Runnymede is the UK’s leading race equality thinktank, founded in 1968. Over the last 50 years, and in keeping with our initial mission of ‘nailing the lie’ on racism, we have conducted independent research and produced robust evidence to highlight racial inequalities in all spheres of society, ranging from education, employment, the criminal justice system, housing and health.
Our 50th anniversary offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on the journey so far and the way forward on race equality. We therefore propose to kickstart a wider conversation on race in 2018. Tapping into Runnymede’s existing research and evidence, we will explore new ways of communicating with wider audiences. We will organise a series of events, “Runnymede’s 50th anniversary” activities, from lectures, talks and conferences to exhibits, youth and cultural events that will help us engage with audiences.
Runnymede’s aim is to use our 50th anniversary to update our key objective – to provide evidence on race equality – for a 21st century audience, and to build a platform to learn from the year’s outputs and activities for 2019 and beyond.
In the wake of the Brexit referendum, a renewed debate on Britishness and British identities emerged, which challenged claims to belonging by long-established parts of the population. With the Windrush scandal and the creating of a purposefully ‘hostile environment’ for certain immigrant groups, the government faced accusations of racism.
The conference, in collaboration with Cumberland Lodge, encouraged thought surrounding these topics, exploring how inequality, identity, and belonging intersect with race in Britain.
The 'Black power salute' of African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the 200m medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico Olympics is one of our age's iconic images. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, The University of Manchester's School of Social Sciences and the Runnymede Trust teamed up to host 'Fists of Defiance', welcoming Olympic gold medallist Tommie Smith to Manchester.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Race Relations Act, we are holding an event 6 July 2018 at the British Library, reflecting on 50 years of race relations legislation, whether the law needs further strengthening, or whether further social change needs to focus outside the law.
Hosted by the British Library
We will publish a major report on race in Britain, as a follow-up to the first 1969 ‘Colour and Citizenship’ report (edited by our co-founder Jim Rose) and the Commission on Multi-Ethnic Britain, published in 2000. The report will provide evidence and outline a vision for ending racism in the next 50 years. This report is due to be published in November 2018 and will have a major launch, followed (if funded) by a series of panel discussions in different locations across the UK
University of Manchester and Aziz Foundation
As part of our 50th Anniversary, Runnymede is uploading its historic reports from the 1970's - 1990's which until now have not been available online.
Race in the Inner City was Runnymede's first major research report, written by Augustine John. The original introduction for the report explain the context:
"In the summer of 1969, a West Indian youth was stabbed in Handsworth Park... Handsworth is in many ways a typical inner-city suburb, once prosperous, now under decline, and multi-racial."
In November we marked our 50th anniversary by publishing a ‘Retrospective Bulletin’ following on the 373 issues of the Runnymede Bulletin published between 1969 and 2013. Our blog Race Matters now provides online analysis and content on race in Britain, and we have used this retrospective to launch an annual or biannual Bulletin capturing the ‘best of’ Race Matters over each year.
Prior to 1991, Britian's decennial census did not include data on ethnicity or race. Runnymede argued for the need to collect such data from our founding. This early report, from 1973, uses various statistical tools to estimate what was then called the 'coloured population' of Great Britain.
In 1976 Enoch Powell made a less remembered intervention on 'race relations' in Britain, leading to weeks of tension and even violence. This report outlines the background to those events. It allows a wider reflection of 'Powellism' in Britain in the 50th year of his 'Rivers of Blood' speech, and focuses on the role of the media in addressing racism.