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Diversity

Army BAME conference encouraging active anti-racism

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The Army's Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network conference will encourage personnel to show a "determination" in stamping out racism.

The event on 11 May hopes to engage 1,000 people virtually and will see a variety of speakers, military and civilians share their thoughts on discrimination and how to tackle it.

Participants will be able to ask questions during the interactive conference, which features a talk on 'how to be a good ally' to the BAME community.

Conference chair Colonel Karl Harris said: "One of the many things that we would look to accomplish at the conference is, for the however many turn up – they leave, they have a mandate for the Chief of the General Staff, they have a mandate for the Army Race Champion and they have a mandate for our values and standards – to be positive agents of change.

"You don't need to be from an ethnic minority background to care. You don't need to be looking for racist behaviours or behaviours that fall short of our values and standards to know that they're out there.

"You've got to have the will, the determination and the inclination to do something about it."

Watch: Colonel Karl Harris says an "awakening" within the Army followed the death of George Floyd in 2020.

Colonel Harris says the conference will call on defence workers to be "actively combating racism" and that personnel should do more than simply ensure they are not falling below standards themselves.

An "awakening" within the Army in 2020, regarding racial discrimination, followed the killing of George Floyd in the US and the protest that followed, he added.

"Whilst the direction of travel has been a positive one, the rate of progress has not been as fast as it might be," said Colonel Harris.