SMI Programme Manager Masira speaks to BBC Radio Leeds about #WYHRootOutRacism

Today, our SMI Programme Manager Masira Hans spoke to BBC Radio Leeds in support of #WYHRootOutRacism.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s anti-racism movement launched this week. The movement is part of an ongoing commitment to tackle structural and institutionalised racism, as well as addressing health and social inequalities across the area. 

Masira and Fundraising & Development Officer Lydia Gray attended the launch event in City Park on Monday and signed the pledge banner on behalf of Mind in Bradford.

Masira spoke to BBC Radio Leeds this morning about her personal experiences of racism and what it means to be anti-racist.

She said: “I usually wear a hijab or a headscarf. If I was to walk into a hospital looking a certain kind of way, and they don’t know my background and the job and role that I have, it’s like they’ll speak down to me or assume I don’t speak English, and that I don’t have as much knowledge as I do have of the health and care system. There’s that power imbalance which is very evident.

“People have called me names, people have thought because of the colour of my skin that I wouldn’t be as competent as other people. I remember once going to London and being quite young, shortly after the bombings, and someone actually ran away from you saying: ‘God save us, you’re the type of people that are going to hurt us.’ It’s like I’ve always lived here, my parents were born here, how much do I have to prove that I’m British, that I do belong in this country?

“Racism does exist. We live in a very racist society in a very racist country. We at Mind in Bradford are anti-racist. It’s not enough for us to just be not racist, we need to be open and vocal about our stance on things and say this is what we agree with and this is what we don’t. We are here to support all communities struggling with their mental health but we are also trying to make sure that we are accessible to different communities and different people.”

Listen in full below.


Posted on: 25th August 2021


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