Wishing you and your teams a positively inclusive new year!
With 2022 firmly in the rear mirror, the stars have aligned so that 2023 has the potential to be a game-changing year for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. In 2023, Bristol — one of the UK’s wealthiest and best cities in which to live, work, and play — will mark its 650th year as a city. Yet despite the Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963 helping to create the Race Relations Act, the election of Europe’s first Black Mayor in 2016, and the toppling of Colston’s statue in 2020, today Bristol is the 7th most unequal UK city for people of colour, according to the Runnymede report of 2017.
Shamefully, regardless of your talent, if you are black or brown and live in Bristol, there are severe barriers to becoming a C-Suite leader or joining a Board. Discrimination is rife both during job recruitment and employment. And there are stark inequalities in housing, education, and health outcomes. At BeOnBoard, we say enough, which is why we support this campaign for accountable and accelerated change.
Against this backdrop, #RaceForPower has been launched to urgently elevate racial equity as a top business priority. Targeted interventions will reflect on the joint 60th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott victory for equality and Martin Luther King’s seminal speech, “I Have A Dream.” These two iconic events on either side of the Atlantic happened on the same day.
Furthermore, 2023 is the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush, the ship which brought the first wave of aspiring West Indians to put the Great back into Britain. Commonly known as the Windrush generation, they forever changed the face of the UK for good. It’s also 30 years since the vile life-changing racist attack on Black Bristol teenager Marlon Thomas. And the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. A pivotal event that led to the Macpherson Report establishing the existence of institutional racism.
Inspired by these monumental moments in racial justice, #RaceForPower will engage the city, its citizens, and its institutions on several questions. It will explore the past, present, and future of protest, power, and the progress of racial equity in Bristol. #RaceForPower will examine the city’s legacy and relationship with activism, social change, and freedom movements. The responses will help to co-create a grassroots-led blueprint to accelerate accountable change on racial equity across Bristol’s corporate, civic, and community organisations.
#RaceForPower launches on Martin Luther King Day, January 16th, near the plinth of the enslaver Edward Colston. As a city that heavily profited from and has an uneasy relationship with the legacy of slavery, the launch will start by paying homage to the 500,000 enslaved Africans sold into slavery on ships from Bristol.
#RaceForPower will mark King’s birthday with a giant immersive card featuring messages from city change makers reflecting on 60 years of the Dream. The public can also add messages to the card and share their thoughts for a podcast on the state of King’s Dream. There will also be random happenings and a birthday cake on the day.
And if you can’t make it, don’t worry, as from 2 – 4pm, you can tune into Ujima Radio for the #RaceForPower Takeover with a round table of influential city change makers sharing their thoughts and tunes for change. Find us on 98fm, listen live on www.Ujimaradio.com, or listen again via its website.
So, if racial equity matters to you and your business, you can play your role by:
REGISTER TODAY for the launch on January 16th from 12 – 2pm near Colston’s plinth. Or just drop by during your lunch hour.
CLICK HERE to tell us what you think about the state of Martin Luther King’s Dream today. Download a selfie template. Complete it. Snap it. Share it Like it.
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