Residents are being urged to give their views to help shape Greater Manchester's Race Equality Panel.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Greater Manchester Combined Authority was in the process of developing a Race Equality Panel.
Previous engagement with community leaders across Greater Manchester revealed that the panel should support the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy by strengthening the voice of people from different races and ethnic backgrounds, and provide challenge to Greater Manchester’s public bodies on their policies and actions.
Education, employment and health inequalities are just some of the issues community leaders said the panel should initially focus on.
Now, a further listening exercise is being carried out to ensure that the panel is being developed in partnership with residents and that recent events, including the coronavirus outbreak, and the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement are taken into account.
Views are wanted on a range of topics including whether the issues that have been identified for the panel to address are still relevant and what others have come to the fore following recent events, whether the draft proposals for how the panel would operate are fit for purpose and who should be on the panel.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “The pandemic has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on different communities in Greater Manchester and has exposed the deep-seated inequalities that still exist, particularly in relation to health, employment and housing.
"So this is the right time to bring forward the proposals for a Race Equality Panel to ensure we are taking action to address these issues in Greater Manchester. However, we want to make sure that this panel has the confidence of all of our communities so that is why we are launching this listening exercise. We want to get this right and that’s why we want to hear a range of views on how it should be done."
Tameside Council leader Cllr Brenda Warrington, who is Greater Manchester’s Lead Member for Equalities, said: “We are proud here in Greater Manchester to be one of the most diverse places in the country and we are committed to ensuring that the benefits of devolution make a difference to everyone who lives here.
"We have seen the outpouring of anger and agony following the murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis and the thousands of people who have taken to the streets of Greater Manchester as part of the Black Lives Matter protests.
"We are committed here in Greater Manchester to taking action and this panel will mean there is a systematic challenge to the structural inequalities that still exist between our different communities.
"This panel will help us to address these inequalities, but to ensure it benefits the people it is intended to properly, we need our communities to take part in this listening exercise. I would urge everyone to have a say by taking part in our survey and helping us to form this important panel."
You can give your views as part of the listening exercise by going to gmconsult.org, and the deadline is Sunday 16 August.