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The role of BME VCOs in tackling race inequality and racism remains crucial in a society where race and ethnicity remain linked to indicators of disadvantage. Although outcomes for some ethnic minorities in areas such as housing, education and employment have seen improvements others have seen limited progress and BME communities still face high levels of deprivation and discrimination.
Changing policy approaches to race have at times been hard for BME VCOs to negotiate and have sometimes risked marginalising race. The past policy focus on community cohesion and related withdrawal of proposals on funding for single identity groups (Cohesion Guidance for Funders) have had a lasting impact on the BME VCS which has faced intense scrutiny to justify why its services exist.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) is working with the Home Office and the Cabinet Office to develop a cross-government approach on integration and tackling all forms of extremism. The Prevent Review seeks to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism both in the UK and overseas and was published on 7th June. An Integration Strategy is expected to follow shortly.
V4CE activities on race equality
V4CE believe that the Government should have a cross Government Race Equality Strategy and are highly concerned by the use of the term ‘integration’ which fails to recognise the value of diversity. We will ensure that BME communities have the opportunity to shape any new integration strategy proposed. We will inform the wider BME VCS of the proposals made in the strategy and how it can feed in to any consultation.
We have already…
- Led a ‘working group’ of VCS representatives to collectively engage and influence CLG in the development of its work on race equality
- Launched our contribution to the Save the Equality Act campaign
- Responded to CLG’s Tackling Race Inequalities consultation in 2010.
- Led a successful campaign against CLG’s proposed policy on ‘Cohesion Guidance for Funders’ in 2008
Consulted with equality organisations and responded to Capacitybuilders’ Single Equality Scheme on behalf of the National Equality.