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You are here: Home / Offices / Press Office / Press Releases / 2015 / October / ‘Responsible Leadership and educating the next generation are priorities to tackle widespread prejudice and increasing levels of hate incidents and crimes in Britain’

‘Responsible Leadership and educating the next generation are priorities to tackle widespread prejudice and increasing levels of hate incidents and crimes in Britain’

Posted by ap507 at Oct 20, 2015 10:10 AM |
Lord Ouseley to deliver foundation lecture for launch of new initiative for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 20 October 2015

Living in a Diverse Britain: Aspiration, Fears and Different Realities

Thursday 22 October, 6pm

Peter Williams Lecture Theatre

Fielding Johnson Building, South Wing

University of Leicester

Contact to request images.

The former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, Lord Ouseley will draw on his own extensive experiences of coping with racial abuse, managing organisational change, leading large workforces of people of all backgrounds and developing programmes to tackle inequalities and discrimination to set out his hopes for future community integration in Britain ahead of the launch of a new diversity and equality think tank at the University of Leicester.

He has emphasised his concerns about the rise of prejudice and hate crimes and the damage being done to the efforts on the part of many to try to build better community and race relations locally and nationally for the benefit of all.

Lord Ouseley is delivering the inaugural lecture to launch the new development in the Department of Sociology - the unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE).  It will tackle issues relating to diversity, inclusion, migration, integration, race and religion.

Lord Ouseley will deliver a lecture on Living in a Diverse Britain: Aspiration, Fears and Different Realities on Thursday 22 October, 6.00pm, at the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building, South Wing, University of Leicester. It has already attracted huge support from diverse communities in the city.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Lord Ouseley said: “When I came to Britain as an 11-year-old and settled in south London since then, young people would call me ‘sambo’ ‘choc-ice’ and ‘wog’ but they said it with a smile on their faces and in my innocence and naivety I thought they were friendly.

“In fairness to those young people I don't think they necessarily understood that they were being insulting or abusive – it wasn't done with any serious nastiness. I suppose I was seen as something exotic. So there's an innocence in that.

“But at the time, behind it all, you had organisations like the British Movement and you would you see things around the place saying 'Keep Britain White' - so there was a sinisterness which had started to grow and the bottles kept coming through the already broken windows most nights.”

In his talk, Lord Ouseley will focus on the theme of prejudice, how that determines the treatment of other people, and influences discriminatory practices and outcomes.  He also explains how it feeds into the increasing levels of hate crimes across the country and how the debates about immigration and numbers impact on prejudice and race relations.

He said: “We need to deal with these issues fundamentally in education with proper information about what the facts are.

“If politicians are constantly telling us we don't want any more of these people, they're draining our society, it is perpetuating prejudice and it can be used by others to demonise other people and harass them and violate them.

“We need to have a stronger and much more responsible leadership.”

“The government set a target to limit the number of migrants coming into the country and failed to achieve it. Yet that failure of competence is deflected by focusing negatively on the migrants. There is to be yet another Immigration Bill shortly but every government since 1948 have gone down the same path with the same outcome. And so if you go on playing the numbers game, preaching to people that there are 'too many of these people, we don't want them anymore', and you continue to fail, all you're doing is perpetuating prejudice and generating hatred.”

The visit by Lord Ouseley was welcomed by the academic leads of the new unit, DICE.

John Williams, from the University of Leicester’s Department of Sociology, said:  “The city of Leicester is regarded internationally as something of a model of civic multiculturalism. Against the wider background of accelerating diversity, in-migration and social change – and as new priorities and tensions around migration, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexuality, faith and difference come to the fore – the University of Leicester should beat the very heart of such debates.  We see the new unit establishing an audible public voice on such matters; acting as a hub for intelligent debate, routinely matching practitioners and policy makers with leading academics on campus.”

Surinder Sharma, who has taken on the role of a Research Fellow in the department, added: “This is a very exciting development at the University of Leicester.

“Matters of diversity and inclusion continue routinely to be at the centre of current public and political debate. They also remain to be among the core priorities for private sector interests, government, voluntary sector and the media.  As part of the University’s commitment to community engagement, this new unit will work more effectively on projects and events with local organisations and representatives of different communities in the city, county and beyond, thus raising the local profile of research and engagement activities at the University. Moreover, given Leicester’s multicultural and diverse populace, local engagement in this environment ultimately provides a platform for global engagement.

You can read the full feature interview with Lord Ouseley here:

You can find out more about DICE here:

Press release about DICE here:

Booking link for lecture by Lord Ouseley on Thursday 22 October at 6pm:



For more information please contact:

Professor Surinder Sharma,

University of Leicester,

Unit for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement (DICE), Department of Sociology, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH,


Herman Ouseley is currently engaged in extensive voluntary and charitable activities, alongside his public service duties as a member of the House of Lords.

His working life has been predominantly in the public services sector, apart from a five-year stint of being Chairman and Chief Executive of the Different Realities Partnership, specialising in organisational change, people management programmes and tackling organisational inequalities.

He was previously the Executive Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (1993-2000). Before that he was a local government officer for some 30 years, serving as Chief Executive of the London Borough of Lambeth, as well as the former Inner London Education Authority, where he was also previously a Director of Education. He held a wide variety of different positions in other authorities during that period.

Herman Ouseley has undertaken organisational reviews and conducted commissioned inquiries into serious performance failures by public bodies.  He is also actively involved with several charitable and voluntary organisations, such as being a Council member of the Institute of Race Relations, Trustee of The Manchester United Foundation and holds the role of Patron for several other Charities. Having previously chaired several voluntary organisations and social enterprises, including a Housing Association, he is currently the Chair of two such organisations:-


KICK IT OUT (National campaign to achieve equality and inclusion in football)

Herman Ouseley is a former Non- Executive Director of Focus Consultancy Ltd and   former independent Adviser to the HM Revenue and Customs on its equality and diversity development activities. He was also a member of the HMIC’s Advisers Group to the Chief Inspector of Constabularies.  He is a former Council member of the Football Association, chairing one of its Advisory Groups (2008-2013). He chaired the External Implementation Group of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (2008-2014).

Herman has been awarded 13 honorary degrees from Universities across the UK in recognition of his achievements and contribution to education, public policy studies, local government services, equality legislation, compliance and enforcement, and community-led social action. He was knighted in 1997 for services to local government and community relations in Great Britain. He was appointed to the House of Lords in July 2001 and sits on the cross-benches as an independent peer.

He is a former President of the Local Government Association (2002-2005) and is currently a Vice-President.

(Lord Ouseley Kt,)

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