Dear Readers,

The distribution of vaccines to countries in need via the Covax initiative is not as effective as first planned. According to the Guardian, there is a kind of new colonialism” as rich countries are sitting on surplus vaccines. It has emerged that some countries are not going to have widespread vaccine access until 2023.

It was also reported in the media that between October and December 2020, 41.6% of black people aged 16-24 were unemployed.

British Chinese children also told CBBC Newsround this week that racism during the coronavirus pandemic has got worse and that many of them are now too scared to go outside.

Two other news article also caught my attention this week: the UK’s first hijab-wearing firefighter and a cycling group that seeks to empower women of colour to get on a bicycle, with their own set of clothes, “from cape, to hijab, to salwar kameez”.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera


A digital resource on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Issues

Previous issues: Black & Asian News

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Please scroll down and just click on the title to access the full version of the news stories you wish to read, thank you.

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Spokesperson Training Programme, Sounddelivery Media, April 2021

“Be part of a movement to put lived experience at the heart of media conversations…In every community there are people with lived experience of the big issues facing the UK today; from homelessness to modern slavery, domestic abuse to gang violence. Their insights could identify solutions and create lasting change. But we know from working with charities, and training experts with experience of these issues, that their voices and stories often go unheard…”

Screen Yorkshire opens applications for Beyond Brontës training programme, Televisual, 14 April 2021

“Only 22% of applicants to the Beyond Brontës programme in 2020 were from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds. This year Screen Yorkshire aims to increase that recruitment figure by intensifying its community outreach marketing. Earlier this year, The Creative Diversity Network’s (CDN) Diamond 2021 ‘Fourth Cut’ report on diversity in the UK television industry found that diversity across many senior production roles is still poor…”

New docuseries shows the how and why behind why we are living longer, Melanmag.com, 15 April 2021

“If you have ever wondered about how humanity has been able to conquer some of the world’s deadliest diseases and doubled life expectancies for many across the globe through science and medical innovations, then this is one for you. Set in the context of the current Covid-19 crisis, the new four-part BBC Four series explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics – including smallpox, cholera, the Spanish flu and others.”

Why We Need More South Asian Representation On British Television, Refinery, 13 April 2021

“According to the 2011 census, South Asians are the largest minority ethnic group in the UK and yet the media hasn’t quite caught up.”

Colouring books for marginalised communities launched by West Leeds creatives, West Leeds Dispatch, 13 April 2021

“The books explore themes of LGBTQIA+ and Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic identity and creativity. 40 artists in total were selected for a commission to create a piece of original art to be transformed into a colouring book page.”

Yomi Adegoke, Nadine White and other Black Brits honoured on Forbes 30 under 30 list, The Voice, April 2021

“Is this the most diverse Forbes 30 Under 30 list yet?”

BAFTA 2021 Winners: Nomadland And The Father Win Big, Empire, 12 April 2021

“Everybody into the van! If there truly was a favourite film going into this evening’s BAFTA awards, it was Chloé Zhao‘s Nomadland, which has been dominating awards ceremonies throughout the season.”

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UK’s first hijab-wearing firefighter wants fire brigade to ‘represent the community we serve’, Yahoo News, 14 April 2021

“Partly because I’m a female and partly because of my faith and I wear hijab, but I do definitely get quite a few strange looks. “When I say that I’m from the fire service I think some people probably think I’m some kind of a fraud coming to the door because they don’t quite believe me.


‘Employers ignore you if they can’t pronounce your surname’, BBC News, 14 April 2021

“Over the past year, the UK jobless rate for young black people rose by more than a third to 35%, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank. That compared with a rate of 24% for young people of Asian descent and a rate of 13% for young white people, both up three percentage points.”

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Black youth unemployment rate of 40% similar to time of Brixton riots, data shows, The Guardian, 11 April 2021

“Between October and December 2020, 41.6% of black people aged 16-24 were unemployed – the highest rate since the last financial crisis, Guardian analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals. Unemployment among white workers of the same age stood at to 12.4%.”


Are we turning back the clock on workers’ rights in the UK?, HR Magazine, 9 April 2021

“Brexit, the pandemic, opportunistic employers and an, at best, lackadaisical government are all contributing to an erosion of employee rights which must be tackled.”


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UKRI publishes latest diversity data for research funding, UK Research and Innovation, 30 March 2021

“The data shows that the proportion of female and ethnic minority applicants for research grants and fellowships has increased for all three roles and has continued its upward trend in 2019 to 2020.”


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Afro wigs: Norfolk hair donor proud of ‘historic breakthrough’, BBC News, 13 April 2021

“The charity provides wigs made from real hair for children who have lost their own due to cancer treatment or for other reasons.”

Why were Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups worst hit by the UK’s second wave?, The Guardian, 16 April 2021

“How can we prevent enduring, unequal transmission of Covid-19 in specific communities and places? Some answers to this question come from a recent report by the ethnicity subgroup of Sage on the causes of the tragic loss of life among Bangladeshi and Pakistani British communities in the second wave of the pandemic.”

Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy: Not helpful to ‘lump people together’ under BAME, says public health expert, The Scotsman, 14 April 2021

“Scotland has “lagged behind” the rest of the UK in the collecting and monitoring of data about health and inequalities, Prof Katikireddi said.”

Welcome to the new colonialism: rich countries sitting on surplus vaccines, The Guardian, 14 April 2021

“The US has acquired enough vaccines for three times its population. At the same time, according to Unicef, 130 countries had yet to administer a single dose of vaccine as of mid-February. Some countries aren’t poised to see widespread vaccine access until 2023.”

Thousands of doctors have quit the NHS for overseas amid row over visas for elderly parents, inews, 13 April 2021

“The GMC figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that between 2015 and 2020 some 1,695 specialists, 743 GPs and 4,315 non-specialists asked to be removed from the register as they were moving to work overseas. While the reasons are not given, doctors told i they believe the change to immigration rules surrounding ADR visas has played a major role.”

Health academics call for an end to “hair racism” in NHS against black nurses in new research paper, The Voice, 8 April 2021

“Academics are now advocating for new legislation in the UK similar to the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) which was introduced in the US in September last year, which outlaws workplace discrimination against black people on the basis of their hair preferences.”

Delayed risk assessments may have cost BAME doctors’ lives, BMA chair warns, GP Online, 12 April 2021

“The failure to complete risk assessments for many BAME medical staff comes despite advice from NHS England at the start of the pandemic highlighting ’emerging data’ that suggested increased risk for people from BAME backgrounds and urging employers to ‘risk-assess staff at potentially greater risk and make appropriate arrangements accordingly’.”

‘Not built for minorities to succeed’: black scientists on academia’s race problem, The Guardian, 10 April 2021

“Three senior academics in medicine, chemistry and physics share their experiences and thoughts on how to improve underrepresentation”

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Muslim charities gear-up to fight food-poverty during Ramadan, Muslim News, 9 April 2021

“For the second consecutive year, Muslim charities are gearing up to commence food-poverty fighting initiatives during a lockdown Ramadan. Muslim Hands Hounslow-based Open Kitchen will continue to provide service for non-Muslims but will also supply food parcels to Muslims – a large proportion of them, refugees. The food parcels will include breakfast items to close the fast with as well as a hot meal in the evening to open the fast.”


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Chinese children in the UK talk about racism and the impact on their lives, CBBC, 15 April 2021

“British Chinese children have told Newsround that racism during the coronavirus pandemic has got worse, leaving many scared to go outside.”

Black Londoners three times more likely to be murdered than other ethnic groups, figures show, The Independent, 13 April 2021

“Prominent race equality campaigners say statistics highlight ‘unaddressed generational levels of systemic racism’”

Is systemic racism to blame for the lack of diversity in the Scottish Parliament?, Holyrood, 13 April 2021

“Since its creation in 1999, the parliament has had just four non-white MSPs, all of them men.

In 22 years, there have been no female MSPs of colour.”

Ethnic minorities twice as likely to face local services discrimination, PSE, 14 April 2021

“Ethnic minority communities have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and are twice as likely to face discrimination in local services new research has found.”

Read the Report here

Campaigners in Wolverhampton launch ‘The Windrush Justice Clinic’ in honour of the late Paulette Wilson, The Voice, 11 April 2021

“The Legal Advice Clinic will focus on those who need help completing the Windrush Compensation Scheme Forms and assist those who are ‘undocumented’ to obtain documents that legitimises their immigration status. The project began in December 2020 and is a pro bono legal advice clinic, operating Monday to Friday.”

A new Windrush is in the making. Its victims are the most vulnerable of young people, The Guardian, 11 April 2021

“Children in care born to EU parents face complex barriers to remaining in the UK”

Black people are going missing in vast numbers – but campaigners say their cases are being ignored, The Independent, 9 April 2021

“Exclusive: Black people are four times more likely to be reported as missing in England and Wales – campaigners demand that this disparity is addressed”

Foreign & Commonwealth Office diversity and equality report 2019 to 2020, GOV.uk, 7 April 2021

“This report is part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) response to the Equality Act 2010. It is intended to offer data on the equality impact of the FCO’s employment practices and activities.”

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PRINCE PHILIP: Why this Danish, Greek, German immigrant epitomised Britain, New European, 15 April 2021

“Had home secretary Priti Patel been around a century ago, we’d never have heard of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.”

We can mourn Prince Philip, but not the monarchy, The Guardian, 15 April 2021

“The Duke of Edinburgh may have been a man of his time, yet the royal family cannot be separated from the history of empire”



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Cycling News – Racism Should Be Treated On Par With Drug Offences In Cycling, Says Kevin Reza, Eurosport UK, 13 April 2021

Kevin Resa has emerged as a voice advocating for progress and solidarity in cycling and believes racism should be treated on par with drug offences. Reza was the only black rider at last year’s Tour de France, and was racially abused in 2017 by Gianni Moscon, who was suspended from the sport for just six weeks.

Improving diversity in cycling, Cyclist, April 2021

“Mymuna’s group of 20 members is meant to empower women of colour against ignorance and to get on a bicycle, with their own set of clothes – from cape, to hijab, to salwar kameez – for them to be their own kind of superhero.”


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WHO: Europe passes one million Covid-19 deaths, EUObserver, 16 April 2021

“More than one million people have died from Covid-19 in Europe, Hans Kluge, Europe director the World Health Organization announced on Thursday, Deutsche Welle reports. Across the world, more than three million people have died from Covid-19. Kluge warned that the situation remains “serious,” with about 1.6 million new cases reported each week in the region.”

Europe’s Muslims prepare for second Ramadan under shadow of pandemic, EuroNews, 13 April 2021

“Vaccination encouraged: They also said that vaccination was not considered as “nutritious” and that the injection of a coronavirus vaccine dose would therefore not “invalidate the fast.””

Tracking Europe’s Shift Towards Nationalism, Islamophobia, Morocco World News, 10 April 2021

“Tracking the rise of right-wing ideology in Europe is easier by the day, as state-sanctioned discrimination grows bolder each year.”


Cécile Djunga case: Belgian jailed for racism targeting TV presenter, BBC News, 14 April 2021

“A man has been jailed for 15 days for sending race hate messages to a Belgian TV host after she complained of a stream of abuse she received while presenting the weather forecast.”


French magazine faces racism trial after depicting Black MP as slave, TRT World, 14 April 2021

“Valeurs Actuelles, a right-wing magazine, unleashed a storm of controversy last year with the publication of images of lawmaker Daniele Obono with a chain fixed to an iron collar around her neck.”


France: Muslims slam new regulation banning halal slaughter of poultry, Muslim News, 9 April 2021

“Muslim officials in France criticised a recent decision to ban the halal slaughter of poultry as of July.”


Germany: Far-right suspects accused of plotting attacks on Muslims, Deutsche Welle, 13 April 2021

“Twelve Germans went on trial on Tuesday, suspected of plotting deadly attacks on Muslims, asylum-seekers and political enemies with the aim of fueling civil unrest and overthrowing the government.”



Italy’s New “Pro-European” Government Is Intensifying the War on Migrants, Jacobin Magazine, 4 April 2021

“When former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was appointed Italy’s prime minister, he was widely hailed as a pro-European bulwark against the populist right. Yet the first weeks of his government have seen a wave of attacks against migrant rescue NGOs and refugees.”


Hundreds gather in Amsterdam to raise a fist against anti-Asian racism, DutchNews.nl, 12 April 2021

“The demonstration was organised together with Pan Asian Collective (PAC) and Asian Raisins, which aim to promote the representation of Dutch Asians, and to stop anti-Asian discrimination.”



UK Embassy addresses concerns over media reports of Spain ‘deporting’ Britons, El Pais English, 31 March 2021

“Spanish government has no plans to find and expel UK citizens ‘who have made this country their home,’ but officials note that anyone living there regularly must apply for residency”


English as a common language in Switzerland: a positive or a problem?, Swissinfo, 4 April 2021

“It’s not unusual to hear Swiss people from different parts of the country chatting away in English. Not everyone is happy about this, but does using English as a lingua franca – a bridge over the Röstigraben, the country’s main linguistic divide – benefit national cohesion or harm it?”

Image Credits: Pixabay

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