DIY approach to Integration fails to tackle race inequalities

News release from Voice4Change EnglandVoice4Change England 
21st February 2012

For immediate release

DIY approach to Integration fails to tackle race inequalities

Voice4Change England was dismayed to read the Government’s cross-departmental approach to integration: creating the conditions for integration, published today.

The document says that it is responding to a number of factors including new patterns of immigration, extremism, the summer riots and aims to promote British values, such as democracy, rule of law and equality of opportunity.

Vandna Gohil, Director of Voice4Change England said: 
“Like the Government we want to see a society where everyone can play a part in national and local life.  But we know this can’t be achieved without tackling race inequalities and their causes, including structural and institutional racism, head on.”

“Whilst race and faith are the focus on the document, the five-prong approach of common ground, responsibility, social mobility, participation and empowerment, and tackling intolerance and extremism, fail to sufficiently recognise and tackle race inequalities.” 

“Racism is not even mentioned which is surprising given its current high profile in football and the Prime Minister’s statement that there is ‘a lot more to be done to tackle racism in the wake of the high profile conviction of two men for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.’”

“The Government call on individuals to come together on issues that matter to them.  BME voluntary and community sector organisations have been doing this for years and in doing so have contributed social, economic and cultural capital to Britain.  Yet not only is this contribution unrecognised, but a focus on ‘single’ issues and ‘specific’ groups is posited as part of the problem.”

“Voice4Change England has been calling for a national steer on equality whilst allowing local areas to respond to local needs.  We are extremely disappointed with Government’s DIY approach to integration which calls for a rebalance of activity from the public to the voluntary and private sectors, from centrally-led to locally-led action.  Yes we all have a part to play, but Government needs to show some leadership and put checks and balances in place to ensure everyone can fully participate in society”

Despite the focus on participation the approach to integration is not up for consultation.  Voice4Change England will continue to advocate for race equality with sector colleagues. 

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If you have any questions, email Heather Kennedy, our Media, marketing and Communications Officer: heather@voice4change-england.co.uk

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