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BASW supports campaign for black person's statue in Bristol

Statue will replace the space left by removal of Edward Colston statue

A campaign to replace Bristol’s controversial Edward Colston statue with someone representative of the city’s black community is being supported by the British Association of Social Workers.

A petition was set up after Colston’s statue was toppled and thrown in the Bristol harbour because of his slave trading activities as part of the Black Lives Matter protest.

The petition, which so far has been signed by nearly 70,000, says: “There are many suitable candidates for this honour that have some relation to Bristol: Princess Campbell, the first black ward sister for Bristol, is one possible candidate; another is James Peters, the first black rugby player to represent England.”

It adds: “It is time Bristol moves forward with its history in the slave trade, acknowledging the evil committed and how it can educate its citizens about black history.”
BASW chair Gerry Nosowska said supporting the campaign was a fitting as part of celebrations to mark the association’s 50th birthday this year.

“What we remember, recognise and commemorate is a reflection of what matters to us. Social work, and BASW, have a role in highlighting the contribution of people who made a difference through their compassion and passion for social justice. 

“As we turn 50, BASW is striving to capture some of the difference social workers and allies have made in the past, so we can help inspire the present and the future.”
England professional officer Wayne Reid added: “It’s only fair that the enormous contributions made by black and ethnic minority people in health, social care and other vital services is recognised.

“Erecting commemorative statues is one way of doing this and it’s a cultural practice we need to deeply embed and embrace in the UK and globally.”