An Open Letter to the Commonwealth Games Organisation Committee 2022
TO IAN REID / JOHN CRABTREE,
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our disappointment at the insubstantial responses from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee 2022 towards the issues of perceived institutionalised racism and representational parity. We are also offering our support and assistance in dealing with these issues, as they affect businesses, communities and athletes alike.
The 2022 Games are taking place in our name, and we all act as its ambassadors, both in person and online.
Following the statement released by BIRMINGHAM 2022 CEO Ian Reid, and co-signed by John Crabtree (Chair) dated 10 July 2020, it is clear that those driving the Games need urgent support to engage with communities and businesses; to make the Games truly inclusive and set a benchmark for future events.
The city-region’s diverse communities and businesses have contributed to the wealth, creativity and growth of the region for half a century. We feel this is the real legacy for the children of the Commonwealth; the legacy which won the Games for the region (being young, digital and diverse) is now being sidelined. The Games team must assess their involvement and complicity with systemic issues and privilege, and commit to transparency and action, with speed and a sense of civic mission.
Words count for little if they are not followed by actions, to which named officers are held accountable. We call on the accountable party to commit to a speedy practical process of change and intervention, beginning by publicly answering these questions:
1. What are your smart targets and KPIs around race, gender, disability and social inclusion representation within your workforce?
2. Where can the public see your targets audit your progress against collected data, and more importantly; identify who is accountable?
3. Considering the momentum of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, and reflection on public policy, opinion and justice here in the UK, which board members will stand down voluntarily, to make way for new voices from our Black & minority communities of Birmingham & beyond?
4. What percentage of jobs, contracts and procurement will go to our region’s Black, Asian and socially deprived communities, and how will you achieve this?
5. How will you go beyond “widely advertising” roles to representationally hiring staff, and what impact will this have on regional skills and employment?
6. How much money is going to be ring-fenced for any additional onboarding: e.g training, recruitment, and who will be responsible and accountable?
7. Internal review is not best practice. Will a credible, external and independent equalities review with a racial equality lens take place this year?
8. Will you confirm this review will be given authority to inform and reform recruitment, training and policymaking; prioritising inclusive leadership programmes to ensure this is never repeated in our city-region?
9. What actions will be taken to win back public confidence, and how can the city-region’s diverse communities be involved now and in the future?
10. How will a representational number of people with Commonwealth heritage from Birmingham be involved in this process, at a senior level?
Confirmed and signed up to the open letter:
Ifraz Ahmed CEO – Asian Today Newspaper
Rt Hon Jacqui Smith.
Mark Hart – Aston Business School/Enterprise Research Centre
Joe Morgan – Regional Secretary GMB
Ewan Mackey Deputy Leader & The whole Conservative Group – Birmingham City Council
Kash Latiffs CEO – Latiffs & Sons
Marc Reeves – Midlands Editor in chief Reach plc
Lincoln Moses MBE – Holdford Sports Hub
Lisa Tricket chair – WMCA Overview & Scrutiny
Bobby Friction – BBC Radio Presenter
Mike Best – Colmore Row Business Improvement District
David Broom – General Secretary of National education Union Birmingham
Tracey Barrington – Chair Active arts Erdington
Maverine Cole – Journalist, Broadcaster & academic
Reverend David Butterworth – Interfaith Workplace Chaplain at the NEC Group
Mukhtar Dar – Kalaboration Arts
Councilor John Cotton – Labour Cabinet BCC
Tyson Leon – Leon Group security
Aftab Rahman Director – Legacy West Midlands
Denise Maxwell – Photojournalist
Tru Powell CEO – Aston Performing Arts
Karen Creavin CEO – The Active Well Being Society
Professor Monder Ram – Director, Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship
Amrick Singh – Nishkam Centre
Noel Dunne CEO – Creative alliance
Joel Blake – President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce
Daina Chrouch – Special Adviser, BAME Business All Party Parliamentary Group, Federation of Small Business Lead
Councilor Sharon Thompson – Labour Cabinet member BCC
Adam Yosef – Editor in chief, I am Birmingham journalist
Ravi Subramanian – Unison Regional Secretary
Derrin Kent – Chair of Birmingham & Solihull Training Providers Network
Andy Bailey CEO – Enterprise Data Systems
Mashkura Begum – Executive Director Saathi House
Monica Coke – Community Advocate
Rosie Ginday CEO – Miss Macaroon
Garry Stewart Director – Recognize Black History
Anita Bhalla OBE – Combined Authority Leadership Commission Digbeth Estate
Mohamed Ali – Artist and social activist
Joy Warmington CEO – BIrmingham Race Action Partnerships
Ammo Talwar MBE CEO – Punch records
Saidul Haque CEO – Citizens UK Birmingham
Councilor Paulette Hamilton – Labour Cabinet member BCC
Birgit Kehrer CEO – Change kitchen
Professor Asif Ahmed – Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University
Indi Doel CEO – Desi Blitz media
Councilor John O’Shea – Labour Cabinet member BCC
Shale Ahmed – CEO Aspire and Succeed CIC
Antonio Aakeel – Award winning Actor
Councilor Waseem Zaffar – Labour Cabinet member BCC
Sam Porter – The Active Well Being Society Board
Bob Ghosh – K4 Architects Director
Debbie Kermode – CEO of the Mac
Tara Tomes – Founder, East Village PR Agency