NBPA President’s New Year’s Day Message 01.01.2019

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’ Barack Obama 

“In November last year, at the College of Policing in Ryton the Policing Minister Nick Hurd summed up the Police Chiefs’ Diversity Strategy by saying that the stars were aligning for race. The previous month at our conference in Belfast he had used similar language when describing our movement as being on the rise. It was heartfelt.

“I don’t know what image you had in mind when he talked about stars, but I took it as a good sign, a sign of hope. He didn’t gloss over the difficulties we have faced, and do still face. In fact he referred to the discrimination we have endured as ‘scars’ – visible reminders of the inflicted wounds of the past. Scars still hurt. Perhaps he was referring to the scarred on the #WeAreDeserving list Janet and I read out in Belfast in honour of those who have fought race discrimination cases over the years. Or perhaps it was the fresher injuries of cases fought and won this year by Zac and Angus?  

“For me, these two were among my stars of 2018, Zac, Angus and those such as Mo Manzoor, Wendell, Dave and others who had defied their own forces in the cause of justice and friendship to give evidence, to tell the truth. Stars shining brightly against a dark background of racism, doing the right thing to effect change. I pictured other stars such as Sunita (Race Equality Leadership award winner), Mac (Police Staff of the Year), and my Cabinet colleagues: Franstine, Janet, Rozila, Dionne and Karen. My stars include the tireless Marcia churning out community event after community event in the West Midlands, as well as John A, and Umer and Police Officer of the Year, Andy.

“We have waited long and hard for change and it does feel like things are shifting – thanks to Jon Boutcher for putting a rocket into the Race, Religion and Belief Group! Thanks to Mike Cunningham for listening and reopening the Realising Potential Programme, freshly rebranded as ‘Aspire’. Thanks especially to award winning Lawrence Davies for being… Lawrence – you give people back hope.

“But ultimately it will be us in the National Black Police Association who carry the momentum – our new elected chairs: Paresh (Gloucestershire), Shareth (joint chair with Ricky in Hampshire), Liam (North Wales), Sultan (joint chair with Darren in Northumbria) and some new stars  on the horizon – Jesee from Lincs, Ama from the College, Ramsha from GMP, Emanuel from Hants, and Puneet and Deji from Herts. These are the talented ones to help us on the next stage, these are our stars, these are the ones we have been waiting for.

“We seek change to improve policing. Change is coming and it has to come from us.

“The full quote from that great man (married to an equally great black woman) should be enough to inspire us in 2019:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama Happy New Year!  

Tola Munro  
President of the National Black Police Association  

Barack Obama notes: