Help Us Fight For A Covid19 Race Equality Strategy

by Operation Black Vote in United Kingdom

Total raised £5,041

raised so far



In the wake of Covid-19 BAME deaths and the Black Lives Matter protests, this is our moment in history to change government policy for good

by Operation Black Vote in United Kingdom


More than 125,000 people came together to sign our petition demanding a Covid-19 Race Equality Strategy - now help us deliver change.

For many of us there has been much heartache and at times anger in watching this crisis unfold and seeing many brave lives cut short. Furthermore, we are acutely aware of perhaps an even greater impact; socially, educationally and economically BAME communities could face as we confront an unprecedented economic downturn.

Over 125,000 people signed our petition for change.  We now need your help to turn our demands for equality into action. We need donations to create roles which develop the Covid-19 Equality Strategy, engage young people, and take our campaigning to another level, and we need funds to do this.

We believe that together, BAME leaders and our supporters can and must build something positive and long-lasting from this deadly Covid-19 crisis.

People of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are disproportionately likely to be killed by Covid-19.

  • Black people are 4.2  times more likely to die from Covid-19
  • Six of every 10 Covid-19 care worker deaths have been BAME
  • More than 50% of bus drivers’ Covid-19 deaths have been BAME
  • First 20 doctors who died from Covid-19, 90% were BAME
  • Two racist murders have been committed by purposely infecting the virus to BME people

Covid-19 has exposed racialised systems that leave BAME communities even more vulnerable to such a deadly virus.

1. Inequality in Health
•Black African and Black Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than their white counterparts
•Type 2 diabetes is 3.5 times more prevalent in South Asians
•Infant mortality in England and Wales for children born to mothers from Pakistan is double the average
•Young Asian women are more than twice as likely to commit suicide
•Young Black men are six times more likely to be sectioned for compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act
•South Asian people are 50% more likely to die prematurely from coronary heart disease
•The prevalence of stroke among African Caribbean and South Asian men is 40% to 70% higher
•Over 90% of children in the UK have visited a dentist; yet this drops to approximately 40% for Bangladeshi, and 60% for Pakistani children

2. Employment Opportunity
•Black people with identical qualifications and experience are twice as likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts
•BAME people are 48% more likely to in zero-hour contracts
•Bangladeshi and Pakistani graduates are about 12% less likely to be employed than white British graduates.
•African Caribbean male graduates earn 7000 less than their white counterparts
•Of 279 NHS Chief Executives only 7 are BAME

3. Policing and Criminal Justice
• African Caribbean men are twice as likely to die in police custody
• BAME people as a whole are 4 times more likely to be stopped, and African Caribbean 10 times more. In some areas of the UK African Caribbean’s are 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched.
• Black offenders receiving an immediate custodial sentence were found to be 1.4 times higher
 • Black men are 3% of the UK population, yet make up 12% of the prison population.

We need systemic change to fight racial discrimination alongside the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The energy in our communities is high, and people are demanding equality and justice – now we need to put together detailed, achievable plans, and the people in place to deliver them.

125,000 people who signed our petition.
Now we'd love a
donation to deliver our work to demand a Covid-19 Race Equality Strategy 

Here's what we're asking for:

Number One. Help us transform grassroots activism into policy and action.

We would like to ensure that in all areas, and at all levels those that 'feel it and know it' have a voice in policy and decision-making arenas.  We would like to help identify, nurture and sustain political leadership on local, regional and national levels through our civic leadership and political mentoring programmes.

To train and support a young activist activist over six months to become an effective leader costs us £2000: and £50,000 reduces our costs so we can train and support fifty!

Number Two. Help us continue our campaigning after the cameras stop rolling.

Our core team of four punch well above their weight.  But we need a team of twelve to truly deliver the programmes, outreach, community organising, and our campaigns.

To recruit, develop, and employ two of our volunteers to relentlessly organise, demand and deliver on our critical outcomes costs us around £50,000.

125,000 people who signed our petition.
Now we'd love a
donation to deliver our work.

Thank you for helping us give a platform to BAME voices and fight for race equality for all our communities

Thank you,
Lord Simon Woolley and the Operation Black Vote team




Thank you to the key supporters and voices in our campaign so far:

Afua Hirsch Writer, Guardian writer and broadcaster
Marvin Rees Bristol Mayor
Asher Craig Bristol Deputy Mayor
David Weaver, President, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Tracie Jolliff. Head of Inclusive Leadership NHS
Baroness Bennett, Green Party
Baroness Ece, Liberal Democrats
Baroness Jones, Green Party
Clive Lewis MP, Labour Party
Dr Muhammad Bari, Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, Lawyer, Political & Women's Rights Activist
Edie Freedman, Director, JCOR
Ganesh Sathyamoorthy, Senior Researcher at Imperial College
Harun Khan - Secretary General, MCB
Leroy Logan, Race Advisor, Liberal Democrats
Minna Salami, Writer, Presenter and Blogger
Nero Ugwujabo, Former No.10 Special Advisor, Conservative
Prof Francesca Klug, Human Rights Academic and Advocate
Prof James Nazroo, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester
Prof Kay Hampton, Professor of Communities & Race Relations
Rabbi Barbara Borts, Movement for Reform Judaism
Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism
Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal of Leo Baeck College
Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick, Reform Judaism
Rabbi Irit Shillor, Harlow Synagogue
Rabbi Monique Mayer, Bristol & West Progressive Jewish Congregation
Rev David Shosanya, Baptist Minister
Siobhan Benita, London Mayoral Candidate, Liberal Democrats
Sir Iqbal Sacranne OBE, Senior Advisor, Muslim Council of Britain
Yvonne Field, Founder and Managing Director, The Ubele Initiative


And for all of your amazing words of encouragement in our campaign so far: 









About Lord Simon Woolley and Operation Black Vote (OBV)

For over 20 years, Operation Black Vote has existed to ensure we have greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK. We seek to inspire BME communities to engage with our public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as: education, health and employment.  

Our work spans a number of areas including voter registration, lobbying politicians, mentoring schemes and political leadership programmes.


1592074301_simonwoolley-peer.jpgLord Simon Woolley is a political and equalities activist. He is the founder and director of Operation Black Vote and the Advisory Chair of the Government of the United Kingdom Race Disparity Unit. He has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since October 2019.

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