Women of Colour in Policing launch free summer festival
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A new arts and music summer festival is being launched to celebrate women of colour in policing.
The event will be led by the newly formed #YoungWoCiPInfluencers ‘The Next Generation’ and celebrate allies and volunteers looking to make policing more diverse.
Artists such as 16-year-old Spotify verified Ellisse ‘A’, a semi-finalist in talent show Got What It Takes; Tilly Lockey, who won the CBBC competition series, and rising star and cultural rapper Boy Sayso will be playing at the festival in Flitwick alongside other singer song writers, reggae artists, poets, rappers and DJs.
The free event on Saturday 30 July is open to everyone and has been led by the Women of Colour in Policing (WoCiP) movement, a national initiative led by its founder Bedfordshire Police’s PC Sandra Smith and Sam Alexander.
WoCiP aims to celebrate the contribution of women from diverse backgrounds to law enforcement, as well as encouraging more applications from young women of colour.
PC Smith, Bedfordshire Police’s positive action lead, said: “This is an amazing line up of guests and creatives and I am so pleased they will be supporting our WoCiP message.
“Many young women would not consider a career in policing, and especially young women of colour.
“I will support these women and girls every step of the way and I hope the summer festival will help challenge perceptions and encourage people to consider what can be a fantastic and hugely rewarding career.”
Sam Alexander, positive action lead for Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services, added: “It is in these young women’s power to drive the change we need to see in policing, in terms of making it more diverse, inclusive and representative.
“They are helping us change the narrative deliberately, and consciously, in how we engage with younger communities, as well as encouraging young women of colour to join specialist roles within the force.
“We need this – the next generation – to help us change things in order for our forces to be authentically diverse and inclusive.”
Other artists confirmed for the event include creative artist RIONA and teen rock band Artaca.
Other speakers on the day include Kimberley Campbell-Lamb, Director of the Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit, Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire, and drugs awareness specialist and prize-winning author Fiona Spargo-Mabbs.