Scotland's Making Rights Real Appoints Its First Director

Making Rights Real has appointed Clare MacGillivray as its first Director to lead the organisation as it aims to shift how grassroots communities’ access and understand human rights. Dessie Donnelly  |  Fri May 14 2021
Clare brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the third sector leading community development organisations.

Making Rights Real has appointed Clare MacGillivray as its first Director to lead the organisation as it aims to shift how grassroots communities’ access and understand human rights.

The organisation established in 2020 and aims to use human rights as practical tools, to support marginalised communities achieve sustainable social and economic change.

Dr Jo Ferrie, Chair of Making Rights Real said, “We are delighted to appoint Clare as our first Director. Clare is a leader with passion and commitment; one with the vision to use Making Rights Real as the vehicle to drive both human rights and the participation of marginalised communities into the centre of our national decision-making processes.”

Following initial funding from the Baring Foundation to scope out the pathway for the charity, Clare led the founding of Making Rights Real and worked alongside Corra Foundation and Human Rights Consortium Scotland to explore the development of a Human Rights Fund for Scotland, launching the Bold and Fearless report in March this year.

Newly appointed Director, Clare MacGillivray said, “I am thrilled and humbled to have been appointed to lead Making Rights Real. We are really at a crossroads for human rights in Scotland. As we begin to build forward better from the crushing decade long austerity agenda and the devastating impact of Covid, we have an opportunity to embed human rights principles in the choices made to build recovery in Scotland.

The policy landscape is shifting with the impending incorporation of international human rights treaties into Scots law, so the time is right for communities to use the power of human rights to mobilise for economic and social change. Thanks to pioneering funding from Corra Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Making Rights Real will support communities to name and claim their rights. I am deeply honoured to be building an organisation to support that vision.”

About Clare

Clare brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the third sector leading community development organisations. She is passionate about working with communities to use the power of human rights to support meaningful economic and social change and was a key player in the Housing Rights in Practice project – working with residents using a human rights based approach to address housing concerns in Leith.

A Trustee with the Children’s Parliament and the International Association for Community Development, Clare is also actively involved in grassroots work for women and children’s rights in her local community in East Lothian. A former member of the Scotland Committee for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, she chaired the World Community Development Conference in Dundee in 2019.

Clare has an MA (Jt Hons) in Geography and Sociology from the University of Aberdeen and a PG Dip in Community Education from Northern College / University of Dundee.

Dessie Donnelly is former Director, and one of the original staff members, of Belfast based Participation and the Practice of Rights (PPR) organisation. Prior to working with PPR, Dessie was an organiser in the USA and Irish labour movements. Dessie is also a software developer and certified Linux administrator with an interest in leveraging the power of free and open source software in support of social movements and mutual aid networks.