29 July 2021

Can we talk about ‘Race’…?

Following the death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of the Colston statue, Bristol has become a focal point for so-called ‘culture wars’.

Does this increased focus on ‘race’ lead to communities coming together or does it lead to further division and alienation?

Are people becoming scared to question anything in case they are accused of racism? How are concepts like ‘wokeness’, ‘white supremacy’ and ‘white privilege’ impacting on people’s understanding of each other?

Meanwhile, Bristol became the first UK city to pass a reparations motion to address the city’s role in the transatlantic traffic of enslaved Africans, with a specific focus on African Caribbean people. Does this limit the participation of other communities and the potential to see connections with each other, across class and colour?

To explore these questions and to uncover what is unique about Bristol, join us for an online panel discussion with an opportunity to hear a range of views on this subject and ask your own questions.

Panel members

Chair: Rob Mitchell – filmmaker, creative producer, supplementary school coordinator

  • Cleo Lake – social justice activist, artist, first female Black Lord Mayor of Bristol
  • Jendayi Serwah – community activist, freelance consultant, broadcaster Ujima Radio
  • Dr Lisa McKenzie – sociologist, author, and political activist with a focus on class inequality and social justice.
  • Neil Maggs – journalist, community consultant, broadcaster Bristol Unpacked and Radio 4 programme Analysis on race and class.
  • Makala Cheung – community activist, music artist KALA CHNG, founder BESEA TV co-director Fun Palaces, creative director Filwood Community Centre
  • Samuel Williams – business owner, Conservative candidate for Bristol Mayor 2020 and Metro Mayor 2021, chair of BAMCon promoting greater diversity within the Conservative party.
  • Shiv Sama – chair of Avon Indian Community Association, chair of South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network, spokesperson for Hindu Temple Bristol.

How to take part

This free, online talk will be held over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Bookings close at 5pm on Thursday 29 July.

Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.

Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining webinar. Please allow extra time before the talk begins to make sure everything is working correctly. It’s up to you whether you turn on your video but all guests will be muted once the talk begins. You are welcome to ask questions in the chat box throughout the talk.