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Tackling Racism in Cornwall

Cornwall has always been considered an open and welcoming place. In July 2020, through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board, a BAME Steering Group  was formed to promote racial equality, work to eliminate racist attitudes and behaviours across Cornwall and support our ethnic minority residents. The Group was asked to develop a set of recommendations for the Leadership Board which contained practical actions to help eradicate all forms of racism in Cornwall. These were presented to the Board on 18 September 2020.  As part of the recommendations a joint statement from the Leadership Board has been published.

On 30 July we held a virtual event as part of The Cornwall We Want campaign to have a discussion with a wide range of people who identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). The 'Building Bridges' event was intended as the starting point for further discussion.

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The Council is committed to creating a fair and inclusive Cornwall. A Cornwall where we:

  • value our unique cultural heritage
  • celebrate diversity in all its forms
  • create an environment where “one and all” have an equal chance of realising their full potential

The Leader of the Council is also the Portfolio Holder for Equality and Diversity. He has publicly set out our commitment to:

  • create a more equitable and tolerant society
  • continue working alongside our Black, Asian and minority ethnic residents
  • understand how we can do more to support them
  • better tackle the impact that racism and discrimination has on our communities

A Steering Group has been established to promote equality, work to eliminate racist attitudes and behaviours across Cornwall and support our ethnic minority residents. We are working to find solutions to address the issues raised. The Steering Group is comprised of colleagues from the education sector (representatives from higher education, schools and colleges), business representatives, NHS partners, Devon & Cornwall Police, Diocese of Truro, senior leaders from Cornwall Council and Directors from the recently formed Black Voices Cornwall group. The members are known to us through our existing networks, involved in the equality and diversity space and are keen to work with residents to tackle racial disparity.

The work of the Steering Group should be transparent and accountable, therefore we are publishing the Terms of Reference, membership and minutes on this page. We welcome anybody from an ethnic minority background to provide their input and suggestions for how we can continue to improve and drive the work forward. To do this, please email:

The membership of the Steering Group is fluid and adaptable. Current membership is below;


  • Justin Olosunde – Assistant Principal, Cornwall College Group

Education colleagues:

  • Jane Cashmore – Director of Operations, Truro and Penwith College
  • Rae Preston – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor – University of Exeter in Cornwall

Black Voices Cornwall Directors:  Black Voices Cornwall is a group that has been recently formed to eradicate racism and “to enable Cornwall to become an actively anti-racist County”. There is a Facebook Group called Black Voices Cornwall where you can keep up to date with their work. The members of Black Voices Cornwall who sit on the Steering group are:

  • Beresford Lee – Chair of Black Voices Cornwall
  • Marcus Alleyne – Vice Chair of Black Voices Cornwall
  • Abi Hutchinson – Black Voices Cornwall

Health colleagues:

  • Laura Drummond-Smith – Equality and Inclusion Advisor - Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Edward Mabgwe – BME Network Lead and Nurse Practitioner - Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Political colleagues:

  • Cherilyn Mackrory – Truro and Falmouth MP
  • Jordan Rowse – Cornwall Councillor and works with Cherilyn Mackrory
  • Dick Cole – Cornwall Councillor, Chair of Cornish National Minority Working Group
  • Julian German – Leader of Cornwall Council

Business colleagues:

  • Jones Oviawe – Entrepreneur and Founder of My Money Story

Faith colleagues:

  • Bishop Phillip Mountstephen – Bishop of Truro
  • Patrick Gilbert – BAME champion for Truro Diocese

Devon and Cornwall Police:

  • Sara Crane – Devon and Cornwall Police Diverse Communities team

Voluntary Sector colleagues:

  • Helen Boardman – CEO Voluntary Sector Forum
  • Fran Keene – Citizen’s Advice Cornwall

Cornwall Council officers:

  • Kate Kennally – Chief Executive
  • Meredith Teasdale – Strategic Director Together for Families
  • Jessie Hamshar – Service Director Strategy and Engagement