The Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam (MDRA) has installed three new board members as of Feb. 7, 2023:
Amber Kegel, Ismail Şimşek and Elijah Alvares.
Due to the expiration of the terms of office of some MDRA board members, a search for new representation of the residents of Amsterdam and surrounding municipalities was conducted through various channels. With the appointment of the three new board members, the various areas of expertise within the board have been expanded. The MDRA is delighted with the accession of these three board members. The current board thus has eight board members, following the earlier appointment of a new chairman and secretary in December 2022.
Amber Kegel (Amsterdam, 1993) is researcher labor market discrimination and psychosocial workload at the Dutch Labour Inspectorate. Prior to this, she worked as a policy officer at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment for vulnerable groups in the labor market. Within the ministry she is also active as ambassador Diversity & Inclusiveness, for which she won the diversity hero award in 2021. During her studies in Health and Life Sciences, she contributed to several scientific publications focused on health disparities.
With her academic background and experience in central government, Amber hopes to work as a board member on issues that touch on her core values: justice, equity and health.
Ismail Şimşek (Tarsus, 1969) is Managing Director at mental health practice Terra Mental Health. Originally he is an administrative scientist. Ismail has administrative experience, including as chairman of the board of the Friends of Parnassia Group Foundation and as a board member of the Dutch Migration Institute. Ismail is married and has three children. ''My mission is, to stand up for people who are discriminated against because of their religion, gender, skin color, origin, age.''
Elijah Alvares (Amsterdam, 1997) is an entrepreneurial and hands-on administrative scientist. He works as a project manager at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and has completed studies in Educational Assistant and Public Administration. He has gained administrative experience within trade union, education and association politics. Previously, he worked in primary education and was a district committee member in Amsterdam-Noord. Because of his multidisciplinary background, Alvares is able to work on pragmatic and sustainable strategies from different perspectives, with people at the center.
"So many issues today stem from unjust policy choices and lack of people-centered work. This hits groups in our society especially hard. The MDRA plays an essential role at the intersection of service, knowledge and advocacy.''
The Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam is an independent foundation with the goal of addressing and preventing discrimination and influencing social processes that underlie it. The MDRA has a legal task to register complaints about discrimination, to handle them and to look for solutions. The MDRA is there for all residents of the municipalities of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Aalsmeer, Diemen, Ouder-Amstel, Uithoorn and urban areas Driemond and Weesp.
The term of office for unpaid board members is 3 years; one may be reappointed once for the same period if necessary.