BSWN works to give a voice to the voiceless in relation to the development of policy and strategic level decision-making. This work is undertaken at a local, regional, and national level. At a local level BSWN has been instrumental in the development of the Race Equality Manifesto for Bristol, which has been adopted by the strategic leaders of the main public sector agencies, is supported by Mayor Marvin Rees, and has been recognised as good practice by Jeremy Corbyn.
BSWN has worked with local BME communities on developing a set of policy recommendations on Stop & Search practice in the Avon & Somerset Constabulary, which have been adopted by the Police & Crime Commissioner for the area. We also recently staged a Race Equality in Bristol roundtable event with the Runnymede Trust.
BSWN, in partnership with Up Our Street, staged highly successful Race Equality focused Mayoral and PCC hustings in the run up to the May elections. These created focussed and dedicated spaces for the public to raise issues directly with prospective senior politicians in Bristol. This proved particularly powerful at the Mayoral event when the diverse audience of 200+ were asked what they considered to be the most pressing race equality issue in Bristol today. Of the 7 choices, including education, employment, criminal justice, housing, healthcare, direct racial harassment, and institutional racism, 43% selected institutional racism, sending a clear message to the prospective mayoral candidates.
At a regional level, BSWN works closely with the South West Forum, but there is a distinct gap in race equality infrastructure at a regional level, which BSWN is seeking to fill.
At a national level, BSWN is a member of the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE), which, as a part of the Race Equality Foundation, brings together race equality organisations from across the country to develop commentary on national policies and legislation. BSWN is also a member of Race Equality Matters, which is a network of policy experts, lawyers, academics, journalists and campaigners who use their collective expertise to influence and inform government policy, identifying issues of concern and actively addressing them where possible.