Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations
What is the Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations?
The deeply disturbing killing of George Floyd in the spring of 2020 by members of the Minneapolis Police Department is a stark reminder that so much more needs to be done to address anti-black racism in our communities and society. In response to this, Gloucester City Council passed a motion in July 2020 in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and resolved to set up a commission to review race relations within Gloucester.
The Commission has been established for an initial period of 12 months and will be a forum to reflect and gain a better understanding of experiences of racism within Gloucester, and to identify actions that can improve the lives and opportunities for those experiencing racism and the disadvantages they face because of their race and/or ethnicity.
From April to September 2021, the Commission held a Call for Evidence consultation exercise to capture the views and experiences of Gloucester's residents. This Call for Evidence ended on September 1st 2021, and the findings will be reviewed and considered in the development of the final report due to be published later this year.
Who is on the Commission?
The Commission will be chaired by Rupert Walters, a businessman and social entrepreneur with strong cross sector relationships within Gloucester. He is personally and professionally invested in creating a better environment for BAME communities to succeed.
Commissioners will be a cross-section of those representing major institutions and BAME communities within the City. Whilst commissioners will draw on their institutional and personal experiences they will act in the interest of the City as a whole.
What will the commissioners do?
Their roles will be to:
- Determine and review the work programme of the Commission
- Prepare, participate, and contribute to the individual events, drawing on their own and their organisations’ resources where appropriate
- Listen to, review, challenge and reflect on evidence
- Identify actions to create opportunities to reduce institutional racism and the disadvantages that brings
- Identify possible actions that start to tackle the underlying causes of institutional racism
Review of monuments, statues and plaques within Gloucester
In addition to establishing the Commission, a review has been initiated focused on monuments, statues and plaques within Gloucester. The aim of this review is to produce a report for the Commission to consider on the historic links to the slave trade in Gloucester. That report will consist of a list of identified monuments, statues, plaques and street names (hereafter ‘heritage assets’) as well as notable individuals associated with the City and connected with the slave trade and/or plantation ownership. It will include:
The location of each identified heritage asset;
- A description;
- A summary history of the associated individual/organisation and the asset (including references); and
- Recommendations for the commission to consider.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Commission by emailing us at RaceCommission@gloucester.gov.uk