Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Employment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Anti-Racist groups back calls for “bridge-builder”

Press Release
13/7/2006

PRESS RELEASE: Anti-racist groups support call for “bridge-builder” with confidence of equalities communities to head new equalities body.

As the government prepares to appoint a chairperson to the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), anti-racist organisations have backed calls for the successful candidate to be a bridge-builder and to clearly command support among communities and groups fighting discrimination.

Big-hitters Lord Herman Ouseley (the former Commission for Racial Equality chairman) and Ben Summerskill (director of Stonewall) have both recently spoken about the need for the new CEHR chairperson to be able to unite the different &#39strands&#39 which will make up the super-commission.

Neither person is understood to be a candidate for the top job, but their views are respected across the equalities fields. The 1990 Trust, the National Assembly Against Racism, and Operation Black Vote said they backed the call for a consensual approach which unites different communities and stressed the need for the candidate of a new and untested body to command the widest possible support from communities and organisations currently opposing discrimination and inequality.

The anti-racist organisations supported the views of Lord Ouseley that the ideal candidate must:

* Be fully independent of government, and be seen to be independent;

* Have the confidence of communities facing discrimination and inequality;

* Have a commitment to enforcement of discrimination law.

Conversely it would be a disaster for the CEHR and for equalites if the appointee was a divisive figure unable to unite the seven strands of race, gender, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, religion and human rights. The successful candidate&#39s record in championing equality and fighting discrimination had to be able to speak for itself.

David Weaver, chairman of The 1990 Trust, said: &#39This is an extremely important position which will determine the future direction of equalities, including race equality, for the next decade. I agree wholeheartedly with Lord Ouseley and Ben Summerskill that the CEHR chairman must be a bridge-builder.

&#39This is not about personalities, but it is about making sure we have the right candidate for the people, not just for government. It would be unacceptable to have anyone who was seen to be following a government agenda, or who didn&#39t command the confidence of communities.

‘The question of enforcement of discrimination law is critical. We need someone who is committed to supporting the victims of discrimination, supporting cases and challenging bad employers. They cannot be ignored in favour of media events.’

Milena Buyum, Co-ordinator of the National Assembly Against Racism said: ‘As the appointment of the Chair of the CEHR approaches, we are concerned at the possibility that the serious structural problems of this body will be amplified unless it is led by someone with a strong track record of challenging discrimination. It is also important that the chair has the confidence of black communities and anti-racists.

‘One of the most palpable way to evidence such a track record is to examine the candidates&#39 experience in pushing the boundaries of legislation and advocating on behalf of the victims of discrimination in all arenas, but most of all in the courts. Major legislative improvements have always happened because such legal action was pursued.

‘Furthermore, the Equalities Review&#39s Interim Report was a disaster in terms of understanding racism and working out how better to tackle discrimination. Its analysis cannot be the way forward for the CEHR.&#39

Ben Summerskill told the Blink website that the CEHR chairperson should have a &#39demonstrable recent track record of building bridges between and across [different] communities.&#39

Lord Ouseley told the same site that the winning candidate must have &#39full independence of mind' someone not attached to any political party who was &#39able to say “butt out” to the government if what they want is not in the interests of equalities.&#39

The peer said the CEHR chair should have the &#39confidence&#39 of people, and must be &#39committed to enforcement&#39 of anti-discrimination law.

For interviews with The 1990 Trust call 020 7582 1990 or email: lholloway@blink.org.uk For interviews with the National Assembly Against Racism call 020 7247 9907 or email info@naar.org.uk

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document
Search

The 1990 Trust
Information
Articles
Publications
Press Releases

Resources:

pdf Strength in Diversity: A Response from the 1990 Trust and associated organisations

Fuel on the Fire

Supporting Victims of Racist Abuse and Violence

Managing Diversity

Connecting Communities

A Vision of Equality

Race Equality Management Module

The Black to Black Archive

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux