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Civic leaders in Bradford must find a way of creating a sense of community pride amongst all its citizens if it is ...
Civic leaders in Bradford must find a way of creating a sense of community pride amongst all its citizens if it is to overcome racial tensions and fear.
That's the verdict of a wide-ranging, independent review of race and equality issues in the Bradford district, carried out by nationally renowned race equality advisor Herman Ouseley.
The review, which will be published on Thursday (July 12) was commissioned by Bradford Vision - which is made up of the key organisations in the district.
Its remit was to look at why the community was fragmenting along social, cultural, ethnic and religious lines and to recommend ways of improving race and community relations and promoting equal opportunities for all racial groups.
As part of the review Sir Herman and a specially created review panel, consulted thousands of people of all ages and from all communities and backgrounds across the District. The Bradford Race Review report is based on these views and has deliberately avoided duplicating previous reports into policing, housing and other social issues.
The review reveals that the growing divisions between communities has left the district in the 'grip of fear'. Across all communities there is a fear of:
* talking openly and honestly about problems within communities or across cultural communities, because of the possible repercussions, recriminations and victimisation
* leading and managing effective change because of possible public and media criticism
* challenging wrong-doing because of being labelled 'racist' - and that applies across all ethnic groups
* crime - even though the police say that violent crime is on the decline
* confronting the gang culture, the illegal drugs trade and the growing racial intolerance, harassment and abuse that exists
* confronting all white and/or all Muslim schools about their contribution, or rather the lack of contribution, to social and racial integration
* establishing a corporate identity for the district as a whole because most people outside the inner city do not see themselves as part of Bradford
However the review underlines that, despite concerns that schools were tending to segregate along racial lines, young people themselves wanted a better education, to personal success and to see more social and cultural interaction.
Nevertheless it states that: 'What is now desperately needed is a powerful unifying vision for the district and strong political, municipal and community leadership - it needs a people programme that creates social harmony, rejects racial hatred, brings communities together and shows them how to value people of all backgrounds.'
This programme would include:
* Citizenship education - The review recommends that the Bradford district embraces the theme of citizenship in its schools and builds on the national initiative to ensure all its young people learn about diversity and the need to respect people from all social, religious and cultural backgrounds.
* The creation of a centre for diversity, learning and living. This would become a centre of excellence focusing on the people of the Bradford district and how they can share their diverse experiences.
* Workplace Behavioural Competency Framework. The aim of the framework would be to encourage all organisations to ensure their staff are aware of the district's many different social, cultural and religious communities and their needs.
* Equality and diversity contract conditions. Equality and diversity conditions to be inserted in all contracts of grant-aid, public-financed investments, all suppliers and contracted services as well as in partnership projects/programmes.
Cllr Margaret Eaton, chair of Bradford Vision, said: 'The review was commissioned because of our concerns about the tensions within communities across our district and is a genuine attempt to look our problems and to find ways of moving forward together.
'The events at the weekend were regrettable and have made the review even more pertinent. I am determined to work with local communities and other organisations to ensure that we can build a district we can all be proud of.'
The Race Review will be officially launched at 10am this Thursday (July 12) at Valley Parade stadium, Bradford when Sir Herman will address an audience of around 150 delegates representing a wide cross section of organisations, institutions and communities from the Bradford district.
The report will also be available on the internetat noon on July 12.
'Community pride, not prejudice' will also be launched on Thursday, at the Valley Parade stadium in Bradford.
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