The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report released today is a disappointment. While some of the progress the report highlights over the last few decades is welcome, it presents a far too rosy picture, and it does not reflect our experience from working with our members and partner organisations across the sector when it comes to structural racism in the United Kingdom.
It is baffling how so much evidence from previous reports and research has been contradicted and the report thereby fundamentally misses the inequalities which are present and experienced every day by people of colour across the country.
We know that Black, Asian and Minority-ethnic led community organisations have faced historical underfunding, lacked access to capacity-building support and felt the negative impacts of austerity most fiercely over the past decade. Previous reports from the Ubele Initiative have shown clear deficits in community asset ownership, which is so crucial to building strong and successful community organisations.
The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people and communities of colour has heightened demand on a sector whose position was already weakened going into the crisis due to these long-term structural inequalities.
We hope that the debate inevitably sparked by the publication of this report will lead to renewed commitment and prioritisation in tackling race inequality. It is disappointing that once again people who experience discrimination and racism have to make their case to be heard in responding to this report.
Locality has committed to fighting racism in all its forms. We continue to take a hard look at ourselves on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. To achieve our vision of a fairer society for all we need to go further and faster in how we work as an organisation, how we work with members and how we use our voice and partnerships to see wider change.