On Friday 3 December, Race Equality Network (REN) welcomed distinguished guests from across Bradford and Keighley to the REN Showcase Event 2021 to acknowledge the achievements of the Covid-19 Prevention Project, Community Champions Project, and ongoing work in health inequalities and Root Out Racism campaign.
The event highlighted the excellent partnership work that has taken place during the pandemic, as well as providing a much-needed networking opportunity.
The event was hosted at Aagrah Midpoint with guests including grassroots community partners, strategic partners, local councillors, health professionals and public health representatives, and faculty of the University of Bradford and Leeds Beckett University.
Speaking at the event was Race Equality Network staff, Project Manager Humma Nizami, Project Capacity Builder Hattie Charnley-Shaw, and Project Co-ordinator Adiba Rashid.
REN Staff outlined the meaningful work carried out by the organisation relating to Covid-19 health inequalities and anti-racism on a larger scale, along with the vast amount of partnership working that has taken place throughout the two projects commissioned by Bradford Council.
The Covid-19 Prevention Project, which provided key information in community-spoken languages and a vast array of other activities to support residents.
The Community Champions Project began as an effort to increase uptake of the vaccine and will now be focusing on improving mental health and wellbeing during the recovery from Covid-19.
The event also saw three keynote speakers. Professor Udy Archibong, Pro-Vice-Chancellor [Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion] and Director of Centre for Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Bradford speaking on Diversity and Inclusion in the District.
Fatima Khan-Shah, Programme Director for Unpaid Carers and Personalised Care Programmes at West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, discussed the ongoing work that REN is working on alongside WYH Partnership to tackle and eliminate health inequalities.
Liz Barry, Commissioning Manager for the Department of Public Health at Bradford Council, talked about health inequalities highlighted by Covid -19 and the local response to the pandemic.
Poet Hassan Khan performed his first live performance of his latest work, There Is No Justice, Just Us, tackling topics of discrimination, racial profiling, family, and popular culture from a local perspective.
Up and coming musician Musumba made her third live performance for REN, providing relevant and poignant music.
Eeshar and Sirrjan Singh, local traditional Sikh musicians, brought to us by the Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Bradford also performed.
Gypsy Rudko Band, a popular young band from a Slovak Roma background introduced to REN by our project partner Connecting Roma CiC, performed at the event.
With a closing statement from Humma Nizami and REN secretary Dr Salam, the event concluded with an opportunity to network with the over 50 organisations and many stakeholders that attended.
Project capacity builder, Hattie Charnley-Shaw, said: “We organised the Showcase Event primarily to give Bradford’s grass-roots organisations the recognition they deserve for the service they’ve provided during the pandemic.
“It was also important that we evidenced the huge accomplishments that are achievable when we work together. We have had tremendous feedback from the guests this week that they thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet and exchange stories in-person, and that makes it a success from our perspective.”
The overarching sentiment was that everyone felt overwhelmed with a sense of achievement and unity, and agreed it was a pleasure to see people in three dimensions after a year of greeting through a flat computer screen.
REN hopes to build on this showcase event by organising similar events in the future, be it in the form of a networking opportunity, member’s meeting, or conference with speakers.
REN is always improving and building our network. REN accepts both individuals and organisations as members, the membership form can be downloaded via REN’s website, here.