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Programme Director appointed to Liverpool City Region’s £2.3m Race Equality Hub

An experienced community activist and passionate campaigner for racial justice has been appointed as Programme Director for the new Liverpool City Region Race Equality Hub.

Born in Liverpool, Alison Navarro is an expert in leading and facilitating change in partnership with local people, the community and voluntary sector and public agencies.

Her experience includes working in regeneration in Liverpool 8 in the 1990s, as Partnership Manager for a North-West based local authority and operating as a freelancer for many years, working with and supporting community development, equalities practice and partnership working.

Over the years, Alison has contributed to the voluntary sector in Liverpool, and was involved with the Women’s Health Information & Support Centre, the John Moores Foundation and Sefton Women and Children’s Aid.  She was also the Chair of Steve Biko Housing Association for 10 years and has recently rejoined their board.

For the last 15 years Alison has been living in London.  After four years leading Community Action Sutton as CEO, Alison has recently worked with the Ubele Initiative, a Racial Justice organisation in London, and has been facilitating the establishment of a Mental Health Alliance in Camden as well as working with a national network – a Better Way – to explore ways of working that put relationships first, build and share power with communities, intentionally work with others and that prioritise and centre listening.

The £2.3m Race Equality Hub is a brand-new venture, established by Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, that will support career opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and the development of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses across the Liverpool City Region (LCR). It is the largest investment in race equality in the history of the city region and builds upon the region’s values as a place of innovation and support for social justice.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Our region’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths. It enhances our culture, enriches our lives, and makes our area one of the best places in the country to live and work. Yet across our country, and the world, the reality is that not all our residents are treated as equals. As Mayor of our great region, I know I am fortunate enough to be able to enact lasting change in our area.

“The Race Equality Hub is the biggest investment in tackling racial inequality in our region’s history and a statement of our intent to level the playing field and give everyone in our area a chance to thrive.

“As a lifelong campaigner for racial justice, Alison’s appointment is a really exciting milestone on our journey – and I cannot wait to see how she helps to shape the future direction of the Race Equality Hub.

“Working together, I am confident that we can start to build a fairer, more equal future for the 1.6m people who call our area home.”

Commenting on her appointment, Alison Navarro said:

“As a member of Liverpool’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Community and a passionate campaigner for racial justice, I am excited and honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Liverpool City Region Race Equality Hub.  I look forward to working with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the city region, hearing their experiences and codesigning with them and partners from across the city region to drive real change.

“The level of investment in the Hub is a real statement of intent and I look forward to working with partners from across the city region to drive real change, providing support and creating opportunities for businesses and individuals from our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.  This is a hugely significant moment and I’m determined to ensure that the Hub becomes a real centre of excellence.”

The Liverpool City Region Race Equality Hub is an ambitious and innovative approach to tackle race inequality within the Liverpool City Region (LCR). Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) has set aside £2.3 million to fund the Hub which will operate as a centre of excellence in tackling racial inequality by focusing on business, employment, and skills development across LCR.

Building upon the city region’s reputation for social justice and equality, the Hub’s primary purpose is to tackle systemic injustice and inequality and drive forward positive change for our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic employees and residents and to work in partnership with public, private and 3rd sector employers, to encourage and support them to do the same.

The full team running the Race Equality Hub is now in place.  Throughout its development process, the Hub has already engaged with more than 500 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people to date, plus over 100 stakeholders and partners – including a co-design process for the development of the Hub.

Through pilot projects, the Hub has already supported Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic led businesses supported the World Reimagined project and engaged with schools through the INSPIRE project. In addition, around 2,000 employees of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the six constituent local authorities have completed anti-racism training, with the remaining 19,000 set to receive the training over the next two years.

Over the next two years, the Race Equality Hub will deliver business support to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic-led businesses, facilitate positive action training placements, and support mainstream businesses to diversify their workforces.

Once fully operational, the Race Equality Hub will offer high-quality training and consultancy support to businesses seeking to diversify their workforce, or uplift their approach to race equality, diversity and inclusion. It will also provide support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals seeking employment, and support employers in developing positive action plans.