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Organisations step forward to make Tower Hamlets an anti-racist borough

Patrick - Parity Project

Patrick who took part in ELBA’s Parity Project is keen for others to join the scheme

Organisations across the borough have come forward to pledge their support to make Tower Hamlets an anti-racist and more equal borough. 

The council has agreed a detailed action plan to move ahead with the work of its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission, as well as investing £1.5million to deliver its aims, focusing on equal access to education, healthcare, jobs and community leadership.

Barts Health, Queen Mary University of London and East London Business Alliance, representing health, education and business sectors have all signed up to the council’s anti-racism pledge.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:

“We all need to work together to fight racism, tackle injustice and bring about a fairer society, and we’re working closely with our partners and other organisations across Tower Hamlets to bring about real and lasting change.

“In signing up to our anti-racism pledge these key organisations will work with us to deliver the changes we need to see across the borough.”

Charity East London Business Alliance has a long track record of tackling inequality and working for more diversity in employment.

Ian Parkes, Chief Executive of ELBA said:

“The findings of the Tower Hamlets Commission reinforced our sense that despite all our good efforts, it is not enough. We need to really step up the drive for diversity and inclusion in education, in the pathways into higher earning careers and into positions of decision making and seniority for people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. Signing the Pledge for us is a symbol of our intention to do more - both in our external work with all our partners, and for our own people."

ELBA’s Parity Project helps young Black men make the most of their qualifications to get into good careers by providing networking opportunities and mentoring.

The scheme helped college student Patrick secure a degree apprenticeship at a major investment bank. He joined the Parity Project as it opened his eyes to opportunities, he had never thought possible for him.

Patrick said: “I would like for every Black male to understand that they can do it and that it’s entirely in your hands, money is not everything and you have to be happy with what you’re doing, and I will recommend this project to anybody, it’s an amazing scheme.

“I believe any black boy from London can make it. The journey has been inspirational, the help has been tremendous, and I am pleased with everything that Parity has helped me achieve.”

By signing the pledge ELBA aims to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic led organisations they are supporting, maintain programmes to support employment prospects for young Black men and further develop education and mentoring programmes to support young people.

Queen Mary University of London based in the borough has set its sights on becoming the most inclusive university of its kind by 2030.

By 2030, QMUL are committed to at least 40 per cent BAME representation in junior, middle and senior roles. They have designed a new leadership framework to promote inclusive leadership and provide fair model for succession planning.

Sheila Gupta, Vice-Principal (People, Culture, and Inclusion) at Queen Mary University of London said

“We are proud to be signatories to the Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge. The only way to promote race equality is through hard work, commitment, and honest conversations.

Fostering a values-led culture, founded on diversity and inclusion, is an absolute priority for the university.”

She added: “We recognise that this will be a long journey, and we cannot achieve our aims overnight, but we are determined to show how greater diversity enhances and enriches our community, and to do so as an employer and anchor institution in the borough.”

Barts Health is committed to providing equal access to healthcare and is identifying barriers Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients currently face.

The organisation will use community engagement groups to listen to the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients and their families. This will enable them to be sensitive to the needs of the local communities, and act on their insights about what matters to people accessing healthcare.

Jackie Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal London and Mile End Hospitals said:

“We are proud of our diverse workforce and the community we care for. When we work together, we can do more to overcome health inequalities and ensure that people receive the right care when they need it.”

To find out more about the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission and to sign up to the Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/raceinequalitiescommission
Posted on Monday 31st January 2022