On the 25th May, news spread of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, that sparked worldwide demonstrations, protests and vigils in support of racial justice and equality. At the same time, reports emerged that highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic was having a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. These factors and the renewed impetus of the Black Lives Matters movement give social and racial justice a new level of urgency.
This context, and the global focus on racial injustice and inequalities mean that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) must also act now to tackle race equality and work together to create an anti-racist culture through the elimination of bias, discrimination and injustice across systems and institutions.
Racism is a structural problem which exists in nearly all major institutions and organisations. LCRCA recognises institutional and systemic racism as a legitimate issue, one that has no quick fix, but can no longer go unaddressed.
The City Region’s population is increasingly diverse and multicultural, however Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic residents in the City Region face higher employment gaps, are more likely to be economically inactive, are paid less on average than white residents, are more likely to live in poverty and less likely to own their own home. LCRCA accepts that it has an important role to play in tackling this injustice and inequality and driving forward positive change.
As a major employer, we must look internally at our own organisation, which is failing to be representative of the population it serves, especially at a senior level. As a funder, we have a responsibility to ensure our programmes are accessible to all of our residents and finally as a key institution in the City Region, we must use our convening and soft powers to set best practice for other organisations and stakeholders to follow. Put simply, we must do the right thing for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees and residents and influence the partners we work with to do the same.