Iram Woolley: Why I’m standing to be a member of Labour’s NEC

Iram Woolley

We are experiencing challenging times since the election, and I have seen how quickly our activists and trade unions have come together since then. Despite the huge knock-back, we were blessed to see many BAME politicians elected. We still have to do more. And it wasn’t always this way. In 1997, my sister and I were racially attacked by a mob of angry youths in Woolwich not far from Stephen Lawrence’s murder, in Eltham, London. Thankfully, I am proud that our NHS services and British Transport Police helped us.

I am an anti-racist inequalities campaigner – politicised by Blair Peach and Gurdip Chaggar Singh’s brutal deaths, and ingrained institutionalised racism. I am inculcating an awareness of racial bias. It exists, and we must fight back and be fearless. I would like to say a massive thank you to the nine constituency Labour parties that nominated me, along with comrades and affiliates at the NUM. But the job isn’t done yet – we are now asking all members to vote, support, retweet, share and like, online and offline, over the next six weeks.

This is why I call on activists to work together to facilitate and campaign on the issues faced by BAME people. I support and stand in solidarity with all communities who represent equality, fairness and justice. I have supported the Southall Black Sisters fighting violence against women and girls, and I promote riding bikes to stay fit and strong. I have supported awareness sessions on wellbeing to manage the time for self-care and work.

I have delivered speeches, written motions and gained training credits through Ruskin College, through the CWU, CMA, AMICUS, MSF and UNITE. I have supported all of you by providing the opportunity, as a community activist, and I still have a lot more to give back. I am proud to have worked as a campaign coordinator for Sadiq Khan, campaigned in the European elections and in a by-election in Dormers Wells, and to have run a #SchoolCuts campaign. I know that I am meant for more.

As a BAME person, I understand the effects of racial discrimination and harassment. And I understand the far right’s rising agenda. I will work to eradicate racism. As a Labour Women’s Network member, I hope to work in sisterhood with all intersectionalities, to ensure that we as a party strive to live up to its transformative policies. We also face an unprecedented global climate emergency, and I will ensure we do more but urgently.

I am standing to be the voice on our party’s governing body so that we can continue to work to transform and radically change our party with our new deputy and leader. I am diplomatic and will work with anyone. I want to share my experience and skills to help CLPs and unions. I am always willing to offer advice, support and training – you are never alone. We also need to acknowledge the BAME colleagues that have been elected to parliament, and celebrate it without condition. We need the energy to rebuild BAME Labour.

Together, we can do this. Please vote for me. I will be a trailblazer for enabling proportional representation, making a difference in society, working to add value and making positive contributions at all levels, so that your voices are heard. I will work at the local, regional and national level for you. Love for all, and hatred for none.

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