Businesses urged to support anti-racism initiative

'Open to Everyone. Closed to Racism' is a campaign helping businesses stand up to racism

'Open to Everyone. Closed to Racism' is a campaign helping businesses stand up to racism - Credit: Anthony Cullen/Adnams

Businesses are being urged to get involved in an anti-racism initiative, called Open to Everyone. Closed to Racism.

Newport parish councillor Samantha Naik, the Saffron Walden Labour Party BAME officer who also sits on the Uttlesford District Council's community stakeholder panel representing diversity, is drawing attention to the initiative.

MR Barbers in Market Street, Saffron Walden is backing the anti-racism campaign

MR Barbers in Market Street, Saffron Walden is backing the anti-racism campaign. Pictured with Councillors Samantha Naik and Trilby Roberts - Credit: Andrew Sampson

Adnams in Saffron Walden is supporting the anti-racism campaign. Pictured with Councillors Samantha Naik and Trilby Roberts

Adnams in Saffron Walden is supporting the anti-racism campaign. Pictured with Councillors Samantha Naik and Trilby Roberts - Credit: Andrew Sampson

Jessica Gregson who created 'Open to Everyone. Closed to Racism'

Jessica Gregson who created 'Open to Everyone. Closed to Racism' - Credit: Jessica Gregson

It was created by Jessica Gregson for people to show solidarity and help to create change. It offers window stickers and posters, training, practical advice and information. It has received funding support from Adnams, a Southold-based brewery which has a Saffron Walden shop.

Members of Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council are supporting the scheme.

Cllr Naik, who previously raised awareness and petition signatures to support Black Lives Matter,  said: "Racism hurts people. I know this from personal experience, and I saw that it hurt my family too.


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"Racism hurts people in their employment chances, as well as in other aspects of their lives and that's where our beloved high streets can help.

"By displaying the words Open to Everyone Closed to Racism, shops can show support, and remind us of the goodness and positive contributions that each and every one of us can make to society.

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"Our high streets are diverse places, where we enjoy meeting each other and enjoying food, drink, and products from all over the world, and this diversity is a part of Britain, just as we are all part of our community."

Town councillor Trilby Roberts said: "It is such a powerful message. If open to everyone, then no one is excluded, and if racism is ended then everyone is included."

Uttlesford district councillor Louise Pepper said: “People power and solidarity can influence behavioural change.

"Uttlesford District Council wants to create a welcoming community that supports diversity, equality and inclusion and Cllr Naik, Cllr Roberts and I are united in making this a possibility.”

Campaign founder Jessica Gregson said: “Challenging racism is a long-term commitment, there is no simple fix.

"By joining, organisations access free materials on anti-racism and allyship and support the careers of people from under represented groups affected by racism."

Sadie Lofthouse, Director of Culture and Performance at Adnams said: “The message is simple and clear, it’s a great springboard for businesses to take a stand against racism and inequality – we are proud to have been involved from the outset with Jess as it raises awareness to important issues that need to be addressed and will help make a positive change.”   

See www.opentoeveryoneclosedtoracism.com or email opentoeveryoneclosedtoracism@gmail.com

Samantha Naik with a petition she sent to Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch earlier this year.

Samantha Naik with a petition sent to Kemi Badenoch earlier this year - Credit: supplied by Samantha Naik


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