Mayor Joanne Anderson speaks out against ‘unconscious bias’ at Liverpool Against Racism event - The Guide Liverpool

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Mayor Joanne Anderson speaks out against ‘unconscious bias’ at Liverpool Against Racism event

26/04/2022

Liverpool Against Racism launched in the city on Sunday with a day of live music, today a host of speakers addressed a sell-out crowd in the Knowledge Quarter

Mayor Joanne Anderson spoke at the Liverpool Against Racism conference today, almost a year on from her election in May 2021.

Liverpool’s first black female mayor has said “unconscious bias” left some people angry she has the “audacity” to do the job.

Joanne Anderson spoke at the Liverpool Against Racism conference on Tuesday, almost a year on from her election in May 2021.

She said: “People are really angry that I have had the audacity to say I’ll do the job. It’s unconscious bias on their part, I can see it on their faces.

“I know that’s how they feel – ‘Who does she think she is?’”

She said she hoped other black women would follow in her footsteps.

“It’s all for nothing if we all go back to normal after me,” she said.

“I might be the first female and black elected mayor of this city, I absolutely don’t want to be the last.

“Representation in politics is really important.”

Ms Anderson said on the whole, the reaction to her election had been positive.

She said: “I generally feel the city is quite behind me and want me to do well.”

The mayor spoke about racist treatment from teachers in school and “micro-aggressions”, such as being followed round supermarkets by security.

She said: “I hate being followed round Tesco. Now I’m the mayor, I’m not getting up on a Saturday morning to go robbing, am I?

“It drives me mad, but it is different when you’re in a position of power.

“I get less wound up about micro-aggressions because I’m in the position to do something about it, my words have impact.”

Other speakers including historian David Olusoga, presenter Charlene White and former boxer Tony Bellew were also at the conference, set up by Ms Anderson in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Find out more about Liverpool Against Racism HERE.

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