Statement in response to the Sewell report

"JCORE always welcomes all serious attempts to understand, challenge and recommend change to reduce race and ethnic disparities in the UK. However, it joins other race equality activists and organisations in feeling let down and extremely disappointed by the findings of the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

By downplaying the existence of institutional racism as a cause for ethnic inequalities, the report ignores the realities of the lived experience of too many Black and Minority Ethnic people in the UK. It also contradicts the more than 200 recommendations made in previous reports seeking to address unacceptable levels of racial inequality in housing, health, education, employment and criminal justice.

Most seriously, the report risks taking us 20 years backwards in the fight against racial inequalities and gives legitimacy to the argument that the focus of race equality policies should no longer be on addressing structural racism. If the diagnosis is wrong, the response is likely to be inadequate.

Many of the very groups that face inequalities are quite understandably sceptical and angry that the findings of the Sewell commission do not adequately address the challenges it was set up to deal with. We are also concerned that its narrative is pitting different communities against each other, at a time society is already extremely divided.

As a Jewish organisation, with years of experience in working on issues of race and ethnic inequalities, and which seeks to bring the Jewish experience into the wider British society, we call on this Commission to promote the implementation of the recommendations which previous reports have deemed necessary.”