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Overwhelming support for area’s anti-racism movement

Posted: 22nd July 2021

Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) has pledged its support to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit’s anti-racism movement, which launches today.

It has the support of nearly 500 organisations and community allies, including local councils, the NHS, doctor surgeries, housing associations, community groups, universities, and faith leaders, to name a few.

Co-created by over 100 WY&H HCP ethnic minority colleagues to proactively challenge racism across all aspects of society, the movement is part of an ongoing commitment to tackling structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has long been a supporter of promoting equality and diversity and tackling health inequalities in the region. In 2020, we launched a report; ‘Levelling up Yorkshire and the Humber: health as the new wealth post COVID’.  This report set out recommendations to local and national government to highlight the need for a renewed focus in addressing health inequalities and levelling up future investment.

The movement, a recommendation from the WY&H HCP review in October 2020 into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities, will bravely see staff and community colleagues putting their face to the movement’s visuals in high profile places, including Millennium Square in Leeds; sports clubs and hospital grounds. Imagery from the campaign will also be displayed on buses, as well as across social media with the hashtag #WYHRootOutRacism. The movement will encourage people to better inform themselves on anti-racist behaviours and practices, whilst linking to training and people’s life stories.

Built from insight from people’s experiences of racism, 24 themes were identified and grouped into three areas: systems of oppression; behaviours and appearance/perception. The movement will encourage everyone to reflect on what it must feel like to walk in the shoes of people from ethnic minority groups who continue to be impacted by racism and to importantly do something about it by rooting it out and standing together.

Richard Stubbs, Chief executive of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN said: “We’re constantly reminded in our professional and personal lives about how important it is to go beyond not being racist, and instead to be actively anti-racist. Yorkshire & Humber AHSN are fully behind, and committed to this campaign. There’s a role for all of us to play in this arena, as an AHSN we’re passionate about increasing greater diversity within the innovation sector and we’ve committed to a number of pledges to keep us accountable in this ambition. We encourage everyone to get behind this important campaign so we can stamp out racism in all its forms.”

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader for Kirklees Council and Movement Ambassador said: ‘Our Partnership‘s focus includes tackling health inequalities which sadly also includes racism.  Tackling racist behaviours head-on, we are showing there is no room for racism across our area. I’m urging everyone to get involved in this important movement by standing together to help make life better for all who experience it.’

Rob Webster CBE, CEO for WY&H HCP said: ‘The racism that marred what should have been a celebration of the fantastic progress of the England men’s football team earlier this month, showed that explicit racism persists in our society. Our Partnership believes that being actively anti-racist is important and we will address racism when it is perpetuated by individuals and is a feature of systems. Together we intend to root it out.  During these times we want to say to everyone affected by racism – directly or indirectly – we have got your back.’

Humma Nizami from the Race Equality Network said: The Race Equality Network is dedicated to tackling racism and inequalities at all levels within Bradford and district. The fact is that racism does exist, and it cannot be a tick box exercise or one-time conversation so by working in collaboration with our network of individuals and organisations, we are working towards making a lasting change.  I urge everyone to support this movement because together we can and will root out racism’.

Sam Clewarth, West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: ‘Please get involved in this important, meaningful, and powerful movement developed with my colleagues by registering your support at You can also access free resources so you are ready for the launch in August. By working together as one we can root out racism’.

Find out more and pledge your support.