The Equality Trust Newsletter: April 2021
Building the movement
Wanda’s been busy with speaking engagements in March which included sharing a platform with Baroness Nicky Morgan in Public Policy Project’s challenging health inequalities event on International Women’s Day. Over 100 people heard Wanda highlight our campaign with Just Fair to commence the Socio-Economic Duty from Section 1 of the Equality Act. On 16 March, Wanda spoke about gender equality in the workplace at an event organised by the James Hutton Institute. On the same day, she advised the City of London Social Mobility Taskforce. Just last night many of you may have joined us, Cambridge Commons and My Fair London, as we hosted the UK book launch for The Wealth Hoarders. This is the latest fascinating book by Chuck Collins, from our sister organisation in the US, the Institute for Policy Studies, with Prof. Rowland Atkinson also joining us. The book traces how billionaires pay millions to hide trillions. You can buy the book and watch the launch.
Our Senior Researcher, Dr Sara Bailey, has started work on our new Covid-19 Inequality project, #covidinequality. It seeks to capture the lived experience of those most affected by the pandemic and she plans to speak to around 100 people up and down the country. Depending on what people tell us, we wish to identify emerging themes for reports and recommendations. If you know of grassroots groups, community groups or organisations working on inequality during the pandemic, or individuals who want to talk about their pandemic experience, please get in touch with Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expanding our activity
We’re stepping up our activity in a number of areas and are recruiting people to make it happen. We are delighted to welcome Emma Marks as our Senior Local Groups Organiser, based in Birmingham, to support our local equality groups. We are also recruiting a Senior Researcher (Income Inequality) and a Senior Campaigner, so please check out these vacancies and pass them onto those who might be interested.
As ever, we are supporting campaigns alongside other groups and individuals. We supported calls for an immediate reintroduction of compulsory gender pay reporting alongside groups such as Women’s Budget Group and the Fawcett Society. The Government intends to reintroduce it in October 2021.
We also signed letters to the press on the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill going through Parliament, alongside hundreds of individuals and organisations concerned that the Bill will prevent some currently lawful public protests. In addition, the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities fear parts of the Bill are aimed at them while the Government admits that other sections will disproportionately affect Black and Asian communities.
Young equality campaigners
Our young equality campaigners are planning to write a submission to the Government’s low pay consultation. Low pay scales, difficulty in finding work, even for graduates, were the subject of discussion at the 24th March meeting. The group also discussed their frustrations about health, because young people are a low priority for the health services dealing with Covid-19, they are finding it difficult to get any health treatment. At the meeting Cristiana Orlando, Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies and Rachael McKeown, Association for Young People’s Health were key speakers. The campaigners also want health inequality on the agenda for the 9th June conference that will start the development of a youth manifesto.
New podcast: Inequality and health with Dr Fran Darlington-Pollock
The latest Inequality Bites podcast features the Trust’s chair, Dr Fran Darlington-Pollock. As a geography and population lecturer at Liverpool University, she spoke about inequality between regions and ethnic groups and also concerning health and Covid-19 impacts. She pointed out worrying trends on life expectancy. You can hear it via this link and do tune in to all the other episodes!
We have two new blogs, so do check them out!
- Resurrecting kinship and our wonderful dependence on each other - Emma from South Norwood Community Kitchen asks whether having community spirit rather than wealth, after everyone obtains what is needed, is better.
- In Everyday Inequality, Tai Reeves speaks about being a member of six marginalised groups and how campaigners need to take intersectionality more seriously.
Local Group Bulletin
Making London Mayor candidates equally accountable
My Fair London (MFL) has plans for each candidate in the London Mayoral elections to take part in an on-line public meeting. This is part of its main focus on the Mayoral and London Assembly elections taking place on 6th May. MFL has published a draft ‘Agenda for a Fairer London,’ and is now working to engage with the campaign teams of the main candidates. MFL will use the public meeting to gain responses to its agenda and challenge candidates to commit to prioritising tackling inequality. The My Fair London Agenda for a Fairer City is here.
Green Party candidate and the party’s co-leader, Sian Berry came to MFL’s first candidate meeting on 25th March. Sian gave her wholehearted endorsement for the ideas in the MFL Agenda. The Lib Dem candidate, Luisa Porrit will be meeting MFL on 7th April. The group is waiting to hear back from Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey.
‘Solidarity funds’ could help provide direct financial help on a local basis during the pandemic, so MFL is also exploring whether they can create them. Members are also developing thinking about the role of the media in propagating and perpetuating the idea that inequality is somehow normal or natural. There is a blog here about this work.
Campaigning for a basic income in Edinburgh
My Fair Edinburgh has been calling on the public to use its ‘social power’ to tell MSPs about basic income and housing. They have been working with Basic Income Network Scotland and the Universal Basic Income Network to ask MSPs to take a pledge. Glasgow Council has passed a motion to have basic income trials in the city at a time when polling suggests two-thirds of the Scottish public support this. My Fair Edinburgh wants to encourage the Scottish Parliament to back trials. The group is also calling on MSPs to support social housing to deal with rising homelessness.
Laptops for children in Cambridgeshire
Cambridge Commons is backing a campaign to find laptops and provide Internet access for children who don’t have access to them. Digital Drive Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is led by Cambridge 2030 and supported by local authorities. They estimate that 8,000 children are without laptops and 3,000 have no Internet access. The campaign is asking the public for second hand laptops, while cash donations can be made through gofundme
Do you want to make a difference in your community? Find your local Equality Trust group or contact Emma, Emma.Marks@equalitytrust.org.uk to find out how you can start an Equality Trust group in your area.
LATEST BLOGS / COMMENT / RESOURCES
The Equality Trust signs an open letter: the Welsh Government's commencement of the Socio-Economic Duty
Following the Government’s race report, Wanda makes a brief argument alongside an opposing position: Is the UK institutionally racist?
Wanda signs a letter to the Prime Minister: Drop Discriminatory Elements of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
Wanda signs a letter to the Government: Roll Back on Expansive Police Power
Wanda responds to research about young women, inequality and the job market
#EthnicityPayGap campaign has its own website
Chuck Collins’ new book: The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions plus the UK launch webinar
KEY DEVELOPMENTS AND REPORTS
Parliamentary committee presents evidence of the unequal impact of Covid-19 on women
Low-income families know about health foods but can't afford them
Britons care about geographical inequality and but are weak on other types
Low-income students lose out on job opportunities due to Covid-19’s impact on universities
INEQUALITY IN THE NEWS
Report of the Greater Manchester Independent Inequality Commission
The PM has no roadmap out of inequality
Labour MP says Rishi Sunak’s Budget ignored equality
Is transparency the key to the gender pay gap?
Half of UK women fear equality will go back to the 70s
COVID-19 AND INEQUALITY NEWS
Inequalities in education, skills, and incomes in the UK: The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic,
Covid-19 has widened inequality in Wales, data indicates
Income inequality is a major predictor of covid-19 death rates
Covid-19 has increased inequality in Warrington to ‘incredible heights’, says health chief
We look forward to working with you as always and would love you to get involved in our projects. Or if you need our support on a local campaign, then please do let us know! Please get in contact to find out more about any of our projects.
Wanda, Jo, Frankie, Jenny, Simon and Sara.
The Equality Trust Team