`London’s a great city but certain things need to change and opportunities made available to everyone regardless if you are rich or poor or black or white’
All London Voices was a consultation project led by BTEG on behalf of the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE) and was funded by a grant from Trust for London. Ahead of the London mayoral election in May 2016, it aimed to find what young BAME (black Asian and minority ethnic) Londoners thought the new Mayor’s priorities should be. A final report was launched in July 16.
On the 13 October CORE and BTEG, with support from the Mayor’s Young Advisors Team, held an event at City Hall which presented and discussed the report's findings. Deputy Mayors Joanne McCartney and Matthew Ryder addressed the audience.
Joanne McCartney is Sadiq Khan’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare and talked about the administration’s commitment to addressing inequality and ensuring all communities get fair access to opportunities in London.
Matthew Ryder is a leading human rights lawyer and QC, and the Deputy Mayor for social integration and social mobility. He spoke about the need to do more to hear the voices of young people and communities to inform the development of policy and praised CORE’s effort to find out the views of young people and share these with the mayoral candidates. He made a strong commitment to engage with CORE, wider civil society in London and faith and user groups. Both Deputy Mayors agreed to meet representatives of CORE on their specific briefs.
The 50 or so attendees also heard from Mark Blake who gave a brief overview of the report. He stressed four points from the report:
Civil Society groups working on race equality, such as those in CORE, must do more to work with BAME young people
Racism and discrimination hadn’t gone away
The challenge of growing economic inequality is impacting hardest on London’s BAME communities
There were also three presentations on work engaging young people across the capital:
Kismet Meyon, one of the Mayor’s Young Advisors, spoke about her work within the team at City Hall that informs Mayoral policy with the views of young people, in particular the challenges facing young people from poorer backgrounds in the capital going into higher education
Deje Adeoshun, from Hackney CVS, talked about the work the CVS had been developing around improving outcomes for young black men, in partnership with the local council and the team of peer advocates recruited to lead this important work
Abdul Hasnath, from the Osmani Trust, gave a short talk on the work of the Trust in supporting vulnerable young people through proactive youth and community work.
Abdul also gave a touching anecdote about one of the young men interviewed in a focus group for the All London Voices project. A few weeks after the focus group, the young man was stabbed in an incident in the local area. He got in touch with the team at Osmani who were able to support him both in getting medical attention in the immediate aftermath and by giving him support and wise counsel. This probably averted a scenario where he and his friends would have sought retribution.
This provided a salient reminder that the challenges facing young people, from inequality and lack of opportunities to youth violence, are interlinked and that the role of civic society and the community in supporting and guiding them is absolutely crucial
CORE will be looking at how the foundations set out in this project can be built upon. It was a really positive night.