COULD IT BE YOU?: OBV launch bid to find West Midlands civic leaders
CAMPAIGN GROUP Operation Black Vote (OBV) is launching a Civic Leadership Programme to nurture Wolverhampton and Birmingham’s future leaders.
The aim of the project is to increase the representation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) individuals in all areas and at all levels of civic and public life.
OBV’s intention is to select 50 dynamic BME individuals, aged 18 years or upwards, who live or work in the areas and who have a keen interest in contributing to their community.
Individuals will participate in a mixture of observation and training sessions across four broad categories of public life: politics, education, the criminal justice system and the voluntary and community sector.
The initiative will focus on giving participants firsthand knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of school governors, board members, trustees and other public life roles and provide insight into the systems and procedures of public bodies. The aim is that upon completion, this leadership programme will equip and motivate participants to engage in public life.
Participants will also be encouraged to become community ambassadors, explaining and promoting the benefits of civic engagement and encouraging others to also become involved in community affairs.
Francine Fernandes, assistant director of Operation Black Vote said: “We are delighted to work in Birmingham and Wolverhampton to address the under-representation of BME communities in key areas of civic society.
I'm convinced that from this innovative leadership programme a new generation of civic leaders, school governors and community organisers will emerge. There is a wealth of untapped talent amongst BME communities and this programme will provide a platform to nurture this talent for the benefit of all communities.”
Cllr John Cotton, Birmingham Council Cabinet member for Social Cohesion and Equalities added: “Birmingham is home to a vibrant and diverse array of people and communities. We need to ensure that diversity is reflected at all levels of leadership within our city. We have to ensure that we use all the talents within our city, if we want to meet the tremendous economic, social and political challenges we face in the future.”
Currently, BME individuals are woefully represented in the UK’s public and civic institutions. OBV say it is not only damaging to a healthy democracy, but limits the ability of black and minority ethnic communities to tackle the negative socioeconomic conditions they often face.
For further details, please contact OBV on 020 8983 5426 or e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org