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Bath and North East Somerset Council panel to address 'inequality'

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image captionBath and North East Somerset Council leader Dine Romero and Lucia Vinyard (inset) who shared her experiences of growing up in Bath

Bath and North East Somerset Council members have heard personal stories of racism as it prepares to set up a panel to tackle systemic inequality.

They heard from speakers including young black people who shared their experiences of growing up in Bath.

Lucia Vinyard told councillors she had "experienced multiple racist incidents" and "been called dirty in the street."

Councillor Kevin Guy said: "It's a terrible thing that in 2020 young people still have to endure racism." 

Speakers reported being treated differently because of the colour of their skin and never having had a black teacher.

Ms Vinyard said: "I've been treated differently by my teachers and peers because of the colour of my skin.

"I've experienced multiple racist incidents. I've been called dirty in the street. I want younger people to have the support I didn't feel I had.

"In all of my years of education, the first ethnic minority teacher I've had was in London when I was 19."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMs Vinyard told councillors ethnic minorities in Bath 'instantly standing out because of the colour of your skin.'

The council's new race panel is being set up to address systemic inequality, racism and discrimination. 

Rachelle Wabissa studies issues including racism at the University of Bath but said she had never been taught by a black lecturer and she was "always the only black person in the room". 

She called for culturally appropriate support, saying: "If you experience a racist incident you're expected to talk to a white person about it - you spend more time explaining why the situation was bad and why it hurt you than actually processing the emotions."

Council leader Dine Romero said talking was not enough and said action was needed, according to the BBC's Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"We can discuss these things till the cows come home but you know we actually do need to get on and do something," she said.

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Related Topics

  • Racism
  • Bath
  • Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Black Lives Matter