Cumbria’s first Anti-Racist Cumbria Summit

Members of the BBO project team had the absolute pleasure last month to attend, and participate in, Cumbria’s first Anti-Racist Cumbria Summit held at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal and led by the bold, brave and visionary Anti-Racist Cumbria team.

Our very own Cumbria CVS North District Manager, Niall McNulty, opened the Summit in his role as Anti-Racism Cumbria Trustee, welcoming over 250 attendees and leaders from statutory, voluntary and corporate sectors including the inspiring Cumberland Building Society who are leading the way with their commitment to anti-racist practice in their organisation.

The day was filled with introspection, learning, laughter (I am looking at you Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu) and AMAZING Jamaican food provided courtesy of Yardies Food and Vie’s Jamaican Rum Cake

Our beautiful county is one of extremes, from the breath-taking landscapes of our Lake District and its affluence, to the extreme deprivation and poverty experienced by many local people in our towns and villages. We are a county marked by our past and present industrial achievements, our ionic natural heritage, rural and geographical isolation, and our largely White population.

Black and Brown people living and working here in Cumbria represent a disproportionately small part of our overall population which may raise many questions; How is anti-racism relevant in Cumbria? Does racism matter to our all-White communities? What is anti-racism and what can we do as individuals and as organisations?

Anti-Racist Cumbria’s Summit sought to answer many of these questions by providing a safe and supportive environment with interactive workshops, opportunities to ask questions, debate and to listen to prominent key-note speakers including the incredible Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.

Inspired and excited, our team soaked up the information, wisdom and ideas about how we can personally and professionally continue to do our part in tackling racism and supporting Black and Brown people in Cumbria to feel welcome, safe and supported, whilst working together with our Sector to achieve Anti-Racism Cumbria’s bold vision of becoming the UK’s first anti-racist county! No mean feat, but with collective will, intent and courage we can achieve this, making Cumbria a kinder, more embracing and richer place.

Take the first step on your Anti-racist journey today and check out Ant-Racism Cumbria’s website and the range of support they can offer your organisation.

As famous Black Singer, Author and Activist Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better”.

Nat Wealleans-Turner, BBO Project Manager