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Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, shares message for Black History Month.

I’d like to start off our Black History Month celebrations by saying how much I am looking forward to hearing about the outstanding history, achievements and contributions of black people in our communities in Sefton, Merseyside and the whole world.Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson

Throughout the month we will be highlighting some of the great work that is going on in our Borough to promote equality, inclusion and empowerment within the BAME community. These stories will be posted on our website and across our social media channels so please keep an eye out.

I would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to equality and social inclusion as an employer, service provider and as a partner both locally and regionally. Equalities is an important part of our work and processes are in place to make sure it is in our thinking with everything we do.

Sefton has a Corporate Equalities Group with representatives from across the organisation. The Group is tasked with supporting the Council to integrate equality and diversity into everything we do and create stronger, more resilient communities. We actively engage with our partners such as CVS and Merseyside Police, community networks, stakeholders and wider community to make sure that people are aware of the support available. We also ensure they access and participate in decision making, consultation and engagement.

As part of our on-going commitment, we also have a comprehensive mandatory Equality and Diversity training programme ,which is currently being delivered virtually through e-learning. This includes Equality and Diversity Awareness, Equality and Diversity for Managers as well as Unconscious Bias.

It’s so important we do this training as it helps us to reflect on our own experiences and biases and it encourages us to be a fully inclusive workforce. External organisations can also access these e-learning courses at a discounted rate of 50% throughout October. You can find out more about this, and complete this training on our MeLearning website.

I think it’s also important to raise the issue of hate crime and point out that as a Council we take incidents of hate crime across the Borough very seriously. Sefton is working with Merseyside Police and The Police and Crime Commissioner and our multi-agency group  MARAC to tackle hate crime and ensure support for victims.

With all this being said, I understand that there is more work to be done and the events of Black Lives Matters showed us that changes need to be made. As well as work being carried out by our partners, Sefton has been working closely with the Liverpool City Region’s race equality team looking at strategies to combat inequalities. Our Corporate Equalities are also currently working with community partners to identify and strengthen projects which will deliver change.

If you would like to let us know about your work in Sefton or if you have a story to tell which could be featured during Black History Month, please get in touch with our Communications team – communications@sefton.gov.uk

Sefton Council Black History Month