Today we mark the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death – a devastating event which shocked and appalled communities worldwide, including here in Croydon.
As Croydon came together to mourn his death and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, it marked the start of a painful and difficult journey as we confronted the urgent need for change.
Croydon has a long history of standing united against racism and injustice, both as a council and as communities. We are proud of our diversity and it is one of our greatest strengths. But it is clear we must do more. Discrimination and oppression have no place in our borough, and every one of us has a role to play in calling them out.
As community leaders we need to go further – we must be at the forefront of action to address systematic racism and injustice in our society, both immediate and longer-term. That is why, when I became leader of the council in October, I set tackling inequality at the top of our agenda. Earlier this year we launched our four-year action plan to make the borough a fairer place – shaped by you, our community, to encourage greater equity and inclusion for all. By taking action now, we can make Croydon a fairer place for future generations.
This is not something we can achieve alone. We will need to work with all of our staff, our partners across Croydon – in the police, in the health service and with all of our residents. But I am committed to doing everything within my power to achieve this.
I hope we can all support each other on what is an incredibly difficult day and, as an act of remembrance, take the opportunity to reflect on the change we need to make and the action we can take as individuals to make it happen.
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council