OUR STORY

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRAP

 

We’ve been in the game a long time. In fact, 2019 is our 20th anniversary. 

 

Here are some of our fave memories. 

 
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brap begins

1999

We started out as a small project in Birmingham.

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Immediate impact

2000

We recruited and trained 20 new types of community advocate.

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Voice for the voiceless

2001

One of our first reports, Shattered Homelands, Scattered Dreams, gives a voice to asylum seekers in the city. It says the government’s refusal to recognise the hardships its policies are creating is ‘deliberate’ and ‘shameful’. 

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Smashing stereotypes

2002

Attending the Education and Skills Select Committee to talk to MPs about the underachievement of Black and Asian pupils, they ask us if role models are the answer. We politely tell them reforms ‘needs to be far more fundamental than that’.

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New horizons

2004

Following the murders of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Leita we brought together over 300 people to talk about race, hip hop, and gang crime: the only organisation in the region to do so.

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Y1K

2006

Our training numbers start to hit a thousand a year.

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Transforming healthcare

2007

We were asked to review the implementation of mental health trusts’ plans to address the issues raised by the David ‘Rocky’ Bennett inquiry. In response, we produced a learning tool that was commended across the country and picked up by nine mental health trusts.

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National recognition

2008

We pioneered human rights policies and strategies for a range of health commissioning organisations. These were showcased by the Department of Health as good practice.

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Changing communities

2010

We deliver a multi-million pound programme giving local groups the skills to change communities. The number of organisations we help tops 500.

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Human rights in healthcare

2011

The government announces it will use the human rights standard we devised for Macmillan Cancer Support to help reducing cancer inequalities.

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New directions

2012

We delivered our first unconscious bias training in this year. Since then, we've provided this type of training to over 80 different organisations. 

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Uniting the city

2014

With Birmingham reeling from the Trojan Horse affair, we hold public events, talk with schools, and advise the city council. Thousands of people download our reports and guidance on the issue (which you can read here).

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Evidence base

2015

We published From Benign Neglect to Citizen Khan, a review of how organisations have promoted equalities over the last 30 years.

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Inspiring entrepreneurs

2016

We support over 400 budding young entrepreneurs, giving them the skills to set up a business and follow their passion.

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Truth to power

2017

The Prime Minister invited us to Downing Street to discuss the state of race equality in the UK. You can see what we said here.

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Changing conversations

2018

Trialling new approaches to democratizing conversations, we hold events up and down the country to find out how people really feel about the way communities are changing. We engaged over 500 people and afterwards went to Sweden, Turkey, and Spain to tell them how we did it. 

THE NAME GAME

 

We know what you’re thinking – “What does ‘brap’ stand for?”

 

Well, brap stands for equality, fairness, human rights, social justice, and better outcomes for service users.

 

It used to stand for ‘Birmingham Race Action Partnership’. The partnership was between a range of organisations, including the Learning & Skills Council, Birmingham local authority, Birmingham TUC and Connexions. They all came together in recognition of the need for some fresh, evidenced-based thinking on equalities issues.

 

That was in 1999. It soon became clear, though, that Birmingham Race Action Partnership was a slightly misleading name.

 

We realised a long time ago that tackling ‘race’ inequalities meant tackling all forms of inequality, so our work wasn’t just restricted to race. In addition, a lot of our work was national, not just local to Birmingham. And while the original partners still maintain a close interest in the organisation and have a role within the governance structure, it wasn’t entirely accurate to describe brap as a ‘partnership’.

 

In fact, by 2006, the only part of our name that accurately reflected what we did was ‘Action’.

 

So we decided to change it to ‘brap’. It’s how people knew us and what we stood for: fairness and human rights.