Monday, 3 February, 2020

Building the movement

It might be a new year and a new you but our Executive Director, Wanda Wyporska, continues to challenge entrenched inequality speaking at events around the country. January kicked off as Wanda spoke at the Oxford Union event The New Decade, debating against the motion ‘This house has hope for the new decade.’

Wanda also chaired the Inside Government Tackling Disadvantage and Inequality Through Social Mobility conference, bringing together key figures in the social mobility movement.

In other exciting news, Wanda has been working alongside seminal race campaigners on a 2020 edition of 100 Great Black Britons, 16 years on from the launch of the first 100 Great Black Britons book.

Global Protests to #FightInequality

In over 30 countries around the world, people came together to be part of a global movement to protest inequality. At the same time, the 1% had their billionaire’s reunion to engage in hollow talks on how to combat the climate crisis without making any necessary change to their economic hegemony.

While 300 people gathered in Whitehall, London, equality campaigners in Cambridge, Carlisle and Northampton also organised local demonstrations. In over 30 countries people across the globe held protests, conferences, hiphop exhibitions, public gatherings, inequality dinners, art festivals, film screenings, flash mobs, football matches, art installations, public debates and panel discussions, made human chains and did interviews with mainstream and independent media to put inequality on the agenda.

We are part of something bigger. We are proud to be part of a global movement.We are proud to be part of the Fight Inequality Alliance.

Equal Pay 50 campaign

The new year welcomes our new campaigner, Mumbi Nkonde as our Interim Equal Pay Campaigns Officer.

As part of our campaign to ensure that Equal Pay is a key issue on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act, we are working with a number of universities to run equal pay seminars. Check out our timetable of events and watch the Leeds University seminar video with speakers and contributors from academia, law, business, unions and equality organisations providing insight into the context of unequal pay and strategies that have been successful.

We have a number of upcoming events across the UK, including workshops at TUC Women’s Conference and Yorkshire and the Humber TUC Sisters to the Front Conference to support self-organising and build momentum to ensure that regulators, businesses and the Government finally address unequal pay and the gender pay gap. So why not invite us to run a training session in your workplace, university, union or community hall? For more information contact Mumbi, Equal Pay Campaigns Officer.

Young Equality Campaigners project

Working in partnership with Dr Neil Herrington (UEL) and the Peace Education Network, The Equality Trust is developing a lesson plan exploring the premise that greater socio-economic equality is intrinsic to a more peaceful society. This will be released to secondary schools in September, as part of a new edition of Teach Peace.This has been kindly funded by Network for Social Change.

We are continuing our work with learners at Barking and Dagenham College to co-create a development programme for young people that combines learning about the causes and harms of inequality with skills such as researching, debating and campaigning on possible solutions. We will also be working with them to ensure that the voices of young people on the edges of the city are amplified in the upcoming London elections. If you would like to find out more about our young equality campaigning project or to get involved, contact Jo.

Introducing the APLE Collective

Right now, too many people are marginalised by decision-makers and matters that affect the most vulnerable in society are made without their input. This leads to poorer decisions and policies, such as Universal Credit, and it also misses a golden opportunity to harness the commitment and insight of millions of people across our society. It doesn’t have to be this way.

As organisations with lived experience of poverty, the APLE Collective are working to tackle poverty across the UK. The APLE Collective (which stands for Addressing Poverty through Lived Experience) aims is to create a sustainable, grassroots network across the UK to raise awareness of poverty, reduce stigma and work together with others to eradicate it. This growing collective of individuals and groups are working together to bring their expert knowledge to fully inform national anti-poverty debates.

It is only by working together with policy makers, practitioners and academics that solutions to addressing poverty both locally and nationally can be found. We invite you to connect with APLE, to get involved and to contribute to our campaigning. You can find out more in their blog on our website.

The Cambridge Commons

The Cambridge Commons, as part of the Fight Inequality Alliance global protests, held True Tales for Change, acommunity art project based on conversations with people experiencing marginalisation and the impact of inequality. The exhibition ran out of a local shopping centre and was captured by That’s Cambridge TV.

Cambridge 2030 launched with The Cambridge Commons support and featured in The Guardian.

The Cambridge Commons is also working in collaboration with students from the Cambridge Social Innovation Programme at the Cambridge Hub to develop a communications plan and inequality audit for local businesses.

The group's regular meetup is coming up on Wednesday 5th February and will also be hosting The Equality Trust’s co-founder, Kate Pickett, who will be speaking at Robinson College on 4th February. To find out more or get involved with The Cambridge Commons, email contact@thecambridgecommons.org.

My Fair London with Richard Wilkinson

My Fair London, in partnership with Toynbee Hall, invited The Equality Trust co-founder, Richard Wilkinson, to discuss The Inner Level, co-written with Professor Kate Pickett.

Also invited to respond were Dave Baillie from Psychologists for Social Change, Jim Minton, Chief Executive of Toynbee Hall, and Wanda; who all spoke from their perspectives on how the psychology of inequality impacts the capital.

More than 100 people came together for an interactive night of discussions, developing policy ideas.

Toynbee Hall’s David Allsey wrote a blog reflecting on the event, including some quotes from attendees. To find out more about My Fair London, contact Alex Bax on twitter.

Carlisle #FIGHTINEQUALITY

The Carlisle Equality Group held a community meeting in January, planning local contribution to the global Fight Inequality Alliance protests.

Local activists ran a public information stall with leaflets and activities on Carlisle High Street. As well as several high quality conversations with members of the public, the stall was covered on Radio Cumbria and by the Cumberland News before and after their action.

The Carlisle Equality Group also joined Sustainable Carlisle for their Conversation Cafe on the theme of inequality and had useful discussions about how to further promote the group and the issues it represents.

Group convenor, Professor Kaz Stuart gave a public lecture on the social determinants of Wellbeing, highlighting the issues of wellbeing to an audience of over 90 people.

The group is now focused on promoting a public talk and workshop with Wanda on the 11th March. You can register online if you would like to attend or contact the Carlisle Equality Group for more information.

Equality Oswestry

The Equality Oswestry Group’s links with its Syrian refugee community took a further step with an initial visit to meet with the most recent family arriving, that needs urgent support. After spending seven years in a refugee camp, a family’s 9 year-old son has never been to school and has been diagnosed with autism, which has many challenges especially with cultural and language barriers. The family is keen to learn English to integrate more easily with the local community.

The public event on Food and Friendship, held in October 2019, promoted a far better knowledge and understanding of what, why and how The Salvation Army confronts inequality in various ways - locally, nationally and internationally. Their Territorial Envoy delivered a comprehensive account of their work at a local, national and international level which includes many volunteers. A dark, rainy evening affected numbers for this event although those present raised pertinent questions saying that they had not realised the extent of the Salvation Army’s charity work.

This month the Equality Oswestry Group Committee set up a meeting with the Town Council’s Elect Mayor to discuss how we can work more effectively together to promote equality and diversity issues such as integration of Syrian Refugees and other European cultures, especially with the Polish and Ukrainian communities.

To continue to build the profile of the Equality Oswestry Group, user-friendly leaflets and information posters have been created to sit alongside the Equality Oswestry Facebook page.

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We look forward to working with you in this new decade and would love to have you involved in our projects. Please get in contact to find out more.