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Bristol’s new Chair of Commission on Race Equality announced

Bristol’s new Chair of Commission on Race Equality announced

Museji Takolia CBE takes city role.

8 October 2021

Bristol’s Commission on Race Equality (CoRE) have appointed Museji Takolia CBE as their new independent Chair to take forward the city’s aspirations in furthering race equality and inclusion in Bristol.

Museji, who brings a breadth of leadership experience across a range of public services, was appointed by a recruitment panel which included Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children Services, Education and Equalities, and the Vice-Chair of CoRE Margaret Simmons-Bird, former Director of Education for Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES).

Museji set up the first ever Equality Unit at Bristol City Council and was appointed as Chair of the Pensions Advisory Committee by the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions in 2016, and previous to this was a Senior Civil Servant. He also chaired the Wye Valley NHS Trust, tasked with leading the Trust out of special measures.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, established CoRE as a Mayoral commission in 2018, sitting alongside the Women’s Commission and newly-established Disability Equality Commission, placing his aspirations for a fairer and more equitable city for all ethnic minorities at the centre of his plans for the future.

A report by race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, in 2017 stated that: "Ethnic minorities in Bristol experience greater disadvantage than in England and Wales as a whole in education and employment and this is particularly so for Black African people."

Councillor Craig said: "I’m really pleased to have appointed Museji Takolia to the role of Chair. He brings significant public policy experience in education, employment and health areas and has a track record of identifying and making radical, systemic change."

Marvin Rees added: "Together with city leaders from Bristol’s minority ethnic communities, the commission is working hard to challenge the structural inequalities experienced by these residents in the city. I very much welcome the insight and leadership he has to offer. 

"I would like to thank Museji’s predecessor Professor Olivette Otele, whose leadership of the commission has provided pathways to better understand how race equality across the city manifests and is redressed.”

Museji Takolia said: "There are a few leaders in politics and business in the UK for whom it is quite simply a privilege to serve, Mayor Marvin Rees is one of them. 

“His leadership has captured a mood of a nation healing from the scars of our past and has rightly drawn in international attention. On historic events like the BLM protests, his voice has transcended traditional party politics and he, with Deputy Mayor Councillor Asher Craig, have led with calm dignity, poise and focussed efforts on effecting positive change.

“I am honoured that they have placed their confidence in me. I take the baton from the distinguished academic historian Professor Olivette Otele.

“Our task now as a Commission is to build a lasting legacy, to create the space for a conversation about how the city heals and recovers from those events and a pandemic, with a brighter future where everyone feels included.

“This is therefore a shared endeavour. One where I call on the leadership of others within and beyond the city to be as bold in their vision and actions as the Mayor, so we help every citizen of Bristol achieve their potential, irrespective of the pigment of their skin, their religion, national or ethnic backgrounds. Join me with open minds and racial equality will be the making of our dream of One City.”

Museji began his role on an unpaid basis from Tuesday, 5 October.

Find more information about Bristol’s Commission on Race Equality (CoRE).

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