Calderdale Council joins hundreds in Root Out Racism movement

Calderdale Council is one of nearly 500 organisations to join the Root Out Racism movement being launched by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:21 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:22 pm

The Council has announced it will launch a new mentoring scheme for its staff, to share the perspectives and challenges of diverse individuals and to hear from often unheard voices.

‘Reciprocal mentoring’ will help to increase the Council’s commitment to recruit, train and promote talented people from under-represented groups, and specifically Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues.

The new mentoring scheme is the latest step forward to provide an inclusive place to live and work the Council said.

The launch of the anti-racism movement in Calderdale. The photo features a range of organisations across Calderdale supporting the regional Root Out Racism movement.

The Council is also launching a film including interviews with organisations across Calderdale which have signed up to the anti-racism movement.

The Council’s other action includes creating the BAME Network; launching the Inclusion Plan; teaming up with the voluntary and community sector to become a Valley of Sanctuary; improving access to skills and jobs; and helping to address health inequalities by supporting BAME communities to be more active and building resilience in response to COVID-19.

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “Calderdale has a long history of being a safe and welcoming area. We are proud of our diverse and vibrant communities and oppose any discrimination or racially motivated activity. That’s why we’re backing the West Yorkshire Root Out Racism movement and making our own pledge to become a more inclusive employer.

“Positive steps are being taken across the borough and the region to tackle adversity, but we know more can be done. Through the anti-racism movement, we will hear the stories of people living in West Yorkshire who have sadly experienced racism first-hand. Through our new mentoring scheme, we will have open and honest conversations to understand the challenges people face, and we remain committed to addressing under-representation in our workforce and communities.”

Co-created by over 100 WY&H HCP ethnic minority colleagues to proactively challenge racism across all aspects of society, the West Yorkshire Root Out Racism movement is part of an ongoing commitment to tackle structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across the area.

Calderdale Council and a range of other organisations across the borough join other supporters including the NHS, West Yorkshire Police, housing associations, the voluntary and community sector, Yorkshire Sports Foundation and Halifax Panthers Rugby League club, to name a few.

The Root Out Racism movement, a recommendation from the WY&H HCP review in October 2020 into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities, spotlights the experiences of ethnic minority staff and allies from across WY&H HCP and illustrates their views and experiences of racism. Imagery from the campaign will be displayed outdoors and on buses, as well as across social media with the hashtag #WYHRootOutRacism.

Alison Lowe, West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and the joint national APCC Lead for Race Disparity said: “The support generated across West Yorkshire for this anti-racism movement represents yet another step toward meaningful and real change. As a Black woman, I can tell you that I have been on the receiving end of racism over the years, which has left me feeling scared and disengaged from society. This unified approach to rejecting such behaviours and practices, however, means that we are pushing open the door yet another notch, confronting the negative stereotypes and perceptions that exist.”