Shruti Bhargava, chairwoman of Unity Housing, told the audience at the conference that the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“The truth is this is not new knowledge,” she said. “We’ve known about these inequalities for decades.”
Ms Bhargava added: “Our BAME communities are kept in poverty by high levels of unemployment and discrimination.
“We hear so many stories of BAME leaving the North for opportunities in the South.”
She called for conversation to shift from bringing people to the region to empowering those already living here.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said towns and cities were interdependent to each other’s success.
He added that in order to create a high value economy people need places where they want to live.
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