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Standing up to racism

Standing up to racism

On 3 June, we lit the Bromley Public Hall in purple in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, following a worldwide response to the tragic killing of George Floyd by a policeman in the United States.

The following week, we removed a statue of a slave trader in West India Quay, and subsequently, on Windrush Day, launched a review of statues, buildings and other public sites in our borough to ensure they represent our values of equality and diversity.  

We are proud of our long history of standing up to racism and that Tower Hamlets continues to be a borough where there is No Place For Hate.

It’s been great to see the issues of race and equality get significant global recognition in recent times – but it’s clear there’s more we can all do, and we are committed to re-examining how we live up to our core values of anti-racism and equality.

No Place for Hate

In Tower Hamlets we use the message of ‘No Place for Hate’ which simply means not discriminating because of the colour of someone’s skin, where they are from, who they are or who they love.

We show solidarity with those affected by injustice on this basis and reflect on what we can do in our lives to ensure that we are part of that ongoing fight for equality.

Everyone has a part to play in achieving equality and social justice. We urge residents to speak out against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

You can also help by: reading, researching and educating yourself about the history of systemic racism; signing petitions in support of causes that matter to you; and donating to causes that need funding and organisations that are working to eliminate race-based discrimination.

Learning resources

 ‘It is a privilege to learn about racism instead of experiencing it your whole life’ – unknown

If this resonates with you, please read on…

Now is the time to better educate yourself on the issues around racism, discrimination, oppression, social injustice, xenophobia, homophobia, islamophobia and more.

To help, we’ve put together some reading materials to help you navigate the resources available based on research, insight and experience from around the country.

Reading is an important way to learn about racism, discrimination, social injustice and prejudice. Malcolm X, who was an African American leader in the civil rights movement, once said ‘My alma mater [school] was books, a good library… I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity’.

We recommend getting your hands on some of the following books, which are also available through our Idea Stores:

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Black Bread White Beer, by Niven Govinden
  • Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, by Angela Davis
  • Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, by Afua Hirsch
  • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, by Lillian Faderman
  • American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear, by Khaled A. Beydoun
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
  • It's Not About The Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race, by Mariam Khan

Another part of education includes watching videos, films, tv shows or listening to podcasts. There are many widely available online, often for free.

Organisations that fight injustice

There are many organisations dedicated to fighting injustice across the world. Many of these organisations offer tools and resources which can be used to educate yourself on anti-racism.

These are by no means complete lists, but we hope will help you as a starting point. We will continue adding to this page in future with further resources.

Thank you for taking the time to further your understanding of this hugely important global issue. We are in this together.

If you haven’t already, make your personal pledge against hate.