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RPA Consortium Submits 'Ethnic Disparities' Consultation Response

The MME Council last month invited a range of community groups and researchers to come together to form a Research, Policy and Advocacy Consortium (see our recent post on the matter here).

The call attracted a considerable number of responses, and the resulting RPA Consortium was able to compile and submit a detailed document to a consultation on “Ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK”, launched by the UK Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities in October.

Over a dozen researchers were able to bring their expertise to bear in addressing the main causes of racial and ethnic disparities in the UK, and in recommending approaches to overcoming those challenges, with a particular emphasis on the context and conditions in Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the consultation as an opportunity to address this profound set of problems, the Consortium nevertheless pointed out that the responsibility for producing solutions should not be seen to lie in the private, voluntary or community sector.

Rather, the authors noted, “it is the responsibility of government – at a UK level and in the devolved institutions – to bring the scope, the authority, the resources and the power which only it commands to the task of overcoming the institutional racism that lies at the root of the disparities and inequalities addressed in this report”.

Responses were provided to questions about how to improve representation, retention and progression for people of different ethnic backgrounds in public sector workforces; how to improve the school curriculum and experience; how to reduce inequalities in health outcomes across different ethnic groups; how to improve relations with the police; how to tackle the problem of hate crime; and how to foster diversity and inclusion across our society.

In addition, the Consortium highlighted a number of concerns as fundamental to addressing these inequalities and disparities. These related to data collection and transparency; systemic disparities; addressing and reducing discrimination; accelerating anti-racist interventions; and relationship building.

The document included contributions from MME Council Board members Dr Maurice Macartney and Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi, who coordinated the response and prepared the final submission.

The Board of the MME Council would like to extend thanks to the contributors, including Dr Gülseli Baysu; Dr Stephanie Burns; Dr Michelle Butler; Dr Jack Crangle; Dr Teresa Degenhardt; Dr Paula Devine; Dr Noirin MacNamara; Dr Katrina McLaughlin; Dr Robbie McVeigh; Dr Andrew Ghassan Moussa Mikhael; Katie Quinby; and Dr Ulrike Vieten.

The full document can be downloaded here in PDF format.

M Macartney

5 December 2020

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