Deeds not Words Panel

Deeds not Words pledge is supported and scrutinised by Deeds not Words panel – an independent panel supported by Tai Pawb.

a house with a maginfying glass in the middle with the words deeds not words panel underneath

Who we are

We are a group of passionate minority ethnic housing professionals with a variety of experience in several housing related roles. Our vision is to provide support and challenge to the sector in a bid to overcome racial inequality in housing. We know that everyone is on the same journey and we urge you to not let this lose traction. As a panel, we are here to support you. Read more about what we want to achieve…. Work with us, engage with us and make your commitments a reality. Check out our, terms of reference or key objectives and how you can engage with us below:


Leadership and Influence

We want to ensure anti-racism and addressing racial inequality in housing remains high on the agenda for the sector and its key stakeholders:

Engage with us:

  • Invite us to speak at an event
  • Invite us to share our views in sector press and communication channels
  • Ask us for views on national policy issues

Paving the way for others

We want to lead by example and promote the benefits of having a diverse workforce across the sector.

Engage with us:

  • Promote the panel and our coffee mornings to your ethnic minority colleagues
  • Ask us for views on your racial diversity initiatives

Scrutiny, Challenge, Motivation and Support

To encourage the expertise and insight of panel members as an independent group of professionals working as scrutineers

Engage with us:

  • Ask the panel for their insight on the work your organisation is doing on anti-racism, a challenge you may be facing or good practice
  • We intend to commit some time at our bi-monthly panel meetings to meeting organisations wishing to obtain panel insight


Interested? Contact . Please note, as we are doing this in addition to our jobs in housing, we may not always be available or have the capacity to work with you due to our commitments.  Where we cannot help you, we will work in partnership with Tai Pawb to find the best way forward.


What we're up to

We’ll be getting together face to face for a coffee morning at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on Wednesday 22nd June, 10:00-12:00 and we would love it if you could join us.

Register your place here

We are really excited to be holding an Informal virtual coffee morning with the panel on Wednesday 10th November between 10am and 11.30am and we would love for you to join the coffee and chat with us.

The purpose for this is to create a safe space for Black, Asian and ethnic minority people in the sector to come together and chat.  We will do a round to see how everyone is and then chat about the following.

  • What challenges we might be facing?
  • Any positives to share
  • Has DNW had any effect and if not – why?
  • What can be improved?
  • And what can the panel do to support networking.

It’s a great opportunity for us all to get together and speak openly and freely on how we all can support each other.

Book here

We held a panel discussion and launched the panel on 5th October 2021 at Tai Pawb’s Annual Conference

View the recording here!

Panel members

I have worked in the social housing sector for over 16 years. 

I joined the panel as I’m an advocate for decent and affordable homes for all and delivering services that meet the needs of all groups within the communities that we work.

I am passionate about equality issues within the sector and how they can impact on provision and delivery of services and tenancy sustainability.  As a panel member, I hope to support organisations and staff within the sector to take positive action to address racial inequality issues both at a community level and at an organisational level. 

Over the next 5 years I would like to see greater diversity within the sector workforce, where staff and residents alike, feel supported and encouraged to be their true selves, to ask questions and challenge decisions and practices around racial inequality without fear of reprisals or their concerns being dismissed. 

I am currently employed as the Director of Housing & Communities at Aelwyd Housing Association and I am a Board Member of Merthyr Valley Homes. I was born in Jamaica, but I have lived and worked in Wales all my adult life.

My name is Nazia Azad-Warren and I’ve been working in and around the housing sector since 2015. I joined the Deeds not Words Panel because we all have a role to play in making our sector actively anti-racist, inclusive and culturally appropriate.

Housing is fundamental to someone’s wellbeing; access to an adequate, safe and secure home allows one the opportunity to thrive. We know that as a sector, people of colour are more likely to have worse housing outcomes than their White Welsh counterparts.

We also need to ensure that our sector is representative of the communities we serve. POC need to be in leadership positions as well as frontline.

Long-standing socio-economic disadvantage, institutional racism and lack of representation has to be addressed. Equality of access and equality of outcome is achievable and my membership to the DNW panel means that I can support making that change into a reality.

I have worked in housing for several years, previously working as Technology Delivery Manager for a housing association, and currently a product owner for a Net Zero delivery company, Sero.

My passion for equality and diversity stems from my lived experience as a neuro-divergent, multi-racial, second-generation immigrant.

My experiences and feelings around my own race and identity are complex and confusing. If you add to this, “passing as white” and having much lighter skin than my father and siblings – there is a lot to unpack, including feelings of imposter syndrome and feelings of guilt around the ways in which I benefit from white privilege.

It took me a while to understand where I fit in and to be brave enough to speak authentically about matters relating to racism. The tragic murder of George Floyd was a wake-up call for a lot of people and for me, it was a call to action. I realised that everyone has an important role to play in Anti-racism work. So as a starting point I committed to drive the Deeds not Words pledge within my role, and now I have joined as a panel member with Tai Pawb.

I have worked in housing and support for over 15 years . I have held roles in housing management, supported housing, homelessness and safeguarding. I believe knowledge, learning and personal development are so important.

I’m not much of an activist, I instead prefer to contribute in the background, providing help, advice and guidance where I can on a one to one level,

The events of the last 18 months have shown me that I need to be more proactive in my efforts to address inequality and injustice, especially around race and ethnicity.

I really hope and believe our efforts as a panel can deliver meaningful, long lasting change.

I have a background in housing at both operational and strategic level and have undertaken many roles in the voluntary & private sectors. I have been involved in training for over three decades. I am also involved in Caribbean Heritage Cymru – an organisation supporting people of Caribbean heritage.

Diversity and equality has always been my main priority in the workplace. I am passionate about training and believe it is a vehicle in which to effect change in both individuals and organisations.

picture of Reehana

My name is Reehana Joiya I was born in Glasgow and moved to Wales when I was 6 years old with my family. Majority of my adult life has been spent in Cardiff.

I am new to this sector, I feel I have learnt so much and

appreciate there is still so much more for me to learn about this sector, but I feel my passion for making a difference is something I can really use to help other organisations.

My current role sees me drive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and bring it to the forefront of everything we do as I believe Equality, Diversity and

 Inclusion should matter to everyone. I continue to work on the education of all staff and believe education is a key part of learning and breaking down barriers. I am aware we all have huge challenges but working together we can make a difference. As a panel member I hope to help and support organisations.

In my spare time I love cooking and perfecting my mum’s traditional food, along with this I love spending hours on end watching Pakistani Dramas which really helps me switch off from day-to-day life and relax.

I have worked in housing for many years.  I joined the panel because I am extremely passionate about equality.  I help and support people on a daily basis in the community and would like to help to address racial inequality.  Inclusion should matter to every individual.

During the last 40 years society has changed.  I would like to continue to see positive change throughout society.  It starts from the top.

Picture of Sanni Salisu

My work experience has taken me from inside a cake factory to working in hospitality at events such as the gold cup, international football and rugby at Cardiff millennium stadium etc and now find myself in the last 12 years working in the housing sector in Wales.

I have a passion for housing and belief everyone has a right to live in a safe and affordable homes with thriving communities. Through my lived experience working in the sector, I have endured racial inequalities myself and see first hand the effects on communities we serve.

Whilst my experience in the housing sector has been positive and negative, I absolutely have passion to improve the representation in the sector to better serve the employees and most importantly to address racial inequalities in the communities we serve and help organisations engage and deliver better services to their wider communities.

I truly hope to see greater diversity in the housing sector at all levels of organisations where people feel supported and empowered to be their selves at work.

I currently work for CCHA as a Gas Compliance officer, and I am also a Board member at Melin Homes.

As a Panel Member of Tai Pawb Deeds not Words Panel, I hope to help organisations address racial inequalities, promote good practices and support organisations to take positive actions to address racial inequalities to better serve their diverse communities.

I am approachable and will promote organisations in my communities doing excellent work and have best practices


Want to join us?

We are looking for more panel members, if you are an ethnic minority person linked to housing and would like to join the panel, contact