Maggie Chapman was born and brought up in the sunshine in Zimbabwe. Her musician Dad and housewife Mum encouraged her to spread her wings and explore the unknown. So she came to Scotland in 1998.
She studied zoology and environmental management, her fieldwork taking her all over Scotland. However, she became frustrated that most humans were not viewed as legitimate parts of many environments. And so she moved into the critical social sciences and spent nearly 9 years lecturing in human geography and environmental philosophy at Edinburgh Napier University.
At the same time, Maggie was elected to Edinburgh City Council as one of Scotland’s first Green councillors. She served the people of Leith Walk ward for 8 years during which time she pioneered participatory budgeting and including people in decision-making. She was the first Scottish politician to call for the payment of the Living Wage, and has been an active anti-austerity campaigner.
Elected as female co-convener of the Scottish Greens in 2013, Maggie played a key role in widening the Party’s appeal through her work in Green Yes and the Radical Independence Campaign. She stood as lead candidate in the 2014 European Elections, and was top of the North East regional list for the 2016 Holyrood Elections. She argued for the devolution of employment law and abortion legislation as a member of the Smith Commission.
A passionate believer in and activist for equality, Maggie now works to promote inclusion and awareness of people with vision impairments, heading up the work of SCOVI, the umbrella body for vision impairment in Scotland. As Rector of the University of Aberdeen, she also works to improve understanding of intersectionality, supporting trans-inclusion in feminism and mentoring women and young people.
Maggie inherited her father’s love of and talent for music and she plays a wide range of instruments. She can often be found with her fiddle, a pint of Guinness and a dram in the Hebrides Bar on a Monday evening. When not politicking, making music or drinking whisky, she loves spending time in the hills. And she is chief slave to two rather beautiful ginger cats!
You can follow Maggie on twitter and Facebook or read her Ungagged Column here