The National Assembly Against Racism was established in 1994, at
the initiative of black community organisations based in Tower Hamlets, following
the community-led campaign against the election of a BNP councillor in a by-election
The concern at this apparent electoral progress for an overtly racist party united national black organisations, anti-racists, trade unions, churches and faiths and many other organisations in a campaign to mobilise anti-racist opinion.
The wide coalition formed around this issue was established in the National Assembly Against Racism as an umbrella of affiliates and individual members to initiate campaigns, set agendas and raise awareness on the whole range of anti-racist issues affecting British society.
The NAAR Executive is elected at its AGM which includes representatives of the Churches Commission for Racial Justice, Jewish Council for Racial Equality, national trade unions, black organisations, refugee organisations and representatives of the NAAR's youth and student wing, the Student Assembly Against Racism. It is funded by Cadburys, Rowntrees, the Churches Ecumenical Racial Justice Fund, the Lord Ashdown Trust, and trade unions and members donations.It has run campaigns and educational programmes on fighting the far right, asylum and immigration rights, racial violence, black deaths in custody and on developments at a European level.In all its activities the NAAR is guided by its founding principle that the agenda against racism must be set by those who experience it. It is therefore black-community organisation led, has a majority of black representatives on its executives, and works closely with victims and their families when taking up particular cases.