Emergency Community Conversations hosted by The Ubele Initiative


The Emergency Community Conversation” is an online national community call to action organised by​ The Ubele Initiative​. The event will be held on Monday 27th April from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, hosted on Zoom and live-streamed on The Ubele Initiative’s ​Youtube Channel​. The Ubele Initiative aims to bring together a range of information and perspectives on what is happening in the BAME community in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. Please register for this free event via ​Eventbrite​.

This event will include a range of panellists, namely: Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (gal-dem Magazine), Debbie Weekes-Bernard (Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility, Community Engagement), Dr Kevin Fenton (Public Health Executive), Marsha de Cordova (Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities), Patrick Vernon OBE (The Windrush Campaign), Roger McKenzie (UNISON & TUC), Sarbjit Ganger (Asian Women Resource Centre), Yvonne Field (Managing Director of The Ubele Initiative) and many more, all of whom will share their perspectives on the current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on BAME groups.

UK news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with data taken from ​The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that 35% of people who have been infected by the virus are from BAME groups, despite BAME groups representing only 14% of the UK population. As a result, the government has announced that it intends to launch a ​review into the current COVID -19 pandemic, with a particular focus on understanding why BAME groups appear to be disproportionately affected by the virus.

Although this is a step in the right direction, this review is a short term analysis of the current disparities linked to COVID-19 and fails to acknowledge some of the well-known, deeply entrenched inequalities which pervade British society, and which adversely impact BAME communities.

The Ubele Initiative has recently launched the ​#WeNeedAnswers campaign, urging the government to conduct an independent public inquiry into the conditions of disparity that negatively impact BAME groups in the UK in light of COVID-19.

A ​petition has been initiated as part of this campaign, please sign and share the petition and support the campaign by using the hashtag ​#WeNeedAnswers​ and by liking and sharing the ​#WeNeedAnswers​ ​video​.

Quote from Yvonne Field of the UBELE initiative:

“This campaign is of real significance to us as members of BAME communities. We want much more than a review — we need a full public inquiry that gets to the root of what has happened and provides us with the truth. Members of my own family have been seriously affected by this virus so the ‘personal is also political’ as they say!”

The Majonzi Fund has also been launched alongside the campaign which aims to provide small grants to BAME families, communities and faith groups to organise memorial events and tributes to celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones after lockdown, in addition to accessing culturally sensitive bereavement counselling and therapy that reflects the religious and cultural diversity of the BAME community.

Quote from Patrick Vernon OBE:

COVID-19 is like to a mirror to the country highlight historical and everyday racism and discrimination and its impact on the life and death of BAME communities. We need a transparent and open process to explore structural inequalities with action and accountability for delivery for all”

For press enquiries please contact Michael Hamiliton via email ​info@ubele.org​ or phone ​07591 457113