LET’S COME TOGETHER TO WIPE OUT RACISM

 Hertfordshire Equality Council – board of trustees from different communities wish to issue a message of “solidarity” after “Black Lives Matters” protests continue to take place in the US, UK and around the world. 

The protests came about after the brutal killing of George Floyd was captured on video while he was under arrest by police in Minneapolis 13 days ago. Video footage showed George Floyd, 46, being arrested was killed in police custody in Minneapolis and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded, he could not breathe. 

Protesters chanted “I can’t breathe” and “Black Lives Matter”. Hertfordshire Equality Council said: “We acknowledge and understand the anger currently felt by so many, especially those from our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, (BAME) and we stand in solidarity with you in the absolute belief that every individual and all communities should feel they are cared for, respected, belong, and are fairly and equally treated”. 

It is a powerful message ‘Black Lives Matter’ and it’s being heard loud and clear across Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire Equality Council “call on those in positions of influence and power across Hertfordshire to harness this moment and bring authentic prominence and leadership to the crisis of racial injustice and to be resolute in your support for BAME communities. 

As public, private and voluntary sectors, what we do and who we represent has a profound impact on culture. We call on all leaders and colleagues to join and support us towards eradicating racism and systemic inequality from all aspects of life in Hertfordshire. 

Hertfordshire Equality Council is calling on you all to take action and hold our sectors accountable in the following ways: 

 Identify systems, practices and processes within your organisations that lead to unequal outcomes for staff and service recipients and take action to eliminate them. 

 Empower leaders and boards to drive representation and inclusivity by being a core part of the leadership team’s strategic priorities with clear action plans 

 Senior leaders to step-up speak out and take action. 

 Enable employees to understand their own biases and privileges 

 Call out racism whenever it is encountered. 

 Create safe and inclusive spaces to have open and frank conversations about racism with everyone 

 Use existing staff/employee networks/meeting. Assess your own professional and social circles and seek out different points of views. 

 Identify obstacles to accessing services that BAME people experience, and attitudinal issues, or barriers to equality of delivery in services such as housing, accommodation, education, health, employment, safeguarding and other public services, that inhibit the delivery of quality provision to BAME communities; 

 Check in with BAME employees 

 Welcome, promote, champion, and celebrate BAME employees at every level and especially on your leadership team 

 Examine your preferred supplier’s list, are they inclusive? 

 Established a baseline of knowledge and support that can be accessed to assist officers in carrying out their statutory duties 

Hertfordshire Equality Council welcomes you for further dialogue on how we can achieve the above together. 

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Note for editors: The Herts Equality Council is an independent organisation run by a Board of volunteer trustees. Voluntary groups in Hertfordshire felt there was a need to ensure external and independent challenge and support for public and community/voluntary sector bodies to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duties. The vision and aims of the HEC are set out on their website www.hertsequality.org as well as examples of their work to date. 

Requests for interview should be made by emailing to trustee Mr Errol John, E: errol@hertsequality.org

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