Anti Racist Cumbria shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Anti Racist Cumbria has been shortlisted for the Community Organisation Award (Race, Religion and Faith) at the National Diversity Awards 2021.

An astonishing 52,000 people nominated this year alone, with 126 nominees being recognised for their various achievements nationwide.

The volunteer organisation Anti Racist Cumbria was founded just last year by three local women; Janett Walker, Sophia Newton and Sarah Saunders. Together they set out to make Cumbria the UK’s first anti-racist county and have amassed a team of more than 50 active volunteers, thousands of social supporters and are already working with local schools, Cumbria Police and other local organisations whilst also campaigning and raising awareness, providing youth mentoring and supporting anti-racist grassroots projects. More than 100 individuals nominated Anti Racist Cumbria for their work in Cumbria. One nomination said;

“The progress that Anti Racist Cumbria have made in 12 months is phenomenal. Their dedication to make Cumbria anti-racist, inclusive and forward thinking is both humbling and inspiring. If their work here – in a county that’s 98.5% white – can continue its successes, it will serve as an inspiration for all counties, making the UK a truly better place for all to thrive.”

Another nomination said;

“Living in Cumbria which is such a beautiful part of the country for almost 15 years has been such a blessing but the day to day racist undertones and micro aggressions I experience here has made it hard to feel truly at home. Finally being able to reach out to people who understand and appreciate the barriers racism creates is such a relief. I no longer feel isolated and the work that Anti Racist Cumbria are doing is helping me and others feel safe, welcomed and valued in their local communities. By educating those in positions of responsibility and weeding out racism at its roots, Anti Racist Cumbria provides a service like no other organisation and “can do” attitude and approach is reassuring and inspirational.”

Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 4th February to witness the countries 2021 winners being crowned the best of British diversity.

Amongst those being honoured are charities, campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways. Co-Founder and Chair of Anti Racist Cumbria Janett Walker said;

“We are humbled and amazed to be shortlisted, especially as such a young organisation and alongside such inspiring fellow finalists. Reading the nominations was extremely emotional, tackling racism can be exhausting but hearing how our work has impacted people right here in Cumbria honestly makes it all worthwhile. This achievement is testament to our volunteers and the Cumbrian community for getting behind us and behind our vision of an anti-racist county. We know there is a way to go, but this is hugely important step and one that sends a message to our county and beyond it, that Cumbria wants to do better and is at the forefront of ending racism. We want to thank everyone who nominated us, supported us and all our volunteers.”

NielsenIQ, Auto Trader and Kantar have recently been announced as sponsors of the pioneering awards that have paid tribute to over 1000 grass root groups and diversity champions since its inception. ITV News are also listed amongst a host of companies showcasing their support to recognising diverse talent, providing a platform to our unsung heroes.

Rachel Corp, Editor, ITV News said: “We are pleased that ITV News will once again be supporting the National Diversity Awards. ITV News remains committed to telling the stories of those, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference; enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society. We look forward to introducing the 2021 nominees to our viewers across the regions and nation.”

Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDA’s continue to gain endorsements from high profile figures such as Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton. Activist Katie Piper, Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano and Paralympic Gold Medallist Danny Creates were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist.

Author and philanthropist, Katie Piper said:

“I am so proud to be on the judging panel for the National Diversity Awards. In what has been a tough year for many, I am so pleased these awards create and celebrate a new generation of positive role models. As a campaigner myself, I will love reading about the excellent achievements of grass-root communities which tackle the issues in today’s society with sheer dedication. I can’t wait to honour these charities, role models and community heroes who will have shown outstanding commitment to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Previous winners include actor Warwick Davis, men’s mental health charity Andys Man Club and reformed breast cancer survivor Codilia Gapare.

Paul Sesay, Founder and CEO of the National Diversity Awards added,

“During challenging times, it is now more important than ever to recognise our nation’s unsung role models. Let me reiterate that creating this shortlist was extremely difficult due to the vast amount of invaluable work being carried out by nominees. The UK has truly embraced the spirit of The National Diversity Awards by uniting through adversity to create a host of incredible initiatives. The profound impact made by all our nominees is astonishing, and I feel personally encouraged to know that so many lives are being changed for the better due to the many causes being championed by all of you.

After weeks of deliberating and thousands of heartfelt testimonials later, I am delighted to finally present to you the best of British Diversity. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees, it is an honour to recognise your fearlessness, resilience and humanitarian efforts with the rest of the world. Let’s continue the fight for justice, unity and equality for all”.

To view a full list of nominees please visit www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/2021shortlist