Liverpool City Region Race Equality Hub team (l to r), Brodie Arthur, Alison Navarro, Justine Jenkins, Maleka Egeonu-Roby

Mayor Steve Rotheram has  declared the city region’s £2.3m Race Equality Hub open for business – marking the area’s biggest ever investment in tackling racial inequality.

The brand-new Hub was launched at a special event in Sefton Park Palm House and marks a new chapter in the city region’s journey to become the fairest, most equal place in the country.

The hub will support employers and agencies to enable Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses to thrive, creating sustainable employment opportunities.

A number of partner organisations were unveiled at the event, including Diageo, Hays Specialist Recruitment and Fairer Consulting, Lloyds Banking Group, and the Department for Work and Pensions. All have pledged to work with the Hub to help tackle racial inequality in the city region’s workplace and to support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Business development.

The Hub is the product of extensive engagement with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to establish how the Hub could make the biggest impact.

Alison Navarro, Programme Director of the Race Equality Hub said:

“This official launch for the Race Equality Hub should be a transformational turning point that I hope will help improve the lives of people from our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

“The Hub will provide a-once-in-a-generation opportunity to really tackle racism in employment and business. So often people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities aren’t short of the qualifications or desire, but are short of the opportunities. Working together with our communities I am confident that the Race Equality Hub will radically improve opportunities for all of our communities’ members.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“The Race Equality Hub is a bold, innovative approach that is putting power into the hands of underrepresented groups and giving them the freedom and tools to level the playing field. It is truly unique because no area has done this before – and I am excited to watch Alison and her team drive our vision forward.

“Together, we want to shatter the glass ceiling that has, for far too long, prevented our black, Asian and minority ethnic residents from fulfilling their potential. Today is the first step on that journey.”

The launch comes after the recent announcement of a new advisory board of 14 people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds across the Liverpool City who will oversee the work of the ground-breaking Hub.

Mayor Rotheram’s racial equality programme forms part of his strategy to ensure no communities are left behind and aims to tackle racial inequality across the Liverpool City Region.

The Hub will operate as a centre of excellence in tackling racial inequality by focusing on employability, business support and leadership across the Liverpool City Region.

Building upon the area’s reputation for social justice and equality, the Hub’s primary purpose is to tackle systemic injustice and inequality and drive forward positive change for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic employees and residents. It will work towards those goals in partnership with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and public, private and third sector employers.

The Hub has already started commissioning for a supplier to deliver a trial Account Manager model, which will provide Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses with a dedicated one-to-one personal business support service, enabling businesses to identify and set business goals and navigate a range of business support services available across the region and nationally. The Hub has just announced four new Trainee Race Equality Employment Advocate roles, who will support unemployed Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people facing barriers accessing opportunities into the workplace.

The Hub will also be delivering targeted support to develop Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders, in recognition of the significant under-representation of minority ethnic groups in leadership roles across public, private and third sector strategic, operational and governance positions. The Hub also intends to develop a leadership programme that recognises leaders at all levels across organisational structures, outside of mainstream leadership roles, including junior positions, voluntary positions, and leaders active within communities.

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