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Tackling Racism in Cornwall

Racism has no place in our society or communities and it is unacceptable. While Cornwall is considered to be an open and welcoming place, for many this is not always the case. We want to become an actively anti-racist place to live, work and visit. We recognise that we must do more to address racism and inequalities within our communities.

Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) Steering Group

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In July 2020 partners in Cornwall joined together to form a BAME Steering Group. This was following the global reaction to the death of George Floyd. On 30 July, the Steering Group held an online event for BAME residents as part of The Cornwall We Want campaign.

The Steering Group developed some recommendations for leaders in Cornwall. These included practical actions to help eradicate all forms of racism. The Leadership Board endorsed these recommendations on 18 September.

Since September, the Steering Group have held many discussions about future direction. The Group is keen to transition to a new, more inclusive model to take forward race equality. Visit our Let’s Talk Cornwall page for further details. This includes the form to sign up for Cornwall’s new Race Equality Forum.

What are we doing?

As a Council and with partners, we continue to focus on promoting racial equality in Cornwall.

We are taking forward the recommendations approved by the Leadership Board. The Board made a strong public statement during October’s Hate Crime Awareness week. We are reviewing the Cornwall's equality objectives. We want to make sure they address issues of racial and ethnic inequity within Cornwall. We are also carrying out an initial evaluation of a Race Equality Council or alternative.

We have adopted a shared vision. This puts a fairer, more inclusive and compassionate Cornwall at the heart of plans for the future. Gyllyn Warbarth, Together We Can: The Cornwall Plan’ sets out our 2050 vision. A vision where we close the gap in life chances so everyone has space to breathe, space to grow, space to thrive. The Plan includes ways to track progress. It also ensures everyone can thrive in a diverse, inclusive and anti-racist Cornwall.

The Council is funding a new 12-month pilot project in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This supports the most vulnerable in our communities. Citizens Advice Cornwall and Pentreath are joining forces to provide an outreach service to residents. The project will provide mental health support and practical advice on:

  • money
  • jobs
  • housing

to those who are likely to have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes BAME families.

We are reviewing our equality and diversity policies and recruitment practices. We have also:

  • changed our equalities statement in job adverts
  • will shortly be introducing a pilot for anonymised recruitment
  • introduced new training modules for staff
  • focused on attracting BAME graduate employees

We need to identify racial inequality and unconscious bias in the workplace, so that we can acknowledge and challenge it.