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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)

 

"Race Equality in Scotland"
 
11 March 2011

SCoJeC Director Ephraim Borowski took part in a colloquium on race equality in Scotland in the Scottish Parliament. The event was organised by the Runnymede Trust, and the other speakers were Kay Hampton, former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, Jatin Haria of CRER, and spokesmen from the main political parties. The colloquium was to mark the launch of the Runnymede publication "Achieving Race Equality in Scotland" which includes an essay by Ephraim, and was followed by a web-chat in which he and others debated the issues raised with other interested participants.

Among the issues he raised were:

the different interpretations of "multiculturalism" north and south of the border, as now recognised by Baroness Warsi;

the danger of the "Big Society" slogan being interpreted purely in terms of local communities when thinly spread minorities need more support through networking;

the need for capital funding before volunteering can be effective;

the importance of avoiding vocabulary, such as the term "BME", that can alienate minority communities by seeming to exclude them both from the majority and the minority;

the "diversity of diversity", recognising that there is no single "minority community" and different minorities are as different from one another as they are from the so-called majority.

Runnymede Trust Director, Rob Berkeley, commented: "With an election looming it is crucial that issues of race equality are part of the political discussion. The publication and the debates showed that there is both an appetite and need for further progress on race equality in Scotland. They also showed that Scotland has a distinctive approach to creating a successful multi-ethnic society from which the rest of the UK could learn. Runnymede has valued the opportunity to work with Scottish organisations to support their exemplary work."

 

   
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Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation no. SC029438