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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

22 Nov 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 200

ūüéȬ†Welcome to the 200th issue of Diversity Lens!¬†
 For 200 (!) incredible weeks, we've brought you the latest news in equality, diversity, and inclusion every Friday - the joyful progress and the hair-pulling roadblocks. November 2019, our first issue, seems like a world away. Over this time, almost 9,000 of you have joined us on our mission to educate, inform, and inspire for social change.

Our organisation, Diversifying Group, has weathered significant changes in this time: re-branding, expanding services, and not letting diversity become just a buzzword. It hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows however, far from it! It's been a difficult time to be fighting this fight, with people jumping on the bandwagon briefly before jumping right off again. The struggle against rights being rolled back and extreme online discord has been real. However, in this 200th issue, let's take a step back and look at the big picture. We reflect over the past four years: on the areas of concern, but also the GOOD we've seen in the world.

Cheers to the journey so far, and here's to the next 200 issues of making a meaningful impact together!

¬†ūüĆě Good News ūüĆ쬆in Numbers¬†¬†

 SINCE OUR FIRST ISSUE IN NOVEMBER 2019...

 

Legal advancements are being made around the world which reflect¬†our onwards march towards safe and happy lives for all. We all fall prey to pessimism every now and then, maybe¬†most acutely felt this year, in 2023, where there is an overwhelming¬†feeling that¬†rights are¬†regressing. But¬†the UK is still¬†one of the most progressive nations, despite the vocal efforts of fringe groups determined to spread hate ūüíó¬†

Having said this, we cannot minimise the impact of recent events.

In 2023, the world is at risk of a social progress recession. The rate of progress has slowed significantly, and the UK specifically has declined in social progress since 2011. This is down to the impact of austerity measures, Brexit, covid, climate change, economic instability and political change.

We asked some of our team what their key areas of concern were today ‚¨áÔłŹ

 

A 'cost of living crisis' has somehow been normalised

I still don‚Äôt think I‚Äôm quite over the fact that the term ‚Äėcost of living crisis‚Äô exists.¬†Let‚Äôs think about what this actually means - a crisis over¬†the amount of money needed to¬†remain alive.¬†

Over the last 12 years of conservative power in the UK, food bank use has more than tripled, an estimated 14.5 million people are living in poverty and almost half of renters are only one paycheque away from potentially losing their home. It’s becoming increasingly harder for people to meet their basic needs of survival, such as food, sleep, shelter and hygiene. 

Underrepresented groups feel the effects of this more acutely. Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are disproportionately living in poverty, and disabled people are twice as likely as non-disabled people to live in poverty. 

Many of these structural issues require structural change - this is why your vote matters. Remember to register to vote to make your voice heard and donate to charities such as Shelter, The Outside Project, and The Trussell Trust, which are making a huge difference to the lives of many people across the UK.

UK government are failing to protect disabled people

The last 4 years has seen the crisis facing UK deaf and disabled people significantly worsening. From statistics showing that 60% of COVID-19 deaths were those of disabled people, to the unlawful lack of BSL interpreters at key COVID announcements, to disabled people being pressured to accept ‚ÄėDo Not Resuscitate‚ÄĚ orders as their lives were deemed less worthy of saving,¬†the pandemic has had an overwhelmingly negative impact on disabled people‚Äôs lives.¬†More than this, the refusal of the government and general public to acknowledge that the pandemic is still ongoing has led to worsened social isolation and abandonment of the high-risk people who still remain alive.¬†

Since the 2016 report by the UN on the UK‚Äôs ‚Äúsystemic violations‚ÄĚ of disabled people‚Äôs rights, we have seen little to no progress. The EHRC have stated in a UN report in November 2023 that¬†disabled people continued to be at disproportionately high risk of poverty, low income and poor¬†public services, and were still likely to suffer from¬†public prejudice¬†and media stereotyping.¬†The government has swept this under the carpet,¬†refusing to attend a UN review of its treatment of disabled people¬†after an inquiry warned of¬†"grave" violations¬†of our rights in August of 2023.

Continued...

Migrants are being vilified in the media

The ideology that Britishness = Whiteness is still prevalent in our society today, causing the ever-growing diversity in our country to be met with resistance.
Over the past four years, the vilification of migrants only seems to have worsened. We have seen a huge increase of xenophobic words and behaviours, amplified by our media and government who continue to push the divisive rhetoric that migrants are ‚Äėthe enemy‚Äô, and we must ‚ÄėStop the Boats‚Äô. By successfully planting seeds which view¬†migrants ‚Äď especially migrants of colour ‚Äď as ‚Äėthe other‚Äô, the conservative government have managed to split our society into two very opposing positions on migrants.

Jeremy Corbyn said in parliament this week that there is a lack of empathy for those willing to¬†‚Äúrisk their lives and risk everything‚ÄĚ to seek safety. This comes as the government plan to ignore the Supreme Court‚Äôs ruling that the Rwanda scheme is unlawful and to persist regardless of human rights violations.
I do not know how we have come to be where we are, but I hope for the future generations that we find our humanity. I am a strong believer that no human being is illegal, and instead of leading with division and selfishness, we should be looking to change the narrative so that Britishness = acceptance, support, and unity for all.

UK now one of the worst places to be trans

Despite increasing awareness of the experiences of transgender people, with this has come unprecedented hostility towards a small and vulnerable community. So much vitriol has been directed against what amounts to 0.5% of the population.

Where Britain were once seen as progressive leaders in LGBTQIA+ rights, this reputation has massively deteriorated over the past decade. Anti-trans hatred in particular is a widespread and normalised part of life in Britain today, and the baseless vilification of trans people is favoured by mainstream media, our political leaders, and outspoken trolls online. The validity of trans people merely living their lives is a constant 'debate.' But this doesn't stop with words.

Transphobic hate crimes have risen by 11% this year. For the last 4+ years we've been waiting on a conversion therapy ban that has not materialised. The UK made its stance clear by blocking a gender recognition bill from Scotland. And there has been unfounded obsession over 'single-sex spaces' being at risk.

The narrative on trans lives has become so toxic it is clearly undermining our wider reputation on human rights. The community are being used as scapegoats in political manoeuvring, often under the guise of protecting women. We must reject these false narratives and continue to show up for the trans community. Trans people are not a threat, overwhelmingly it is their lives and dignity being threatened.

 

There is no denying, it is a scary world we find ourselves in today, however...

We find optimism and energy in the new wave of activists and allies we see among us. If we look back at young people half a decade ago, politics wasn't something really on the agenda. Now, young people are more politically engaged than ever. They're not content to sit back and tap out of inequalities they see around them, they don't look away and we admire that massively.
That is our call to you, readers, to not look away. We know individual efforts can sometimes feel pointless, but we urge you to keep on fighting. A number of small shifts can amount to big change which we see not just in policies, but in culture, art and the people around us. Even by subscribing to this newsletter, you are making steps to consume more diverse news and keep issues of social change front in your mind.
So, thank you¬†ūüíĆ

 

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