screenshot of the National Black Members' Committee in one of their teams meetings

Who are the National Black Members’ Committee?

If you attended the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) Meet and Greet in May, you might already know that the committee is made up of Black representatives from all of the twelve regions. It is also made up of co-opted members from the National Disabled Members’ Committee (NDMC), the National Women’s Committee (NWC) and the National LGBT+ Committee.

NBMC members are from different ethnicities, different faiths, with different accents and different life experience but we have one common goal – race equality.

“The NBMC are dedicated and passionate members who work well together and are clear about what we have in common. We are acutely aware that there will always be attempts to divide and rule us. We will not be silenced because united we stand.”

Kebba Manneh (NBMC Chair) and Rakiya Suleiman (Deputy Chair)

Kebba Manneh (Chair) and Rakiya Suleiman (Deputy Chair), have both been re-elected unopposed for 2021/2022, after a challenging first year in the role, when life changed for many people.

With numerous years of activism between them, they say “we feel greatly privileged and honoured to have the trust and confidence of our colleagues. We are so proud of the way the NBMC has worked throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, without hesitation, fear or favour, just focusing on advocating for Black Workers and providing resources to keep members safe during the pandemic.”

The NBMC stands for what is morally right, not only in the workplace but in our communities too.

What we do

Over the past year, the NBMC have focussed on the many issues relating to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. During this unprecedented period, we have provided employers with meaningful risk assessment toolkits, campaigned for correct PPE equipment and supported our members irrespective of whether they are in their normal place of work, have been furloughed or have worked from home.  We have listened to the concerns of our members and campaigned on health and safety in the workplace.

So what next? Like everyone, we have had to explore different ways of working together to meet our goals. Our working groups meet virtually to develop policy and campaigns on areas such as:

  • The ethnicity pay gap
  • The Race Discrimination Protocol
  • Islamophobia
  • Health inequalities
  • Challenging racism in the workplace
  • Stop and search

We continue to feed into the work of UNISON service groups, as well as engaging with politicians and affiliates to further race equality.

Members can contact us with any questions about the committee or our work.

True and meaningful equality for Black workers must be part of the post-Covid recovery process. We need a tangible action plan, involving the NBMC, that will improve lives moving forward.

Adejare Oyewole, Communications Officer, National Black Members’ Committee