Race on the Agenda (2009) Agenda 33

Contents

  1. Editorial
    Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Policy, ROTA
  2. DNA Database
    Adam Cooper, Intern, ROTA
  3. Women, girls & serious group offendinding
    Carlene Firmin, Senior Policy Officer, ROTA
  4. Infrastructure: Why fund it?
    Debbie Pippard, Head of London Region, Big Lottery Fund
  5. A new vision and language for race equality
    Karen Chouchan, Director of Research & Policy, Equanomics UK
  6. Somewhere decent to live: Accommodation and Irish Travellers
    Phil Regan, London Development Officer, Irish Traveller Movement in Britain
  7. The impact of the recession on BAME groups
    Richard Davey, Policy Officer, Capacity Builders
  8. Celebrating ordinary black men - The REACH national role models
    Matthew Ryder, REACH Role Model and barrister with Matrix Chambers
  9. The Praxis Project: Britain's race legislation as the benchmark
    Veena Vasista, Independent Strategic Advisor
  10. Stop & search
    Estelle du Boulay, Director, Newham Monitoring Project
  11. Will change come in the UK?
    Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Policy, ROTA
  12. 10 years on 28
    Doreen Lawrence, Director, The Stephen Lawrence Trust

 

A NEW vision & language for race equality

Karen Chouchan, Director of Research & Policy, Equanomics UK

The vision for Equanomics (Equality and Economics) UK is to achieve genuine race equality by:
reconnecting economically and politically disenfranchised communities across the UK; presenting an economic analysis of discrimination; and growing a movement that will change the UK's language and approach on racial and economic equality.

Recently, we have been most struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics; a
variation in our approach that remains true to our principles and a new way that does not deny our roots, yet tackles issues from a fresh angle. A coalition strategy we believe will best advance our struggle towards progressive change and equality in our lifetime. Too many organisations have been compromised by dependency on grants. We want to be able to be a predominantly self-financing movement for economic justice and we need your help. All those who subscribe will receive regular information and benefits.

The struggle for race equality in the post-war period has largely been characterised by a focus on
tackling the worst effects of racism and discrimination in the fields of education, criminal justice and employment, on top of the persistent view that 'immigrants' are somehow problematic.

Large-scale unemployment, as well as lack of opportunity to access private sector investment funds and regeneration schemes plagues our communities. We face higher insurance and mortgage costs for homes and property, inflated prices for basic commodities in deprived communities, little support for financial literacy schemes, increased interest on debts and loans, and discriminatory mortgage lending practices. Whilst struggling to deal with the effects of this racism, we rarely examine the root causes. As both taxpayers and consumers, BAME communities in 2007/2008 make up important segments of local and national economies. Black and Asian consumers are estimated to earn up to £156 billion after tax....

 

Infrastructure: Why fund it?

Debbie Pippard, Head of London Region, Big Lottery Fund

One of the dilemmas faced by funders is how to divide our money between funding direct frontline
services and organisations that support them. When times are hard, such as in the current economic climate, it is tempting to put as much as possible towards direct services. After all, we can all see how much front-line voluntary and community organisations are needed: we know that there are increasing numbers of people waiting for financial advice, job support, legal representation and other services, as well as all those who need the ongoing support provided by voluntary and community organisations.

Funding direct services is of course vital. But continuing to fund infrastructure is also important
if we are to have a thriving voluntary and community sector (VCS). Infrastructure organisations are the glue that holds the VCS together. If we stopped funding infrastructure, things appear to go on as usual at first, but over time it's very likely that the vibrant, diverse and creative VCS in London and beyond would gradually run down, leaving us all worse off.

It's arguable that infrastructure is even more important for those sections of the community
who are traditionally disempowered than it is for the general population. The VCS has built a
reputation for being able to reach those sections of the community that find it more difficult to
access mainstream services. VCS organisations are in a position to identify needs and develop
solutions to emerging social problems. Many have championed the needs and rights of BAME
communities and much of the positive social changes that have occurred over the past few
decades have been through voluntary action.

Many VCS organisations grow and thrive without external help. But, others need the support of
infrastructure organisations. And all, even the largest, benefit from the advocating work that
VCS infrastructure provides, even if they do not....

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