West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership seek help to launch anti-racism movement

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit are launching an anti-racism movement at the end of August and is asking everyone to get involved.

Co-created by over 100 West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership ethnic minority colleagues to proactively challenge racism across all aspects of society, the movement is part of an ongoing commitment to tackle structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across the area. 

The movement, a recommendation from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership review in October 2020 into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities, is being developed with all organisations, including the NHS, councils, Healthwatch and the voluntary community social enterprise sector. Over 150 organisations have already come forward to pledge their support – including housing associations, universities, West Yorkshire Police, unions, community groups and sports foundations, including Keighley Cougars, Community Foundation at Wakefield Trinity, and Bradford Bulls Foundation (rugby).

The movement spotlights the experiences of minority ethnic staff and allies from across WY&H HCP and illustrates their views of racism. Imagery from the campaign will be displayed outdoors and on bus rears, as well as across social media with the hashtag #WYHRootOutRacism. The campaign will include a suite of educational resources to encourage people to better inform themselves on anti-racist behaviours and practices, whilst linking to training and people’s life stories.

Built from colleagues’ insight, evidence shows that people from ethnic minority backgrounds continue to face health inequalities and discrimination in their communities and workplace.

Comments included:

“Racism started before I was even born. It’s been always there, having to work twice as hard, always working harder to be seen, to feel visible; not as valued as your White colleagues and that just became a standard.”

“I’m getting way more stares, people looking at you just because of your skin tone. I’m being faced with racism from kids who are 5-6 years old. Of all racism I’ve encountered, that’s probably the most shocking, that’s the racism coming from kids.”

“Stereotypes, assumptions that are made about me as a Black man, professionally or socially. Simple things like when I go on a bus, being the last person to be sat next to, or when the cashier puts the change into people’s hands but when it comes to you, she puts it in the counter.”

Cllr Shabir PandorCllr Shabir Pandor, Leader for Kirklees Council and ambassador for the movement said:

“The issue of addressing race equality across the area is an urgent priority and an important recommendation from our independent review. It not just about creating awareness and how people are treated, it’s about how lived experiences are interpreted by others and how we integrate culture, values and beliefs that can add value to how we ensure everyone is inclusive and how these add to innovation.

It is all about showing positively how we can make real change happen, whilst working towards eliminating racism through developing a new ‘language’. Regardless of skin colour or community background, we can root out racism and I’m urging everyone to get involved”.

Chief Superintendent Jackie MarshDirector of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said:

“We are committed to tackling racism in all its forms and by putting people’s experiences first, we can better understand how we can collectively confront it. I’m pleased that the Violence Reduction Unit is a key partner in this work.

We each have the responsibility to recognise the issues that exist and by working together to address them, we have more chance of achieving positive changes to racial equality across our area”. 

Rob WebsterRob Webster (CBE), CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership said:

“To change people’s behaviours, we must change people’s minds. The visuals for this movement aim to make people stop and think, to try to better understand what is going on beneath the surface for people, and in response, act on these feelings to make a real change in their community.

This campaign is part of a range of interventions and builds on our awarding wining system leadership work and fellowship programmes. We can all make a difference and eliminate racism from our places of work, community spaces and homes”.

Wendy TangenWendy Tangen, Clinical Inclusion Lead for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and part of the co-production team said:

“Please get involved in this important, meaningful, and powerful movement developed with my colleagues by registering your support at https://bit.ly/2TuH5Tp to access free resources so you too are ready for the launch in August. By working together as one we can root out racism”. 

Notes

Access our pre-launch social media toolkit, which includes branded images, text for suggested posts and messages of support.

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