‘We need to be honest’: the PHE expert shining light on Covid and inequality

'We need to be honest': the PHE expert shining light on Covid and inequality

Prof Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s regional director for London, has lived in a lot of places over the past five decades. Born in Glasgow in 1966, he went to school and university in Jamaica, and worked in public health in the US for 10 years. But it’s the UK, where he gained his PhD, that he calls home.

He was particularly moved and humbled to be named the second most influential black Briton in this year’s Powerlist, behind the Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, and followed by the grime artist Stormzy, the actor and screenwriter Michaela Coel, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful OBE, and the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Dame Donna Kinnair.

This year’s list honoured people who have spoken truth to power at a time of increased debate about racial injustice, the list’s publisher, Powerful Media, said.

“It’s nice to be recognised, but more importantly, it’s nice to be represented in this group because it’s not just sports people or people who are cultural icons. We have people in the health service, we have people from other walks of life, and I think that shows the rich diversity of black leadership within our society,” Fenton said.

He was recognised for his work in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, and particularly its devastating impact on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Fenton has authored two reports on Covid-19 and inequality, the second of which included evidence from about 4,000 people, including Britain’s BAME groups and academics.…

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