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EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News!

Mainstream media is predictably more focused on chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife tax affairs than Covid deaths in ethnic minority communities. Recent ONS data has yet revealed that Covid death rates are highest for Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups in the UK.

As usual, you will find below several reports worth reading, including “the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, a progress update report” by Wendy Williams, the “Missing Pool of Talent on School Governing Boards”, the “Race Representation Index” by Sporting Equals etc.

There is also a very short “Ramadan Employer Guide” by Enei (Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion) that you may find useful below.

If you live in the UK, you have probably already heard of the petition to stop the privatisation of Channel 4. Commentators say it risks promoting a wider “monocultural” media landscape. I hope they will keep on producing interesting programmes as Cadbury Exposed: Dispatches”!

 

Happy Easter!

 

Thushari Perera

 

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CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Euzhan Palcy

Almost 300,000 people sign petition to stop the privatisation of Channel 4, Cornwall Live, 7 April 2022

“The full petition reads: Channel 4 is responsible for some of the very best programming on UK TV. Channel 4 News is one of the most trusted news programmes at a time when disinformation is rife. There are very few places where we can trust in the integrity of those producing news and content. There are very few places we can trust in the honest intention to serve diverse communities. The mono culture that is sure to be the result of such a move would be seriously undermining of the health and creativity of UK TV programming…”

The state of the black media and film industry, The Voice, 6 April 2022

“Global Studio Niche on Demand launch national survey into the experiences of black British creatives…Niche on Demand is a studio that uses creativity and capital as a tool to enable storytelling and preserve Black history. The survey can be completed at The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NOD_Black_MediaFilm and will close June 30 2022. The results will be shared by Niche on Demand later in the year.”

June Sarpong to leave high-profile BBC diversity role, The Independent, 6 April 2022

“It comes as a string of senior executives of colour have departed the corporation within the past year amid concerns around racism and lack of diversity.”

CONSUMER ISSUES

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Cadbury faces fresh accusations of child labour on cocoa farms in Ghana, The Guardian, 3 April 2022

“A new TV documentary alleges that children as young as 10 are using machetes to harvest pods… The chocolate market is worth £5.6bn in the UK, according to the market research firm Mintel. It includes about 330m Cadbury Creme eggs which are eaten every year.” Watch Channel 4 Dispatches “Cadbury Exposed” (time limited access).”

Rathbones targets modern slavery for third year with biggest collaborative engagement yet, IFA Magazine, 5 April 2022

“Rathbones has launched its third Votes Against Slavery engagement, securing support from 122 investors with assets under management totalling £9.6 trillion.”

EDUCATION

No Black School Governors

‘We need more school governors who look like me’, BBC News, 1 April 2022

“Almost all (90%) of the 4,000 governors who responded to a questionnaire by resource provider GovernorHub were white. More than half (57%) were over the age of 55. The questionnaire asked a small fraction of England’s total number of school governors, which is thought to be more than 200,000.”

Review of Sonita Gale’s documentary, ‘Hostile’ (selected UK cinemas, January to April 2022), HEPI, 4 April 2022

“There is a huge tension between the Government that seems all too quick to demonise immigrants, and the higher education sector that is totally dependent on them. Gale’s film shines a helpful light on the particularly testing circumstances of the pandemic for international students and underlines the message that compassion must be the order of the day.“ Find out more via https://www.hostiledocumentary.com/

Royal Academy awards £1m to boost diversity and inclusion in university engineering departments, Institutions of Mechanical Engineers, 1 April 2022

“Our goal is to help universities to develop interventions, informed by evidence, that transform the outcomes of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. It is vital that we seek innovative and creative ways to accelerate the pace of change, rather than accepting that incremental improvement is all that is possible.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

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Retail Week launches programme to drive greater diversity in legal roles, Retail Week, 6 April 2022

“Retail Week’s General Counsel Summit 2022 sees the launch of the Future Leaders programme – in partnership with Be Inspired – to help support junior lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds to fulfil their career aspirations.”

Number of NQs disclosing ethnicity falls as trainee registrations drop, LawCareersNet.com, 28 March 2022

“…in Greater London Black, Asian and minority ethnic lawyers make up just 16.6% of PC holders, while White Europeans make up nearly 60%. In this area overall, the report found that the number of PC holders from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds has been falling. The Law Society believes this is likely “due to an increase of non-reporting of ethnicity”.”

ENVIRONMENT

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New data drive launched to improve racial diversity in the UK’s environmental profession, edie.net, 5 April 2022

“Given that less than 5% of the UK’s sustainability and environment professionals identify as being from minority ethnic backgrounds, a new initiative is being launched to help organisations in this space address the lack of diversity in their workforce… The new UK initiative is called the Racial Action for the Climate Emergency Report, or RACE Report for short. More than 30 organisations have already committed to submitting data to the RACE Report for its inaugural edition, including Ashden, ClientEarth, Global Action Plan, Greenpeace, IEMA, The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust and The Zoological Society of London (ZSL). They will provide data annually and, following the publication of the inaugural ‘benchmark’ report in 2022, league table elements will be added from 2023.”

 Environmental protesters block oil terminals across UK, The Guardian, 1 April 2022

“Activists climb on tankers and glue themselves to roads around London, Birmingham and Southampton… The action is part of a planned series of protests against UK oil infrastructure. Extinction Rebellion, which is to begin its next wave of protests on 9 April, said it supported the Just Stop Oil campaign and had mobilised its activists to join.”

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

Windrush Review 2

Windrush: Home Office has failed to transform its culture, report says, The Guardian, 31 March 2022

“…2020 report contained 30 recommendations for Home Office improvements, and the home secretary, Priti Patel, committed to implement them all, promising “to build a fairer, more compassionate” department and promising “a total transformation of our culture”. Only eight of the 30 recommendations had been fully acted on two years on…” Read the Report here.

 Destroying the Asylum System, London Review of Books, 7 April 2022

“The bill also gives Border Force officials the power to intercept migrant boats in the Channel and turn them round, and provides those officials with civil and criminal immunity for deaths or injuries ‘reasonably’ caused during such operations. It also enables ministers to strip people of citizenship without notice for a wide variety of reasons. This clause was voted down in the House of Lords… But back in the Commons, the government pushed through votes striking down these clauses and reinstating those the Lords voted down, destroying the system of asylum as we know it…”

10 years, no rights: why the Government must reinstate the pre-2012 Domestic Workers visa, Gal-Dem, 6 April 2022

“Theresa May revoked the Overseas Domestic Workers (ODW) visa concession, removing hard-won rights for domestic workers – ushering in the start of the notorious hostile environment policy. The concession allowed migrant domestic workers to switch employers, register these changes with the Home Office, and apply for extensions of stay and settlement. With the change to the visa in 2012, stays are limited to six months and migrant domestic workers have become tied to individual employers as sponsors, often compared to the kafala system prevalent in the Gulf region, which many workers face prior to arriving in the UK.”

The Observer view on Britain’s cruel and unfit refugee policy, The Observer, 3 April 2022

“Ukrainian refugees are becoming the latest victims of a hostile bureaucracy that was two decades in the making… uccessive Conservative home secretaries, culminating in Priti Patel’s nationality and borders bill, which will create a two-tier asylum system that lawyers believe would break international and domestic law. It seeks to criminalise anyone arriving in the UK to claim asylum without a pre-approved claim, despite the fact that the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which Britain was a founding signatory, establishes the right of anyone with a legitimate claim to asylum to be heard fairly, regardless of how they arrive in a country.”

JUSTICE & POLICE

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Government and CPS face legal action over ‘racist’ joint enterprise law, The Independent, 7 April 2022

“Research from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies found that, of young male prisoners serving 15 years or more for joint enterprise convictions, 38.5 per cent were white and 57.4 per cent were from Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority backgrounds (BAME) – despite less than 6 per cent of the population being from BAME groups…Liberty says that, in failing to record data on joint enterprise prosecutions, the CPS and MoJ are breaching their duties under the Equality Act 2010. It says that, contrary to the Public Sector Equality Duty, neither has taken any steps to ascertain the extent of, and eliminate, any race discrimination in the use of joint enterprise laws.”

Officers from West Mercia Police charged with hate crime after allegedly sharing racist images, ITV, 5 April 2022

“A former and a serving police officer from West Mercia Police have both been charged with hate crime offences after an inquiry into racially offensive images shared on WhatsApp. James Watts, 31, and PC Joann Jinks, 40, have been charged with sending grossly offensive messages. Watts has been charged with 10 counts of sending grossly offensive messages, while Jinks faces three allegations.”

#ENDSTRIPSEARCH, https://www.endstripsearch.co.uk/

“Strip Search Is State Sanctioned Sexual Assault -When the law permits police to sexually assault children every day -it’s time to change the law…In the past five years, the Metropolitan Police alone have strip searched an average of five children every day. 35 of those searches happened to children under the age of 12.”

Racism forms the majority of hate crimes across Scotland, police reveal, Cumnock Chronicle, 29 March 2022

“Between April and December last year there were 5,375 reports filed to Police Scotland, up 5.5 per cent on the five-year average of 5,096 and slightly higher than the year before when there were 5,365. Police Scotland said race-related reports continued to make up the majority of hate crimes at just under 60 per cent of the total…”

FAITH & RELIGION

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Ramadan Employer Guide, enei, March 2022

“Ramadan is expected to start in the UK at sunset on the Saturday 2nd April and will continue for 30 days until Sunday 1st May (this date may vary).”

 

SCIENCE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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Covid death rates highest for Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups in Omicron wave, Dunfermline Press, 7 April 2022

“Mortality rates for Bangladeshi males in England have been 2.7 times higher than those for white British males, while Pakistani males have recorded rates 2.2 times higher. Among Bangladeshi and Pakistani females, rates have been 1.9 times and 2.5 times higher respectively.”

Covid inquiry has no plans to look at the impact on black communities. You have until midnight to have your say about this, The Voice, 7 April 2022

“The public inquiry’s draft terms of reference do not make any mention of the disproportionate impact Covid has had on black communities…The public inquiry do not plan to “examine” this. The draft terms of reference make a vague reference to looking at “protected characteristics” in the category of identifying “the lessons to be learned… to inform the UK’s preparations for future pandemics.””

Queen Mary researcher receives funding to investigate the impact of long COVID within ethnic minority groups, Queen Mary University of London, 25 March 2022

“The team will conduct one-to-one interviews with people living with long COVID, including those who have not accessed long COVID services, to better understand how they navigate care and support. The team will also explore ways to facilitate user engagement with long COVID healthcare approaches that meet the needs of diverse groups such as by better involving family. The study will seek to understand what broader systems of support, such as religion and traditional healing, are utilised by minority groups for long COVID to inform better management of the condition.”

Shifting the Dial Mental Health

Shifting the dial on mental health support for young black men, NHS Confederation, 6 April 2022

“A programme addressing mental health needs in young black men highlights key learning for system leaders and commissioners of mental health services… Centre for Mental Health recently published a report that shares learning from a three-year programme to engage young black men based in Birmingham around their mental health.”

Tough action likely on south Asian chewed tobacco products, GG2.net, 30 March 2022

“The cancer-causing chewed tobacco products are facing a clampdown 16 years after scientists warned of their dangerous contents… According to the statement, the use of chewed tobacco is high among women, and south Asians suffer nearly four times more oral cancer than the rest of the population.”

TECH

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Navjot Sawhney talks The Washing Machine Project, Desiblitz, 7 February 2022

“The Washing Machine Project was created by a revolutionary London-based engineer, Navjot Sawhney. The project focuses on assisting families in underdeveloped countries that suffer from unparalleled workloads. One of the most fundamental tasks that these people go through is hand-washing clothes, a grand task without reliable or affordable power and water. Therefore Nav took it upon himself to create a manual washing machine. Powered by a crank handle, the machine does not have to rely on an electricity supply.”

SPORT

Sporting Equals Race Representation Index

UK sport’s governing bodies fail to make grade in landmark race report, The Guardian, 30 March 2022

“Fifteen received D, E or F grade over racial diversity. Trio of biggest administrators failed to even take part… Through the work of the Race Representation Index the tracking of that journey will become transparent for all to see, in addition to allowing for best practice to be shared widely to allow for the cultivation of an inclusive approach to sport and physical activity.” Read the Report here.

ECB accelerate dressing room culture review as anti-discrimination action plan continues, The Cricketer, 4 April 2022

“All counties are on schedule to meet the April 30 deadline to improve board-level diversity. The ECB asked for an average of 30 per cent female representation and 15 per cent for ethnic diversity. Norfolk Cricket Board have already exceeded 40 per cent gender balance on its board.”

Rico Quitongo takes Airdrieonians to employment tribunal over alleged racial discrimination, The Scotsman, 30 March 2022

“Rico Quitongo is taking Airdrieonians FC and one of its directors to an employment tribunal amid claims he experienced racial discrimination at the hands of his former club.”

‘Is It A Racist Sport? I Would Say It Is, Yes’ – Marlon Moncrieffe On Cycling’s Urgent Need To Change, Eurosport, 30 March 2022

“There are some opportunities for Black riders from the African continent to race on the World Tour, but from a European perspective, from the UK, the USA – none. We haven’t really seen anyone progress to that level.”

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