City comes together to underline its commitment to tackling racism

A month on from Leeds City Council’s #8for8 initiative, civic leaders and Leeds sporting legends have come together and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to end racism and discrimination.

Joining Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan, the council’s chief executive, to show their support to tackling racism and injustice are over 80 civic leaders representing key institutions and sectors including education, health, business, sport, the third sector, faith and the arts in the city.

Civic leaders and Leeds sporting legends have come together to issue a joint statement to express their commitment to work together to end racism and discrimination.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Tom Riordan, the council’s chief executive, are joined by over 80 civic leaders representing key institutions and sectors including education, health, business, sport, the third sector, faith and the arts to reaffirm their commitment to ensuring racism has no place in Leeds.

Councillor Judith Blake Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many local leaders, including some famous faces, getting behind our call for an end to racism and discrimination. Racism will not be tolerated in Leeds and this statement serves as a strong reminder of the need to continue to work together to create a fairer and more equal city for everybody.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, added:

“We all have a role to play in challenging racism and I would encourage organisations across Leeds to think about positive action they can take in their own organisations and communities, and to publicise their next steps. As the local authority we are committed to taking the lead on this to ensure that the current global attention on racial inequality results in positive change for the people of Leeds.”

The statement reads:

“As leaders in Leeds, we are horrified at the killing of George Floyd by police officers in the United States. We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

“Leeds is a richly diverse and multicultural city, something that we consider to be one of our key strengths. We are proud to work with fantastic individuals, communities and organisations that work tirelessly to create a fairer city for everybody.

“As civic leaders we are committed to building a city in which everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong. While we are proud that Leeds is overwhelmingly a welcoming city, we recognise that unfortunately racism and discrimination still exists. Everybody in Leeds has a part to play to challenge racism and prejudice wherever we find it.

“The tragic and appalling death of George Floyd has opened passionate conversations across the world about racism in our societies. In Leeds we welcome conversations about how, as a city, we can do more to eradicate racism and discrimination and to support those who have experienced it. This also requires honest conversations about our own history as a city, and how we wish to remember and relate to our past.

“Eradicating racism and discrimination is everybody’s business. We stand with all those in Leeds who are working peacefully to support our communities, challenge injustices and create a fairer society. Together we will ensure that racism has no place in Leeds.”

Signed:

  • Councillor Judith Blake CBE, Leader, Leeds City Council
  • Tom Riordan CBE, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council
  • Nicola Adams OBE, former professional boxer and double Olympic champion
  • Angus Kinnear, CEO, Leeds United
  • Liam Cooper, Club Captain, Leeds United
  • Kevin Sinfield MBE, Director of Rugby, Leeds Rhinos
  • Luke Gale, Captain, Leeds Rhinos
  • Bob Bowman QPM, Chief Operating Officer, Leeds Rhinos Foundation
  • Mark Arthur, CEO, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club
  • Roger Hutton, Chair, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club
  • Steve Patterson, Club Captain, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club
  • The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds
  • Kay Mellor OBE, writer, director and Managing Director, Rollem Production Company
  • Alan Langlands, Vice Chancellor, The University of Leeds
  • Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor, Leeds Beckett University
  • Thea Stein, Chief Executive, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Brodie Clark CBE, Interim Chair, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Linda Pollard, Chair, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Julian Hartley, Chief Executive Officer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Dr Sara Munro, Chief Executive Officer, Leeds & York Partnership NHS Trust
  • Professor Sue Proctor, Chair, Leeds & York Partnership NHS Trust
  • Tim Ryley, Chief Executive Officer, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, NHS Digital
  • James Mason, Chief Executive, Welcome to Yorkshire
  • Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive, LeedsBID
  • Prew Lumley, Chair, LeedsBID
  • Kully Thiarai, Creative Director, Leeds 2023
  • James Brining & Robin Hawkes, Joint Chief Executives, Leeds Playhouse
  • Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North
  • Charis Charles, Executive Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre
  • Sharon Watson, CEO & Principal, Northern School of Contemporary Dance
  • Mark Skipper DL, Chief Executive, Northern Ballet
  • Laurence Sillars, Head of the Henry Moore Institute
  • Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director, Leeds International Piano Competition
  • Fiona Sinclair, CEO, Leeds International Piano Competition
  • Bryony Bond, Director, The Tetley
  • Jane Marriott, Director, Harewood House Trust
  • Mike Tomlinson, CEO, Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All
  • Colin Booth OBE, Chief Executive, Luminate Education Group
  • Dr Shaid Mahmood, Chair, Luminate Education Group
  • Derek Whitehead, Principal & CEO, Leeds College of Building
  • Gerry Godley, Principal & Managing Director, Leeds College of Music
  • Liz Barber, Chief Executive Officer, Yorkshire Water
  • Catherine Rutter, Group Ambassador for Yorkshire and The Humber, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Margaret Parkes, Interim CEO, first direct
  • Liz Needleman, Group Regional Director North, BT
  • Euan West, Leeds office senior partner, KPMG
  • Wayne Topley, Chairman, Leeds Hotels and Venues Association
  • Barney Mynott, Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Matthew Walker, Chief Executive, Leeds Federated Housing Association
  • Chris Hollins, Chair, Voluntary Action Leeds
  • Kate Hainsworth, CEO, Leeds Community Foundation
  • Duncan Wells, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Manager, British Refugee Council
  • John Battle, Chair, David Oluwale Memorial Association
  • Helen Kemp, Chief Executive, Leeds Mind
  • Sawsan Zaza, Director, DAMASQ
  • Ruth Kettle, CEO, Inspire North
  • Rifhat Malik MBE, Project Manager, Give a Gift Charity
  • Karen Pearse, Director, Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Daniel Mundet, Chief Executive, PATH Yorkshire
  • Annette Morris, Project Worker, Leeds BME Hub
  • Alison Lowe, Chief Executive, Touchstone
  • Neal Heard, Housing Manager, Abigail Housing
  • Flavia Docherty, Director, Getaway Girls
  • Kathryn Ashworth, Chief Executive, Solace
  • Rose Simkins, Chief Executive, Stop Hate UK
  • Bill Urry, Chair, Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network – LASSN
  • Shanaz Gul, Operations Director, Hamara Healthy Living Centre
  • Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, CEO & Artistic Director, South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk)
  • Alan Lane, Artistic Director, Slung Low
  • whiskas / Sam Nicholls, Director, Music:Leeds
  • Rod Dixon, Artistic Director, Red Ladder Theatre Company
  • Jack Simpson, Owner, Hyde Park Book Club / Eiger Studios
  • Simon Fogal, Director/ Founder, Leeds Indie Food and Chapter 81
  • John S. Summerwill, Co-Chair, Concord Leeds Interfaith Fellowship
  • Gurmukh Singh Deagon, Sikh Sangat Community Leeds
  • Dr Jasjit Singh, Research and Policy Lead, Sikh Alliance Yorkshire
  • Lisa Baker, President, Leeds Jewish Representative Council
  • Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Senior Imam, Makkah Mosque Leeds
  • Reverend Heston Groenewald, Vicar of All Hallows Church Leeds
  • Reverend Hannah Lievesley, Vicar of St Chad’s Church, Far Headingley
  • Reverend Nigel Wright, Vicar of St Edmund’s, Roundhay
  • Reverend Joanna Seabourne, Area Dean, Headingley
  • Reverend Tony Whatmough, Vicar of St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Headingley
  • Reverend Tom Lusty, Vicar of St Giles Church, Bramhope
  • Reverend Mark Harlow, Vicar of St Paul’s Church, Ireland Wood
  • Graham Buttanshaw, Vicar of Otley Parish Church
  • Rachel Ford, Assistant Curate, St Margaret’s Church, Horsforth
  • Nick Lattimer, Associate Vicar, St Matts Church Leeds

Leaders representing all the political groups in Leeds City Council have also expressed their support for a city-wide effort to end racism and discrimination.

Councillor Judith Blake, Councillor Andrew Carter, Councillor Stewart Golton, Councillor David Blackburn, Councillor Robert Finnigan and Councillor Mark Dobson, said:

 “As Group Leaders of Leeds City Council, we are horrified at the killing of George Floyd by police officers in the United States. We feel the pain, and hear the outrage, of all those facing injustice. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms.

“Leeds is a richly diverse and multicultural city, something that we consider to be one of our key strengths. We are proud to work with fantastic individuals, communities and organisations that work tirelessly to create a fairer city for everybody.

“As Group Leaders we are committed to building a city in which everyone feels safe, valued and that they belong. While we are proud that Leeds is overwhelmingly a welcoming city, we recognise that unfortunately racism and discrimination still exists. Everybody in Leeds has a part to play to challenge racism and prejudice wherever we find it.

“The tragic and appalling death of George Floyd has opened passionate conversations across the world about racism in our societies. In Leeds we welcome conversations about how, as a city, we can do more to eradicate racism and discrimination and to support those who have experienced it. This also requires honest conversations about our own history as a city, and how we wish to remember and relate to our past. We must respect the history we have by ensuring that we teach forthcoming generations what has gone before in order to remind us why we have our freedom today.

“Eradicating racism and discrimination is everybody’s business. We stand with all those in Leeds who are working peacefully to support our communities, challenge injustices and create a fairer society. We are pleased with the peaceful nature of protests in Leeds so far, however, we are clear we will not tolerate gratuitous attacks on the Police seen elsewhere or acts of wilful criminal damage.

“Together we will ensure that racism has no place in Leeds.”

 

This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council

 

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