With the snap election just around the corner, we have looked at the power of the black vote and developed a race equality manifesto to address some of the issues facing black and minority (BME) communities in the UK. Read the preface below.
Britain is at a crossroads. Brexit, immigration, and British identity.
How these issues play out in this snap election will determine the country’s direction for a generation.
The key question is to what extent will black and minority ethnic communities (BME) be involved in this debate?
After all, the outcome will deeply affect BME communities here.
Whilst this country has a proud record of being at the forefront of tackling race equality, not least as a result of grassroots movements driving change, in recent years some hard fought for gains have been lost. Race has fallen off the agenda and we have witnessed an unprecedented rise in xenophobia, Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism.
Persistent race inequalities in employment, education, housing and the criminal justice system has meant and lack of social mobility for BME children growing up to be adults is nothing short of a scandal. Many do succeed despite the barriers but too many fail to have their potential recognised much less fulfilled.
That is why we are calling for a government-wide race equality strategy to root out racial inequality wherever it lurks in the system.
Our goal during this election is to demand a plan to unshackle BME talent so that it can flourish, and to quash the normalisation of race hate filled rhetoric from politicians and commentators such a Katie Hopkins, and Kelvin McKenzie.
This is a manifesto for change and a rallying call to our communities that in an election where our vote counts, we demand respect, equality and chance to fulfill our great potential.
We are a collection of race equality organisations and individuals, one that will benefit the whole of society.