If you are from an ethnic minority background, we need you in the People’s Vote movement. 

Ethnic minorities voted Remain in the 2016 referendum and research shows that we’re worried about the impact of Brexit. Yet our votes and opinions haven’t had nearly enough coverage. It’s up to us to make sure the press and politicians pay attention. 

But more than that, we need to be involved in this process because our voices are as important as anyone else’s. Ethnic minorities have a long history of contributing to this country. We have taken difficult jobs, we have started businesses against the odds and we help keep the NHS going. Our country is facing its worst crisis in decades. Now is not the time for us to step aside. 

Our communities will be amongst the most affected by Brexit. We disproportionately work in industries that will be negatively affected by Brexit such as manufacturing and healthcare. We have been targets of the increase in hate crime, as have our places of worship, such as mosques and synagogues. 

The politicians leading the Leave campaign certainly didn’t hesitate to use racism against ethnic minorities to when it was helpful to them. Whether it was Boris Johnson describing President Obama as a “half-Kenyan” with an “ancestral dislike of the British” or the infamous Nigel Farage “Breaking Point poster” featuring non-white people that had nothing to do with EU membership. 

So, how to help? 

Firstly, come to People’s Vote March on 19th October.  Join the Ethnic Minorities for a People’s Vote pre-march rally in front of the Hard Rock Cafe by Hamilton Place, as we demand a final say on Brexit.

Secondly, volunteer to help a local People’s Vote group. Many people worry this will take too much of their time. Nearly all local groups are run by volunteers themselves. They won’t expect a weekly commitment of several hours, but will be happy if you can help every once in a while. 

You can also choose to participate in activities based on your comfort level. Many people start with leafleting. When I began canvassing people face to face, I asked to be paired with an experienced volunteer while I was getting the hang of it. 

I’ve always felt perfectly safe while volunteering. Most events are in public spaces in the middle of the day, and people stay in groups. I personally wouldn’t do anything without someone with me, and I’d recommend using your own common sense. 

If you still feel unsure about volunteering, why not just go along and watch your local group in action, before deciding whether to join in? 

My last reason to get involved is that it is a lot of fun. I’ve met loads of lovely and interesting people I would never have met otherwise. Nearly all volunteer sessions finish with a meal or a drink down the pub. It’s a great way to make new friends. 

Sandy Murthy is a supporter of Ethnic Minorities for a People’s Vote and a local activist for Lambeth for Europe and Southwark for Europe.