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Sadiq Khan backs plans for a slavery museum in London

SUPPORT: Sadiq Khan

MAYOR OF London, Sadiq Khan, has given his full backing to recent plans for a slavery museum which is hoped to positively challenge the increasing levels of racism in the capital post Brexit.

The proposal comes from the Fabian Society, who argues that the introduction of a slavery museum could address head on discrimination faced by London’s black and ethnic minority population by dispelling of the historical myths and stereotypes often unfairly fixed on them.

Supporting the reasoning behind the proposal, Khan said: “It is right that all Londoners see themselves and their history reflected in our city’s museums and cultural institutions. Learning more about the uncomfortable nature of our city and our nation’s role in the transatlantic slave trade can serve to deepen our understanding of the past and strengthen our commitment to fight racism and hatred in all its forms.”

As one of the founding organisations of the Labour Party, The Fabian Society prides itself on advancing the causes of democracy and reformation. In their report Capital Gains: A Global City in a Changing World published by the Runnymede Trust, several recommendations are made to address increasing racial inequalities in the UK. These include:

• Creating employment targets for those groups most systematically disadvantaged.
• Manager appraisals and pay rises to be linked to success in supporting BME employees.
• Reviewing and dismantling barriers to the take-up of apprenticeships by BME groups; working with schools, colleges and voluntary and community sector to develop mentoring and advice guidance programmes for BME young people and parents.
• Identifying key information gaps, for example on ethnic pay gaps and specific issues facing smaller or more recently arrived communities, and developing plans to fill them.
• Providing work placements and mentoring programmes for under-represented groups.
• Providing race equality (not just ‘diversity’ or ‘unconscious bias’) training for all staff.

Addressing the issue of race equality in the report, the Director of the Runnymede trust, Omar Khan, said: “Until and unless Britain comes to terms with this history, it will be impossible to understand much less eradicate the views that continue to justify racial inequalities today.

“It is unacceptable that the capital city of a nation that built a global empire and its wealth in large part as a result of its role in the slave trade has no significant museum or monument marking the role that London and Britain played in these atrocities.”

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