An academic at Goldsmiths, University of London is leading a campaign for an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
Yvonne Field, a lecturer in BA Applied Social Studies, Community Development and Youth Work in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, is calling on the government to launch a comprehensive investigation into all the factors which are contributing to the affect the virus is having on BME people.
Alongside her role at Goldsmiths, Yvonne is Founder and CEO of The Ubele Initiative, a BME-led social enterprise which works to build sustainable communities through next generation leadership, community enterprise and the development of new physical spaces.
Ubele has been playing a national leadership role in ensuring the voice of BME communities are heard and this month wrote an open letter to the prime minister calling for him to launch an investigation into the wide range of race and health inequalities in Britain which have been highlighted by the pandemic.
Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, is among the signatories to the letter, alongside Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the Dean of Manchester, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender and Goldsmiths Honorands Malorie Blackman and Baroness Lawrence.
The letter is a public document and is open for everyone to sign.
Yvonne said her work at Goldsmiths and Ubele are linked, with students at the College often taking placements at the organisation where they gain “real world” experience.
She said: “There is a direct link between Ubele’s community development approach and the teaching and learning our students complete during their degree.
“We look to build people’s skills in raising community voices and facilitating social change, with our students often working with the most marginalised in society.
“Both at Goldsmiths and Ubele we’re looking to develop the next generation of social justice activists, community development workers and youth leaders.”
Alongside the open letter, as part of Ubele’s #WeNeedAnswers campaign a fund has also been set up to help support those from BAME communities who have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Information about the Majonzi Covid-19 Bereavement Fund can be found here