Sheffield council has called for a collective, city-wide effort to end racial inequality

Sheffield City Council has vowed to be a visibly “anti-racist organisation”, calling on businesses and institutions to join forces with the city’s Race Equality Commission to end racial inequality.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:01 am

The council’s leader, Councillor Bob Johnson and chief executive, Kate Josephs, have written to key stakeholders in the region, asking for a collective, city-wide effort to end racial inequality.

They are calling on businesses and institutions to get involved and submit evidence to the Sheffield Race Equality Commission, so it can conduct its inquiry into the nature, extent and causes of racism and racial disparities in the city.

They said: “Sheffield has many great strengths, but we also know that not all of our citizens benefit from the same opportunities and life chances. It is very well documented how Covid-19 has illustrated how racial disparities and racism adversely impact Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, but we also know that such issues extend into other areas such as education, health, employment, crime and justice.

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Coun Bob Johnson.

“As the new Leader and Chief Executive of the Council, we both view the Commission as a welcome and important call to action for our City which we will model in our response as an organisation. We are determined, for example, that going forward the Council workforce will be more representative of the communities we serve, at all levels. Our aim is to be an inclusive and visibly anti-racist organisation, tackling racism and all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our city wherever it is found. More widely, we mean to prioritise tackling inequality to which the Race Equality Commission is an impetus. So today, we are asking you as our partners to mirror our commitment to the Commission’s process and its recommendations as we look to rebuild our city following the recent unprecedented pandemic and global racial unrest.

“Thank you all again for your original show of support. The Commission is now six months along and in that time the Chair and Commissioners have been meeting regularly to discuss the responses to the Call for Evidence and are also preparing for the Hearings. It is crucial that they have supporting written evidence for the hearings and are keen to receive this as soon as possible.”

It is hoped that such actions will help the Commission to make an accurate assessment for its final report and recommendations.

Professor Emeritus Kevin Hylton, the chair of Sheffield Race Equality Commission, believes it is ‘a chance to make an impact for generations to come’.

Kate Josephs CEO of Sheffield City Council. Picture Scott Merrylees

The Commission is collecting evidence across six key themes which will be presented and reviewed at a series of public hearings from May until June this summer.

The themes are: health, civic life and communities, crime and justice, education, sport and culture, and business and employment.

People and organisations are encouraged to submit their evidence as soon as possible.

Evidence may include examples of racial inequalities in Sheffield and examples of good practice to reduce racism.

For more information or to submit evidence, visit here.

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