West Midlands faith groups have come together to show their solidarity with the UK’s Black community, following the recent tumultuous events around the world.
The region’s Faith Steering Group, which is convened by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, has issued a statement of solidarity, calling on all organisations in the region to commit to building an inclusive community.
This was unanimously agreed at the group’s latest online meeting last night (Wednesday June 17), which focused on the theme of community cohesion.
The joint statement of the Faith Steering Group and the Mayor says:
“The Mayor and Faith Steering Group are united in offering our support and solidarity to the Black community in the UK. Black Lives Matter, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have experienced inequality as well as those who are protesting peacefully.
“Our diversity in the West Midlands is one of our most powerful assets. Our faith communities are made up by people of all races and ethnicities, and we are made stronger by the connections between us. This has been evident throughout the Covid-19 crisis, when people of all faiths and backgrounds have come together to support their communities.
“It is more important than ever that we work together for a fairer and more inclusive future. We must make sure that everyone in the West Midlands has equal access to opportunities and the same chance to succeed in life. We must rebuild an inclusive collective community where everyone respects and values each other.
“We believe that now is the time for action. We ask for all organisations to work with their colleagues, members and customers to review their practices and to commit to making improvements. We must all work to create meaningful opportunities for change.
“Together, we must stand up and reinforce the principles of equality, social justice and compassion and move forward into a fairer future.”
In 2018 the Mayor launched the Faith Action Plan to form the basis for strong collaboration between the Mayor’s office, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the region’s faith groups.
The Faith Steering Group webinars have been held regularly since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown to share information, advice and support among religious groups across the West Midlands.