In the wake of the sickening killing of George Floyd the global calls for change and the impact of Covid-19 on Black and ethnic minority (BAME) people we made a public pledge to become an anti-racist council.
We acknowledge that it is not enough to be non-racist and we must actively use our privilege, position as community leaders and platforms to challenge structural racism and injustice within the council and in the city.
Progress on our pledge
Since our pledge we have been organising ourselves so we can understand how we can create sustained change for the long term. This has been a time for us to listen and learn from the lived experiences and diverse perspectives of BAME people.
It’s vital that the anti-racism strategy we’re developing is shaped by this. We’ve also taken actions that we know our communities wanted including:
- launching a new fund for BAME groups in the city
- tackling racism and bias in schools
- celebrating the legacies that reflect the city’s values
- continuing to work with the council’s BME Workers’ Forum to deliver our existing plan to be a fairer and more inclusive employer.
I thank all residents, community groups and the BME Workers’ Forum who have shared with us so far. We recognise having to explain again and again compounds your experiences of discrimination and racism.
Your continued involvement is crucial to ensure that our future actions are guided by the needs and interests of all BAME communities. In return for your investment in working with us we promise to listen and act.
A whole city approach
We will be active in reaching out to BAME community groups throughout the city, building stronger relationships and inviting them to join a Community Advisory Group to ensure our anti-racism strategy is focused on what will make the most difference to our BAME communities. We’re also looking at how individual residents can be involved.
Over 10,000 people safely took part in Black Lives Matter protests in the city in June. It was a powerful demonstration and affirmation of the city’s values of inclusivity and desire for us to become an anti-racist city.
We welcome the commitments made so far by people and organisations in the city to be anti-racist and we call on all services and employers in the city to do everything they can to work towards Brighton & Hove becoming an anti-racist city. We stand ready to work with you.
Our next steps
Some actions can be delivered quickly, while others will take time to implement. The council is committed to working on this for the long term to bring about real and lasting change.
We will continue to listen and learn, enable ignored voices to be heard, remove barriers, and ensure opportunities are open to all, so people can live their lives free from discrimination and harm.
We will launch a new resource area on the council website where you will be able to access information, advice, follow our progress, find out how to get involved and hold us to account. Your ward councillors will also welcome any queries and concerns you may have.
Black Lives Matter protests
We’re again calling for peaceful protests this weekend.
If you’re protesting – and we fully support your right to protest – please maintain safe physical distancing and take the right precautions to keep yourself, your family and our community safe from Covid-19.
We advise avoiding public transport if possible, washing your hands before leaving home and when you return, keeping a physical distance of two metres from people outside of your household, and staying home if you or someone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19. Wearing a face covering could also help protect others.
Thank you again to the thousands of people who protested safely last time and demonstrated our city’s values.
Councillor Carmen Appich
Chair of theTourism, Equality, Communities & Culture Committee