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Leaders of the Future - Lewisham Labour supports the Operation Black Vote Civic Leadership Programme


Lewisham Council celebrated the completion of the Operation Black Vote Civic Leadership Programme this week. The programme has worked with 30 black and minority ethnic (BAME) residents to support them to get more involved locally and develop their leadership skills. It is the third time that the programme has been run in Lewisham - more than any other local area.
Lewisham is one of the most diverse communities in the country. This diversity is a source for great strength. Labour has long been at the forefront of working for greater representation from black and minority ethnic communities. But there remains some way to go until our politics fully represents the diversity of the country.

Lewisham Labour have strongly supported the OBV Civic Leadership Programme. 30 Labour Councillors acted as mentors on the programme, working closed with participants to support them. 

Cllr Janet Daby, co-coordinator of the OBV Civic Leadership Programme and one of the mentors, said 'I am very pleased with the Mayor of Lewisham's decision to bring this important leadership programme to the borough for a third time since it has been in operation. It is important to me that the BAME community is well represented in Lewisham in every area of public life. This course helps to make this happen and is a course where I am proud to offer my support.'
Cllr Brenda Dacres who was a mentor on the programme said 'as a mentor it was a wonderful opportunity to share my experience with my Civil Leadership partner Candy Springer. Along with others on the programme they were able to see first-hand the challenging work carried out in our scrutiny committees. It was also inspiring to see their enthusiasm and stimulating queries raised, as well as witness their understanding and confidence blossom. I know that many graduates from the program will go on to be leaders within our community, be it School Governors, Magistrates, Trustees, or Councillors, but more importantly as role models within our communities.'

One of the participants, Candy Springer, said 'I decided to become part of the  Lewisham Civic Leadership programme mainly, because I was quietly concerned by my two boys  disengagement to explore structural and systemic  issues- BME representation in their schools, curriculum content  or low teacher expectations. Being part of this process, gave me the opportunity to lead by example, moving from the periphery to inside, from dialogue to action.  I want to  inspire my children to take up their civic leadership positions, let their voices be heard  and go on to influence social change in our communities. Being in this process has helped me to  see the importance of my role as a community ambassador: to encourage and demonstrate to our community members the benefits of civic engagement.  The future is bright, full of hope and aspiration. I look forward to making a difference.'
If you want to get involved locally, you can find out more here. And you can join the Labour Party here

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