A Preston city councillor has been named in the 2020 Pride Power List for his work to celebrate and advocate for BAME people within the LGBTQI community.Advertisement
Pav Akhtar, who represents the Plungington ward, has been listed in the Rainbow Honours top 100 for the work he carries out as director of UK Black Pride.
The Pride Power List is published each year, to celebrate the powerful, dedicated and wonderful people within the LGBTQI community.
The list comprises of publicly nominated LGBTQI individuals who have made a difference over the past 12 months whether it’s through hours of campaigning, speaking at international events or writing for publications across the globe and is published in The Guardian.
Pav was listed as 91 in the list, published in The Guardian newspaper this weekend.
His entry reads: “Pav provides a place for celebration and advocacy for BAME LGBTQI people across the UK. He is an advocate for equality in employment laws amongst these groups, advocating for Pride as a place of protest as well as festivity.”
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Welcoming the accolade, Pav said: “I feel privileged to be featured among outstanding friends, colleagues, and human rights defenders for my small contribution to a more just and inclusive world.
“We’ve made so much progress as a society and yet the challenges remain so stark. LGBT+ people continue to face discrimination in places of work, worship, and when accessing welfare and healthcare.
“The prejudice faced can be doubly hard when one is a minority within a minority.
“While we have much to do to make LGBT-inclusive equality a reality for all in our communities, in politics, and in public life, I’m optimistic that respect for human rights and dignity for all, protected in law and observed in practise, will eventually become a norm at home, work, and in leisure.
“I hope that this recognition reminds us that we can all take steps to give space to include diverse voices even when some institutions purposefully choose to block them out.”
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A spokesperson for the Pride Power List said: “The Pride Power List is the definitive guide to those in the LGBTQI community – and our allies – who are dedicated to working towards true LGBTQI equality and inclusion.
“Although the United Kingdom enjoys some of the most progressive equality legislation on the planet, workplace equality, equal marriage and the right to adopt children – while important – have not been able to wipe out homophobia.
“Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are on the rise, Twitter is often a cesspool of gay hatred and parents are openly objecting to their children being taught that not all relationships involve one man and one woman.
“That’s why the Pride Power List is more important today than ever. “
Pav continued: “In Preston, I pay particular tribute to the hard work of courageous campaigners at Preston Pride, Lancashire LGBT, as well as the fantastic protectors at Lancashire Police Equalities team and the trade unions.
“I also give thanks to the two NHS health trusts (Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust) for the support they give to LGBT+ people.”