West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit are launching the anti-racism movement - #WYHRootOutRacism - on 23 August.
They are seeking to proactively challenge racism across all aspects of society as part of an ongoing commitment to tackling structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across the area.
More than 400 organisations throughout the wider region have pledged their support ahead of the campaign going live – including Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.
It comes amid recent instances of online abuse directed at England footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Castleford Tigers Foundation Director, Simon Fox, said: “As a club and as a charity that supports many of the most marginalised people in the district, it is critical that we stand as a united force against all forms of racism, whether deliberate or passive. Social media platforms, alongside long held institutional beliefs, often gives rise for behaviours and thoughts that are frankly unacceptable to us all at the club.
“We welcome the #WYHRootOutRacism and the additional resources to challenge and help people better understand and inform themselves on negative racist behaviours and practices, whether intentional or otherwise.”
The anti-racism movement was a recommendation from a WY&H HCP review in October 2020 into the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities and will bravely see staff and community colleagues putting their face to the movement’s visuals in high profile places, including Millennium Square in Leeds; sports clubs and hospital grounds.
Imagery from the campaign will also be displayed on buses, as well as across social media with the hashtag #WYHRootOutRacism. The movement will encourage people to better inform themselves on anti-racist behaviours and practices, whilst linking to training and people’s life stories.
The movement will encourage everyone to reflect on what it must feel like to walk in the shoes of people from ethnic minority groups who continue to be impacted by racism and to importantly do something about it by rooting it out and standing together.
Head of Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation, Craig Shepherd, added: “As a Charity situated within the sporting world we unfortunately encounter racist behaviour, regularly, and do our best through messaging, whether through the assemblies we deliver in schools or the projects we deliver in communities, to raise awareness and educate.
“We are delighted to back the campaign and would encourage our network and supporters to do so as well so that we can tackle the issue of racism in society.”
Visit the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership website to register your support ahead of the launch.