So, we held another cohesion summit yesterday to discuss how Birmingham is doing on integration and what issues we might need to address.
It was a wide-ranging and - at times - heated discussion. We debated how accessible different parts of the city are, with some participants pointing out that financial exclusion needs to be talked about more. The extent to which faith schools promote cohesion also prompted a lot of debate, but there was general agreement that we need more spaces where people from different backgrounds can come together.
Most of the discussion was about what we need to be focusing (bearing in mind the limited resources most orgs have). Top three issues were:
creating a sense of 'neighbourhood' - it's important people know their local neighbours
promoting social mobility and ensuring people have access to fair paid work
actually making 'diversity' a strength for the city, rather than a marketing slogan
Luckily, there appears to be some alignment between what organisations in the city are working on and what they think people should be working on. There's still room for improvement, though - in particular, around equipping local people to make change for themselves.
Any thoughts on how we could do this? Let us know.
Thanks to everyone who attended. Much appreciated.