24 Nov Good Finance Call for New Partnerships to Address Imbalance
2020 has brought into focus the racial inequalities faced by people living across the UK. Manprit Vig, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Engagement Specialist at Good Finance discusses what they’re doing to address the imbalance.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has been proven to disproportionately impact ethnic minority communities, compounded by decades of structural discrimination and injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired a generation of new UK activists standing up to racism and fighting for a more equal society.
This impatience for change, in a time where change could not be more necessary, has accelerated many organisations across the UK to reflect and to act. Across all sectors, there are uncomfortable conversations happening – but uncomfortable is good. You cannot challenge structural systems that lead to disadvantage without it being uncomfortable.
Stop Talking and Start Doing
In the social investment sector, whilst there is progress being made to increase diversity and to be more inclusive, it can feel slow. That is why at Good Finance, a collaborative project to help improve access to information on social investment for charities and social enterprises, we have taken action – launching a new programme Addressing Imbalance.
A reality-check from Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer at Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN), left us with no doubt that we need to adapt our engagement strategy in order to engage those perceived as ‘hard to reach’. A recent report by The Centre for Public Impact UK and Changing Lives, shows that meaningful connection and listening to those we’ve not been able to engage may hold the key to pandemic recovery.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Engagement Specialist, Manprit Vig, reflects with a decade of frontline and lived experience : “For fundamental change to positively dismantle the systems upholding inequalities, we need to work inwards from the margins by honouring and empowering the wisdom of those facing the brunt of an unjust society at the individual, community and organisational level. New ways of engagement at the grassroots need to be embraced when addressing the deep-rooted inequalities that are clear to see from that viewpoint. Relatability and trust are key to engagement. For example, CAHN circulated videos by Black doctors of information and advice on Covid-19 which was more effective than mainstream communications. From personal experience, this culturally tailored communication was seen amongst the Sikh communities when Sikh doctors did the same to inform Sikh places of worship to close their doors in order to save lives. So, we should take the same tailored intersectional approach when it comes to informing all communities on social investment”.
Marginalised communities don’t have the same progressive outcomes as mainstream communities because their starting position isn’t the same, contending with additional barriers of cultural and socio-economic factors.
The Black South West Network report published Nov 2019, highlights “the need for networking spaces and access to information on social investment” as key barriers to growth for diverse-led social enterprises across the South West of England. A recent finding by The Social Enterprise UK’s Advisory Panel’s September 2020 Poll, suggests these diverse-led social enterprises seem particularly innovative, adaptive and resilient in their response to Covid-19. Therefore, we see it not only as an opportunity but a necessity for information on social investment to reach those serving marginalised communities, so they too can have an informed financial choice over their development.
The Addressing Imbalance programme aims to work with Black and ethnic minority led organisations, forming new partnerships, and working together to make social investment accessible for local communities.
Improving access can come in all shapes and sizes, what works for one organisation might not work for another. We have lots of ideas, tools and resources we can provide to engage your audience in conversation and make information on social investment accessible, but we want to do this in a way that works for you.
From conversations with our partners, we will plan how best to work together. This may include you hosting information events supported by us or creating some content such as blogs and case studies that celebrate your social impact journey.
For more information about Addressing Imbalance, you can download our Call for Partnerships brief here.
If you are a Black or minority ethnic led organisation supporting marginalised communities and you’d like to explore if the Addressing Imbalance project could work for you, contact Manprit Vig Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Engagement Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you are unsure if this is for you, we’d love to have an informal chat! We are mindful of your capacity and are here to be flexible to talk in a way and at a time that suits you.