Wolverhampton wonders !


In many ways, Shabina Raja and Joanna Wu represent the type of dynamism that is sorely missing from our public institutions.

Two women from very different backgrounds, both educated and passionate about delivering equality through public service.

They along with ten others have been selected onto Wolverhampton’s first ever BME leadership programme, run by OBV and supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Wolverhampton Council.

At the launch last week at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre, the City's civic dignitaries came out to encourage the cohort of young talent.

Local MP Paul Uppal informed the group, that their ‘background, race, religion, and culture count.’ He argued that:

the Prime Minister took me and other Asian politicians and business men and women to India because he understood that our connection with the ‘mother country’ would be invaluable to build strong relations with what is the fourth largest economy in the world."

Equally the leader of the council Cllr Roger Laurence gave some very encouraging words to the city's next generation of Leaders. He said:

Some people believe, if you spread power and influence it becomes diluted. Sharing power is not like slicing up a cake in ever small pieces. Sharing power, nurturing talent makes everyone stronger. This City ’, he added, needs people like you to thrive."

Over the next few months Shabina, Joanna and others will be put through their paces, in leadership areas of education, the criminal justice system, trustees and party politics. In fact Paul Uppal MP has already offered them a visit to Parliament where he will be their host, and perhaps have a chance to see Governance in action in the main chamber.

We wish these young men and women the very best in this journey. A journey of self development, but also one in which they are able to inspire others by becoming great leaders, and champions of social and racial justice.

Simon Woolley