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Making (heritage) policy relevant for ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups (Judy Ling Wong)



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In the UK, Black Environment Network (BEN) is seen as the key representative of the interests of ethnic minorities in the context of the built and natural heritage. We sit on key governmental and voluntary sector policy committees. The presentation will share this experience and highlight significant contributions that make an essential difference in policy and strategies for ethnic inclusion. BEN, as an organisation, is focused on ethnic minorities. But, ethnic minorities is one of many socially disadvantaged groups, and many key issues and solutions are generic. We therefore often speak out on behalf of the interest of all socially disadvantaged groups in our work. In order to strengthen the effect of policy development, BEN also produces discussion papers to fuel debate, publishes guidance and good practice examples, and provides a consultancy and advice service to support organisations working for change.

Making (heritage) policy relevant for ethnic minorities and other disadvantaged groups (Judy Ling Wong)

  1. 1. Making Heritage Policy relevant for Ethnic Minorities and other Disadvantaged Groups <ul><li>Presentation for </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Care through Active Citizenship. Mechelen. Belgium 24.3.09 </li></ul><ul><li>Judy Ling Wong CBE. HonFCIWEM. FRSA. HonPhD </li></ul><ul><li>Director UK. Black Environment Network </li></ul>
  2. 2. Mission Statement Black Environment Network works with heritage and environmental organisations to establish multicultural participation We use the word ‘black’ symbolically recognising that the black communities are the most visible of all ethnic groups We work with black, white and other ethnic minorities
  3. 3. Why is sharing heritage with ethnic minorities and disadvantaged groups important? <ul><li>Involving everyone increases active citizenship for the care and protection of heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Most organisations aspire to express their ethical commitment to equality and diversity by taking action to open up their organisations to everyone </li></ul><ul><li>It makes good business sense </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of ethnic minorities within European nations is a feature of the 21st Century </li></ul><ul><li>The world is increasingly globalised </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting intercultural understanding within nations in a broad sense can make a significant contribution to living and working together harmoniously </li></ul>
  4. 4. How do we make relevant policies and action plans? <ul><li>An understanding of the process of engaging with different socio-cultural groups </li></ul><ul><li>An understanding of the context of the representation of multicultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>An assessment of the knowledge and skills of board members, management, staff and volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>An understanding of the socio-cultural potential of a wider interpretation of heritage assets and activities </li></ul>
  5. 5. “ Who we are and what we can achieve depends on how we see ourselves against the enormous pressure of how others see us. “ Judy Ling Wong CBE
  6. 6. Holistic Multicultural Representation and Citizenship Involvement in the 21st Century All national cultures are unique combinations of different national multicultural elements. Thinking about multiculturalism in a broad sense means including the distinct cultures of different ways of life, e.g miners, and social classes within society How shared multicultural histories are presented by cultural institutions powerfully shapes national identity and influences the life opportunities and actions of citizens
  7. 7. Opportunities for cultural institutions, NGOs and individuals to make our shared multicultural history visible and accessible are all around us. It is our privilege to pass our judgement on history and move positively into the future by re-positioning intercultural relationships within our nations. <ul><li>make the contribution of craftsmen, the working class and servant classes visible in historic houses </li></ul><ul><li>increase contact by facilitating, and if necessary, funding, disadvantaged social groups to visit heritage collections and sites </li></ul><ul><li>reflect the influence of different cultures in heritage interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>work in partnership with community based groups to formulate socially and culturally relevant activities </li></ul><ul><li>create new heritage sites and festivals </li></ul>
  8. 8. Increasing contact with heritage collections and sites Fun day at Culzean Castle. Scotland
  9. 9. Revealing the Influence of Different Cultures Storytelling and Jewellery Making at the Royal Museum. Edinburgh
  10. 10. New heritage sites Creating a new community forest to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Khalsa - the Sikh scriptures
  11. 11. A model equality and diversity policy We aim to: <ul><li>Break down barriers that prevent engagement by sections of society, whether physical, sensory, intellectual, cultural, social or economic, especially for under-represented, excluded or disadvantaged groups, e.g. ethnic minorities, those living in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Work with other organisations to develop standards </li></ul><ul><li>Implement monitoring and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Promote access for everyone by working to ensure that our properties, services and workplaces are open to all sections of society </li></ul><ul><li>Promote inclusion and equality of opportunity in the workplace and across all our activities </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for individuals and community groups from diverse backgrounds to engage and participate in what we do </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in activities that support and promote the diversity of local communities and reflect our shared multicultural heritage </li></ul>
  12. 12. Some key elements of an internal Action Plan <ul><li>Identify inspiring examples of good practice to enthuse action </li></ul><ul><li>Put high level leadership into place </li></ul><ul><li>Work in partnership with others </li></ul><ul><li>Provide training, advice and development support </li></ul><ul><li>Network with other organisations developing similar actions and celebrate success </li></ul>
  13. 13. Stimulating participation <ul><li>Reach out and offer fun activities, e.g. run a photo competition of a historic garden </li></ul><ul><li>Identify sites that have a social or cultural link to the target social group </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraise together with a community group for transport and activity costs </li></ul><ul><li>Use the arts, e.g. combine a visit with drawing using an ethnic minority artist to lead </li></ul><ul><li>Research multicultural elements and involve groups using oral history </li></ul><ul><li>Develop resources in collaboration with community groups </li></ul>
  14. 14. “ Working with disadvantaged social groups is not about doing a favour for small groups of vulnerable people. It is about working towards the vision of an inclusive society of which we can all be proud. “ Judy Ling Wong CBE
  15. 15. Resources and examples <ul><li>www.ben-network.org. uk/resources/publs . aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Environmental Participation. Volume 2. Key articles and papers. Judy Ling Wong </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Community Environmental Participation </li></ul><ul><li>The Cultural and Social Values of Plants and Landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic Environmental Participation. Volume 3. Key articles and papers. Judy Ling Wong </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-cultural Interpretation and Access to Heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Visualising Heritage Participation by Ethnic Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Taking action within the Historic Environment Sector to link people and place </li></ul><ul><li>www.openingdoorsreport.org.uk/l2.php?L1ID=5&L2ID=21 </li></ul><ul><li>Opening Doors: Learning in the historic environment. Attingham Trust report - Section E4 Hidden Stories </li></ul><ul><li>www.heritagelink.org.uk/diversity/ </li></ul><ul><li>Embracing Diversity Programme </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>For information about BEN </li></ul><ul><li>www.ben-network.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Consultancy and training services </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>All BEN publications and resources </li></ul><ul><li>are downloadable free </li></ul><ul><li>www.ben-network.org.uk/resources/intro.html </li></ul><ul><li>www.ben-network.org.uk/resources/publs.aspx </li></ul>