Tutu Foundation UK calls on Government to recognise just how serious racism is in our society

Apr 12, 2021
Archibishop Desmond Tutu. Photographed by Hattie Miles

There has been much dismay at the Government-commissioned report on racial equality in Britain today after it claimed to have found no evidence of ‘institutional racism’.
Tony Sewell, the chairman of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities concluded that there was anecdotal evidence of racism, but denied there was any proof that it was structural.
This is simply not true and the backlash was swift with calls for Dr Sewell to scrap the report or stand down.
This is a statement issued by the Tutu Foundation UK asking the Government to recognise and acknowledge the true seriousness of racism and its impact in our society. 

Tutu Foundation United Kingdom Statement on Government Report on Racial Equality 
In the light of the official report on racial equality released by the UK Government on 31st March 2021, the Tutu Foundation UK affirm our commitment to challenging the institutional racism experienced by a diverse range of people and indeed, some organisations we collaborate with.  
The heart of our mission is to prevent and resolve conflict, to help people build peaceful communities throughout the UK, we do this by providing facilitation and mediation services based on the principles of Ubuntu. 
Ubuntu encourages us to recognise our common humanity, our connectedness, and inter-dependence as fellow human beings. It emphasises what we have in common rather than our differences.
We will continue our work to address discrimination through partnering with organisations, conducting research, and having the challenging conversations that allow us to reimagine more peaceful thriving communities. 
With this in mind, we invite the UK Government to recognise and acknowledge the seriousness of the impact of racism as well as the pervasiveness and detrimental impact in our society. 
We were disheartened by the lack of effective consultation in this report, which has been evidenced by the open and bold statements of disapproval from prominent individuals cited in this report. We understand that a full report with a well-informed analysis of the challenges that currently exist due to racism, in addition to the progress that has been made is required if we are to carve a path that allows equity and peace in our communities. That being said, we support calls on the revocation of the report until there has been transparent and comprehensive ratification of data and analysis of findings with effective consultation of stakeholders, which include communities and young people. 
Finally, as citizens, we all have an active duty to challenge racism and stop racial discrimination wherever it may raise its unwelcome head or endeavour to be rooted.