A Race Equality Taskforce set up to deal with racial inequality across Cardiff has released its first set of recommendations.
The Taskforce, which was proposed by Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, in response to the tragic death of George Floyd in the USA and the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK, has been working on a series of proposals designed to help improve the lives and opportunities of Black and ethnic minority communities in Cardiff.
The first set of recommendations include:
- Raising awareness of the council’s employment agency ‘Cardiff Works’ to ethnic minority communities;
- Running a series of Into Work advice services designed to increase ethnic minority participation and linked to Cardiff Works’ opportunities;
- Delivering a mentoring and career progression plan for current council employees;
- Improving procedures in schools for reporting and recording of bullying and hate crime;
- Enabling schools to join up to the ‘Schools of Sanctuary’ network;
- Becoming a signatory to the Race Alliance Wales Manifesto;
- Young People’s Democratic Engagement Project: Creating a scheme which encourages young, working class, people to develop leadership skills and the confidence to take a lead role in representing their communities.
Cllr Huw Thomas said: “Although Cardiff has a proud history of multiculturalism, and a tradition of celebrating diversity, recent events have shown us that we can’t allow ourselves to ever become complacent. There are people of colour in our city who have to deal with racism as a feature of their everyday lives and that’s simply unacceptable. The Taskforce has been set up to bring forward recommendations which we hope will make a positive difference to the life and employment opportunities of our Black and ethnic minority communities. We want everyone in our city to feel safe and to have the same opportunities to make a better life for themselves and their families regardless of race or colour. I think these initial proposals, and this is only the start, begin a practical process which will help deliver some real and positive outcomes.”
Chair of the Race Equality Taskforce, Cllr Saeed Ebrahim, said: “When we set up the Taskforce, we made clear that we wanted to find solutions for the discrimination and disadvantages faced by ethnic minority communities in Cardiff. Disadvantages that were tragically highlighted by the COVID pandemic. Following our initial discussions we have focussed on trying to bring forward practical solutions which can help people into work and offer them a career path once they secure work. We have also thought about how we can better the lives of young people, ensuring they feel safe and confident in school and have the confidence to speak out about the issues they face. If we are to move the dial on racial equality, then people need to have the same chances and opportunities in life, and education and work will be two key areas where we can help make a difference to people.”
The Race Alliance Wales Manifesto has 10 steps to an Anti-Racist Wales including: the need to recognise systemic racism; the need to improve the gathering, monitoring and use of ethnic data so racial inequality can be monitored and policy and practice can be altered to address racism in education, employment, representation, health and housing.
The Schools of Sanctuary network is a movement committed to building a culture of respect, hospitality and welcome for all, especially for asylum seekers and refugees. Cardiff schools who sign up to the scheme will be offered a package of measures to include: staff and governor training, resources, access to guest speakers and pupil workshops.
The Young People’s Democratic Engagement Project looks to empower young working class people to develop leadership skills and build confidence to support their communities by providing effective democratic education that will encourage young people to get involved in politics. Another proposal brought forward includes gathering data across the democratic/political field including around the democratic engagement of 16-17 year olds in the most recent Senedd election, in order to improve future voting numbers within that age group and learning from good practice.
Cllr Ebrahim added: “This is only the beginning of the work the Taskforce has set out to do. I want to thank everyone who has taken part from our communities, helping us to formulate ideas and realise a practical action plan. We will start work on these actions immediately and are looking forward to bringing further ambitious recommendations in the months to come.”