The work begins
I am delighted to have been chosen, along with eight other individuals who I am now proud to call colleagues and friends, to represent black and ethnic minority citizens in Bath and North East Somerset as a member of the BANES Race Panel.
The initial spec got me interested:
The B&NES Race Panel aims to address systemic inequality, racism and discrimination which disadvantage the people of Bath and North East Somerset because of their culture, ethnicity or race. The purpose of the panel is to:
- advise and challenge B&NES public sector bodies on their work to tackle systemic inequality, racism and prevent discrimination
- increase the visibility of issues relating to race, and to recommend solutions
The panel will be made up of individuals representing B&NES communities. The way that race intersects with other personal characteristics will also be an important part of the panel’s work.
Would you like to become a Race Panel member? We are looking for panel members who:
- are passionate about tackling racial inequality and discrimination wherever they find it
- have insight or first-hand experience of the issues the panel will focus on
- have strong links with local B&NES communities
- are also able to actively seek out the voices of people who are not currently heard, and to work people with other perspectives
- will inspire BAME people to participate in civic life
- will champion the work of the panel to encourage wider participation
We have now had a series of meetings to agree a way forward, agreeing this statement as a starting point.
BANES Race Panel Terms of Reference
Panel: Dine Romero (Chair)*, Douglas Eason, Duncan McGibbon, Katie Singh, Maria Sidawi, Marius Frank, Phil De Souza, Polly Andrews, Tiffany Atkins, Cllr Kumar.
*We are currently awaiting a new Chair from the Council
Purpose/aims: Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council’s Race Panel is committed to increasing awareness of issues related to race within its sway and through influence in the South West region at large.
We aim to promote, protect and prosper positive professional and social interactions among those living, working and residing in B&NES of diverse racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds with respect, and appreciation of racial, ethnic, and national diversity.
The Race Panel will collaborate with organisations such as local community groups and charities, churches, businesses, schools, museums and universities to achieve its goals of increasing awareness and fostering a diverse environment through events, collaborative projects and other ongoing efforts relating to its heritage as an historic region and city.
Bath’s history as a successful city is closely linked to the financial benefits of slavery,colonialism and empire, which were achieved through the exploitation of other countries and theirpeoples. The Race Panel will communicate the work which is starting to be done by local heritage organisations towards showing transparency and full and honest history about these links. B&NES residents have the right to feel confident that the true history of Bath is being told; that the contribution of diverse voices is central to that narrative; and that equality and justice in the future can only be achieved when the denial of those rights in the past has been fully acknowledged.
Mission Statement: We wish to build a fairer community that champions those who experience marginalisation, inequalities and under-representation due to their ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Strapline: Illuminate, Challenge, Inspire, Educate (ICIE)
The panel will support the Council to:
By hearing the concerns of all local people, the Council will continue to engage on Equality Impacts through Assessment prior to making decisions and as a World Heritage Site of global significance, give voice to the full, fair and transparent story of our cultural evolution, of wealth creation and social history linked to the sugar trade and trans-Atlantic slave trade. Bath’s history as a successful city is closely linked to the financial benefits of slavery colonialism and empire, which were achieved through the exploitation of other countries and theirpeoples and this needs to be given its proper historic and moral place.
Ensure that every child in BANES grows up in an environment where diversity is celebrated, marginalisation will never be tolerated, bullying is countered through positive action, with parents and education settings working together to create a culture of fairness and respect for all. Ensure that there is broader education and sharing of knowledge and transparency around how Bath was built on slavery money.
B&NES Council will continue to use a recruitment process that gives equal opportunities to all and this will continue to be monitored. This will set a best practice example. Work towards setting up a self-assessed standard for B&NES Employers to sign up to and increase the representation of minority groups when recruiting teachers and other professionals.
Consistent communication that every BANES resident, business and public service, in their own way and through their own actions, to tackle inequality, injustice and discrimination in society, through the advancement of fairness and positive relationships. Establish ways to influence cultures and values, through historical stories and celebrations.
Duration: a one-year pilot and after one year to be reviewed and consider the next steps. Report to the Council at the end of the year.
Information sharing and communication: Through Webinars and work with partners and stakeholders, the Council’s webpage and communications.
Data sharing: Use of data from Census 2011 and Census 2021 (when available).
Consider: impact of Covid-19 on the panel’s ability to progress throughout the year.
Let’s see what we can achieve in Year 1!