Following the Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on 7th June, the energy for change across our city continues to grow.
The use of Edward Colston’s name on buildings, streets, landmarks and institutions is a divisive topic in Bristol. It undoubtedly provides a stark reminder of Bristol’s troubled past and the brutality of the slave trade. It also causes great offence and distress to many of Bristol’s citizens.
As a city, we must explore whether there are more appropriate and powerful ways to acknowledge and remember Bristol’s past and its role in the transatlantic slave trade.
It is inexcusable that racism and inequality still exist today. We share a determination for Bristol to become an inclusive, sustainable and successful city where inequality no longer exists and the place of your birth or the colour of your skin is not an obstacle.
We all have a responsibility to challenge the injustice of racism and inequality wherever we see it and we are examining our own role within the city and how we can accelerate our part in ensuring that Bristol overcomes disadvantage wherever it exists.
We are proud that the schools sponsored by SMV are inclusive and diverse communities and we are aware that the name Colston does not always sit comfortably. This is something that we have reviewed together regularly and whilst it is not a change that should be taken lightly, it is certainly something that we are looking at again. The view of the school communities will be central to how the discussion moves forward.
We resolutely support the millions of people around the world who are taking a peaceful and powerful stand against racism and injustice instead of just standing by.