Ref no43129
TitleRecords of the Bristol Racial Equality Council (BREC)
Date1937-2011 (1967-2006)
DescriptionThe collection includes:

Adm - Administration Records
Including Chairs' papers, information and monitoring records, minutes, membership information, office administration and reports.

F - Finance Records
Including annual returns, audited accounts, grant papers, funding records and invoices.

GA - Groups Associated with BREC
Records relating to groups and campaigns that were associated with BREC.

Lib - Records held in the BREC Library.
Includes: printed books, correspondence, minutes, studies, guides, newspaper cuttings, Acts, information leaflets, reports, strategic plans, newsletters, journals and catalogues.

Pers - Personal Papers
Records associated with individual officers of BREC.

PM - Printed Material
Including newspaper cuttings, BREC newsletters, copies of BREC's directory of organisations and contacts, other publications.

Pro - Project Records
A project investigating "Racism in the South West" undertaken on behalf of the Council for Racial Equality by volunteer Eric Jay

WG - Working Groups of BREC
Minutes, correspondence and other papers of three working groups within BREC: Criminal Justice, Health and the Bristol and Avon Racial Harassment Forum
Administrative historyHaving its roots in the Bishop's Committee, the Voluntary Liaison Committee was established in January 1967. Its role was to work with Bristol's black community, fighting prejudice, influencing local authorities and public sector bodies to be supportive to this aim, helping individuals in difficulties on account of their race and co-operating with local projects. On 23 November 1970 this was superseded by Bristol Community Relations Council with Rev. Leslie Wollen as Chairman. There was an Executive Committee of some 24 persons representing various groups. The officers were Carmen Beckford as Community Relations Officer (CRO) and by 1975 Peter Courtier was in post as assistant CRO. In July 1978 the name was changed to the Bristol Council for Racial Equality and a new constitution was adopted. By 1981 the Senior CRO was assisted by two CROs, one for Education and the other for Employment. By 1985 there were 4 full-time officer posts and some 40 local societies and organisations were represented in the membership. In 1990 the name was changed to Bristol Racial Equality Council.; this was in line with many other such councils throughout the country embarking on a "New Partnership" with the Commission for Racial Equality. At this time in addition to the Senior CRO (Peter Courtier) and two other CROs, there was an Assistant CRO for Health and Community Development (Judeline Ross). Peter 's role was subsequently redesignated Director. In 1991 BREC established its Criminal Justice Working Group and in the following year a Health Working Group. It was represented on many other local groups. Peter remained in post until his retirement in May 2004 when he was succeeded by Hilary Banks. The year 2005 proved a troubled one for BREC and it closed early in 2006 due to lack of funding.

The collection includes no records subsequent to the closure of Bristol Racial Equality Council in 2005. However, researchers may find it useful to know that after BREC closed, a group of partners comprising of the Support Against Racist Incidents (SARI), Avon and Bristol Law Centre, Black Development Agency (BDA), and Bristol City Council came together to form a core Steering Group to look at what needed to be done to deliver Race Equality Services. In April 2006, BDA hosted a public meeting with local Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people to discuss the gap left by BREC. In August 2006 it was agreed that BDA should host the development of a Bristol and South Gloucestershire Race Equality and Human Rights Service as a BME Council voluntary/community sector infra-structure agency. [Information courtesy of Race Equality and Human Rights Service Business Plan, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, 2007/08 by South Gloucestershire Council].
Access statusOpen
Custodial historyThe records had to be collected at very short notice while BREC was closing down. It was therefore difficult to determine an original order and obtain the information required to understand the structure of the collection. Material had been kept in labelled files while at BREC, but overall groupings were not obvious. The collection was therefore arranged according to the functions of the organisation, so far as they could be determined.
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