Leaders and communities unite at launch of anti-racism movement

COMMUNITY groups, members of the public and leaders from across Bradford District and Craven have come together to take part in a place-based launch of a regional anti-racism movement today (Monday 23 August at 1pm) in Centenary Square which included a seed and plant sharing to demonstrate how people can nurture friendships and communities.

The anti-racism movement has been developed by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) alongside nearly 500 organisations and community allies with similar launches taking place across the region today.

The launch in Centenary Square sees people signing up to a pledge, share plants and seeds with each other offering a message of solidarity, take part in an interactive arts workshop as well as an opportunity for local artists and art groups to provide entertainment. There was also information stalls promoting the existing work of community groups and key partners to tackle racism as well as demonstrating projects that are already building bridges across communities.

People attending the events will be offered an opportunity to share plants as a gesture of friendship and good will among communities and individuals. The plants have been sourced from a local social enterprise helping people with learning disabilities, Northcliffe Environmental Enterprises Team (NEET) – www.neetpeople.org

Bradford Council Leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said:  “Bradford Council Leader Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe said:  “We are committed to tackling racist behaviours head-on and showing that there is no room for racism in our district.   We are backing the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership anti-racism movement and I would urge everyone to get involved and support this.  By working together we can root out racism.  Every one of us has a responsibility to challenge it, whenever we see it. In Bradford we are known for our rich diversity, this diversity is our strength.  We achieve more in the district when we are united by shared values, common goals and collective pride.”

Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor for the University of Bradford and Joint Chair of the Health and Social Care Economic Partnership, said: “This anti-racism movement prompts us to look at ourselves and to better inform ourselves on anti-racist behaviours, to stand up against racism, and to stand together. It represents another step toward meaningful and real change.”

Brendan Brown, Chief Executive for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Joint Chair of the Health and Social Care Economic Partnership, said: “Bradford District and Craven is a place that is proud of the incredible diversity that really does bring a richness to our communities. Yet we know from the evidence we have seen that we must do more to create a fair and just society that and that starts with us going beyond tackling discrimination and actually being actively anti-racist in everything we do. We must also draw upon the great work that has gone on across our place, this movement gives an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved and recognise where we must do better.’

Bradford District Commander, Chief Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, said: “Listening to and hearing the experiences of our communities is essential if we are to create and nurture thriving communities. Our support for this anti-racism movement signals that we are committed to building on the work we have done with communities and recognises there’s more still to do.”

Ian Ward, General Manager, The Broadway, and Bradford BID Chairman, said: “Our economic success depends on attracting and retaining the best talent both here in our district, our region and across our country. We know that discriminatory behaviour sadly still exists in our communities and in our workplaces, that’s why we must continue to do more and that’s why we must move towards a position of anti-racism. This will help ensure we make our communities and our workplaces welcoming to all. We need to recognise racism and root it out.”

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate anti-racism movement supporters include NHS organisations, councils, West Yorkshire Police, Healthwatch, hospices, universities, housing associations, unions, and the voluntary community social enterprise sector. High profile sports club supporters include Yorkshire Cricket Club, and sports foundations, Yorkshire Sports Foundation, Keighley Cougars, The Leeds United Foundation, Community Foundation at Wakefield Trinity, Bradford Bulls Foundation, Castleford Tigers and Halifax Panthers (rugby) to name a few.

Co-created by over 100 WY&H HCP ethnic minority colleagues to proactively challenge racism across all aspects of society, the movement is part of an ongoing commitment to tackle structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across the area.

The movement, a recommendation from the WY&H HCP review in October 2020 into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities, spotlights the experiences of ethnic minority staff and allies from across WY&H HCP and illustrates their views and experiences of racism.

Imagery from the campaign will be displayed outdoors and on buses, as well as across social media with the hashtag #WYHRootOutRacism. The movement includes a suite of educational resources to encourage people to better inform themselves on anti-racist behaviours and practices, whilst linking to training and people’s life stories.

People can register to join the movement at http://ow.ly/lWB250FBmYt

To find out more, including how to access the free resources, visit https://www.wyhpartnership.co.uk/rootoutracism

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Shak Rafiq on 07890 591487 or shak.rafiq@nhs.net