Beyond being statistically challenged: How do we move the equalities agenda forward?


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Chris Allen, Director of Policy and Research at B:rap, the Birmingham Race Action Partnership, speaking at a workshop on population change hosted by the West Midlands Regional Observatory in Birmingham on 31 March 2009.

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Beyond being statistically challenged: How do we move the equalities agenda forward?

  1. 1. Beyond being statistically challenged Chris Allen, BRAP A presentation given at State of the Region: Implications of Population Change event, 31 March 2009. This presentation forms part of the Observatory’s ongoing State of the Region dialogue between policy makers and researchers on the theme of population change.
  2. 2. Beyond Being Statistically Challenged: How do we move the equalities agenda forward? Dr Chris Allen Director of Research & Policy, BRAP 31st March 2009
  3. 3. <ul><ul><li>Birmingham a minority majority city with the next two decades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The fastest growing ethnic group are mixed or multiple heritage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International migration making the region’s demography more diverse - new arrivals from Poland and the A8 countries as well as the Indian subcontinent amongst others </li></ul></ul>headline ‘diversity’ data
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Mixed heritage groups are the fastest growing, young demographic profile with approximately 55% being under the age of 15 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The population is ageing, with dramatic growth expected amongst those aged 60 and over, and particularly those aged 85 and over </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Birmingham has a disproportionately high percentage population of Muslims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The percentage population of Sikhs in Birmingham is roughly twice that of the national average and higher still in Wolverhampton </li></ul></ul>headline ‘diversity’ data
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>166 Super Output Areas within the top 5% most deprived in the country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>39.63% of people living in Birmingham are deemed to be living in deprived circumstances - Stoke-on-Trent (33.13%) and Sandwell (29.41%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>81% of children in Ladywood from families living in or on the brink of poverty: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sparkbrook & Small Heath (79%), Hodge Hill (75%), Erdington (64%), Perry Barr (61%), Wolverhampton South East (62%), Walsall South (61%), Warley (61%), West Bromwich West (60%) and Stoke on Trent Central (60%) have child poverty levels above 60% </li></ul></ul>headline ‘deprivation’ data
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>Shard End and Kingstanding: majority white populations with high levels of deprivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest achieving group in terms of GCSE grades A-C at age 16 are white males from the lowest socio-economic groups: the ‘white working classes’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ White working class’ communities experiencing the same levels of deprivation, the same inequalities that more visible ethnic groups historically have </li></ul></ul>beyond the statistics
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li>How then do we move forward? </li></ul></ul>beyond the statistics
  8. 8. <ul><ul><li>First, notion that equality is essentially a “BME issue”: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solvable through having appropriately diverse representation, appropriately diverse workforces, and “culturally sensitive” services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, silo models of equality: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seven equalities strands – race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, trans - ‘compartmentalise’ on the basis of one aspect of someone’s identity </li></ul></ul></ul>moving forward
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>To treat all people with fairness, dignity, respect, autonomy and as a result of these, equality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To achieve this, new policies and strategies need to be built upon the principles of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social justice, of inclusion, of diversity, where diversity is a source of power and not weakness; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not about tokens and quotas and special privileges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Doing’ equalities is not a resource that can afford to be squandered </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An integrated view where standards of behaviour and service entitlements derive from our rights as citizens, as humans , as people </li></ul></ul></ul>the challenge
  10. 10. Contact details Chris Allen Director of Research and Policy BRAP E [email_address] T 0121 456 7409 Web Stephen Howarth Deputy Chief Executive West Midlands Regional Observatory E [email_address] T +44 (0)121 202 3258 Web Blog Rosie Day Research Analyst West Midlands Regional Observatory E [email_address] T +44 (0)121 202 3286 Web Blog