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OBV Simon Woolley to chair Downing St Race Disparity Group

APPOINTED: The Downing Street Race Disparity Advisory Group

YESTERDAY (Mar 19), the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Operation Black Vote’s director Simon Woolley would chair the Race Disparity Advisory group at Downing Street.

The Advisory group will help steer the next phase from the Race Disparity Unit, that has uncovered many persistent race inequalities that continue to blight the lives of tens of thousands of BME individuals. The mandate for the group will be to challenge, steer and support Government Departments, to develop interventions to tackle the disparities in the Race Disparity Audit, and drive civil society, business, and Local Government to take action.

Its chair Simon Woolley said: ‘It is a huge honour to chair this group which has so many impressive individuals. But our goal is clear: with the Prime Minister, Theresa May’s full support we aim to work with Ministers, senior civil servants, business leaders and community leaders and collectively close race inequality gaps’.

The Government have shown their commitment by announcing a £90 million pound youth fund to help ensure young BME men and women, and those of a working class background, can get into work.

How and where the funding goes, via the Big Lottery, will be shaped by the evidence from the Race Disparity Unit. The RD Advisory group will also advise ministers.

Baroness Ruby McGregor, who is also on the Advisory group said: ”As a former FTSE CEO for too long I’ve seen racial disadvantage, my report, The McGregor Review into race inequality and employment also highlighted these challenges.

"We hope that this group will drive urgent change with the biggest private companies and the smaller ones too. For too long BME talent has been locked out. That’s got to change".

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