Hamilton to launch 'The Hamilton Commission' promoting diversity in motorsport
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton is creating a new commission, using motorsport to encourage young BAME people to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Hamilton has been one of the loudest voices in the 'Black Lives Matter' campaign, his words inspiring the motorsport community to speak out against racism.
Writing in his upcoming Sunday Times column, Hamilton will announce 'The Hamilton Commission'.
“I have been working with the Royal Academy of Engineering to create The Hamilton Commission, a research partnership dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used as a vehicle to engage more young people from black backgrounds with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and, ultimately, employ them on our teams or in other engineering sectors,” wrote the Mercedes driver.
“It will explore areas including lack of role models and career services at schools, opportunities to engage more black youth with STEM extracurriculars, barriers that prevent people from more diverse backgrounds joining the racing industry, and problematic hiring practices that result in fewer black graduates entering engineering professions.
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“This will not be arm’s length research. We want to hear from the young people and graduates who deal with these challenges every day, and we are in the process of bringing on additional partners who work on the ground in black communities to bring first-hand perspective.
“In addition, we want to bring in leaders from policy and business who are committed to leading on the activation of research recommendations. The time for platitudes and token gestures is over.
“I hope that The Hamilton Commission enables real, tangible and measurable change. When I look back in 20 years, I want to see the sport that gave a shy, working-class black kid from Stevenage so much opportunity, become as diverse as the complex and multicultural world we live in.”
Hamilton has raced in Formula 1 since 2007, but feels there has been little change in attitudes towards BAME athletes and personalities throughout his career.
He adds: “The unchanged make-up of the F1 community throughout my career makes it feel like only a certain type of person is truly welcome in this sport, one who looks a certain way, comes from a certain background, fits a particular mould and plays by certain unwritten rules.
“Even now, the media ask me different questions than they do my competitors and make accusations directly and indirectly — you’re not British enough, not humble enough, not loved enough by the public.”
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