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Council leaders call on city partners to support Sheffield’s Race Equality Commission

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Sheffield City Council has vowed to be a “visibly anti-racist organisation” and take on all forms of prejudice and discrimination in a rallying letter to the city’s Race Equality Commission.

The council’s Leader and Chief Executive are calling on Sheffield’s businesses and institutions to get involved and submit evidence to help the commission conduct its inquiry into the nature, extent and causes of racism and racial disparities in Sheffield.

In a letter to key partners, Leader, Councillor Bob Johnson and Kate Josephs, Chief Executive asked for a collective, city-wide effort to end racial inequality and mirror our commitment to being a visibly and actively anti-racist organisation.

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.

“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.”

By calling on key stakeholders in the region, drawing on a range of expertise and experience, we hope it will help to build a broad and in-depth picture of the landscape today, which is crucial for the Commission to make an accurate assessment and inform its final report and recommendations.

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

  • Health
  • Civic Life and Communities
  • Crime and Justice
  • Education
  • Sport and Culture
  • Business and Employment

People and organisations across the city are invited to give evidence in relation to:

  • Racial inequality in Sheffield
  • Your organisation’s, or your analysis of the cause or causes of racism and/or racial inequality in Sheffield
  • Examples of good practice in relation to reducing racism and/or racial inequality (from within the city, elsewhere in the UK, or overseas)
  • What you or your organisation believe would be the best way to tackle racism and/or racial inequality in Sheffield

The call for evidence will remain open throughout the Commission’s inquiry but people and organisations are encouraged to submit their evidence as soon as possible.

For more information about the Commission, the hearing dates or how to submit evidence visit the Race Equality Commission website. Anyone can also sign up to receive updates via the newsletter.