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New independent Race Equality Commission to be set-up in Sheffield

Sheffield town hall lit up at dusk with purple lights

The Commission, to be chaired by Emeritus Professor Kevin Hylton, from Leeds Beckett University, will provide a non-partisan strategic assessment of the nature, extent, causes and impacts of race inequality in the City and make recommendations for tackling these issues.

Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “I believe that Sheffield is an inclusive and welcoming city but following the recent Public Health England Health Report into the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities and other reports on racial disparities and racism we also understand BAME communities in Sheffield experience pronounced inequality and are under significant pressure.

“To investigate this further, a commission has been set up that will examine the causes of this and find solutions. We hope to further reduce and work towards eradicating racial disparities and racism in our city. Matters that our city find intolerable and won’t accept.

“The commission is not run by the council, it is fully independent and we have asked for volunteers from across our communities to be a part of this important work.”

The Commission will be requesting volunteers to be Commissioners. They will be expected to contribute expertise rather than represent specific interests to help Sheffield be as fair and prosperous as possible. Commissioners will be drawn from elected representatives in the city and communities across Sheffield including young people. It will operate like a Parliamentary Select Committee, mounting a short-focussed inquiry, taking evidence and making recommendations in each area below:

    • Business and Employment


    • Civic life and Communities


    • Crime and Justice


    • Education


    • Health


    • Sport and culture

The Commission will consider evidence on what has worked with regard to tackling race inequalities both within the city and elsewhere and will make timely recommendations. A report for publication will be completed within 12 months.  The recommendations will concern what short and long-term measures are required to reduce any identified inequalities. The priority will be to identify those actions that can be taken by the city itself and those which require external intervention or a combination of both.

Professor Kevin Hylton, Patron of the Equality Challenge Unit’s Race Equality Charter, member of Sport England’s Talent Inclusion Advisory Group, and  formerly Head of the Research Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said: "I am proud to lead this Commission which arrives at a momentous time for racial equality. The Commission and the City of Sheffield have an opportunity to be part of a strategic response to systemic racial disparities and lived experiences of racialised discrimination."

The Commission will be supported by the Council, who will provide the Secretariat for its operation.

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