Policy Development

Our priorities for racial justice in Britain

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15 minutes

Our priorities for racial justice in Britain

At a time when transformative change has never been more urgent, we outline our policy agenda for racial justice in Britain. 

In “Priorities for racial justice in Britain”, we make close to 50 targeted policy recommendations which challenge embedded racial inequalities in areas including education, health, employment, policing, climate, and civil rights.

From scrapping discriminatory social security policies, to ending the use of aggressive policing techniques and improving racial literacy in our classrooms, our proposals are visionary, ambitious, and in the best interests of the people. 

Central to these asks is a core assertion that issues of racial justice can no longer be sidelined or used as political tools for division. A collision of recent crises from Covid to the cost of living make clear how devastating the consequences of ingrained racial inequalities are, and how urgently our failing systems and institutions, which are discriminatory by design, need to be transformed. These policy interventions would not only benefit communities of colour, but work to create a fairer, more prosperous society for everyone. Politicians must stop mobilising racial justice rhetoric in a toxic and performative way, and instead act with a transformative ambition that is long overdue.

It’s time to move beyond short-term initiatives that tinker round the edges, and towards transformative, whole-systems approaches that challenge the entrenched racial and socio-economic inequalities that impact each and every aspect of our lives. 

Dr Shabna Begum, our interim co-CEO said: 
“The last few years have seen an onslaught of draconian legislation that, together, present the most significant and sustained threat to the rights of people of colour in the UK in recent memory. Ongoing debates about migration have given way to a toxic policy agenda focused on scapegoating vulnerable people, in a shameless effort to distract from long-standing, cross-party, derelictions of government duty. Our economic and social security systems are discriminatory by design, and are simply not fit for purpose after decades of deliberate underfunding. These are political choices, they are not inevitable, and for the vast majority of us working class communities of colour - they are actively harmful.
“It is in this context that the Runnymede Trust offers our priorities for racial justice in Britain. Despite all the efforts to divide us, whether on the grounds of class or ethnicity, we know that policies which promote racial justice are not just beneficial to people of colour, but create a fairer and more equitable society for all. We urge policymakers to desist from superficial virtue signalling, and dog-whistle politics, and instead actively create a more prosperous future for everyone. The agenda we put forward requires commitment and courage - but is the only way that we can create a country where everyone genuinely has the opportunity to thrive and prosper.”

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