The Mayor Equality

Greater Manchester Civic Leadership Programme participants graduate

On Wednesday (7th December) participants who have taken part in the Greater Manchester Civic Leadership programme graduated.

The Civic Leadership programme is an initiative by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in collaboration with Operation Black Vote (OBV) with the aim to equip talented individuals facing racial inequalities with the tools and knowledge to take up civic leadership positions.

Over the last six months, the participants have taken part in a series of training sessions to gain an insight into different areas of public life, including education, local government, health, policing, the criminal justice system and the voluntary sector.

The participants have been given first-hand knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of civic and political life, and been provided with the insight, skills, confidence and practical knowledge to move into these sectors.


Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said:

“In 2020 a series of conversations came together to address the inequalities in the Greater Manchester region. It was at that point, that we partnered with Operation Black Vote to tackle the lack of diversity in civic leadership and to establish Greater Manchester’s first Civic Leadership Programme.

“I want to thank the organisations that have contributed to the success of this programme; the OBV team, as well as Diane Modahl (Chair of the Greater Manchester Civic Leadership Steering Group), Councillor Professor Erinma Bell and Alyson Malach (member of the Greater Manchester Race Equality Panel).

“Congratulations to those who have completed the Civic Leadership Programme. I hope the programme has opened your mind to different possibilities, leadership roles, and made you think differently about your path and your potential going forward.

“As long as I am Mayor of Greater Manchester there will be a Civic Leadership Programme and together, we will make it stronger and better.”


Zeeshan Akhtar, participant of the Civic Leadership Programme adds:

“I come from a background where you are told to just get any job. I knew about leadership roles, but I didn’t have enough information.

“The Civic Leadership programme has given me the knowledge and motivation to apply for leadership roles. I am now a school governor and became the first person in my family to go to university, thanks to the confidence I gained in the programme.

“I would like to thank OBV and GMCA for giving me the opportunity to do this programme.”

Article Published: 12/12/2022 10:42 AM