisation that works with individuals, organisations and communities to help them achieve their full potential. He offers significant expertise as a coach and mediator and is utilised for his expertise in the area of strategic leadership in the UK and abroad.

Most of David’s work is focused on leadership. A significant aspect of this is his work with the NHS, local government and several professional bodies on strategies for embedding and ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion are viewed as business-critical and a central feature of their leadership and change agenda. This was a much-recognised and important part of David’s work as president of BACP and his ongoing leadership role within the counselling and mental health field.

A former political advisor to Home Office ministers, including the Deputy Home Secretary and Home Secretary in the late 1990s, David represented the UK government on a council of Europe body (European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia) based in Vienna. He is passionate about social justice, human rights and anti-racism and is regularly featured in the media.

David is a fellow of the British American Project – a body comprising business, media, community, and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. A co-founder of high-profile human rights body, Operation Black Vote (OBV), David sits on the Board of several community-based organisations working in the areas of human rights, community development and counselling in communities. David holds an MSc in Human Resources Management and qualifications relating to conflict coaching, mediation and psychological profiling.

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