Manchester Racial Equity Conference 2023

Mar 24, 2023 | General MEaP News, MaCTRI News

Manchester Racial Equity Conference 2023

The Manchester Racial Equity Conference took place on March 24th 2023. Dr Ornette Clennon shared findings from the Tackling Racial Injustice report (researched by MEaP Academy Training and Research Institute – MaCTRI for Young Manchester) at the Manchester Racial Equity Conference, which focused on exploring how the youth sector can become more equitable when thinking about race and identity.

About the Conference

The Manchester Racial Equity Conference was established to provide a platform for Manchester’s youth sector to ensure youth workers and young people have the opportunity to engage in important conversations that champion and advocate for equity. The conference took place at Hide Out Youth Zone (a vibrant, purpose-built space  for young people packed with engaging activities) and it was organised by Manchester City Council and partners UK Youth, the National Youth Agency, TRIUMPH, 7PK and Youth Focus North West.

The day was lead by a range of speakers including Dr Ornette Clennon (Head of MaCTRI – MEaP Academy Training and Research Institute), Professor Gus John (scholar, equality and human rights activist) discussing issues related to racial equity. Participants also engaged in a series of workshops that enabled like minded colleagues to network. The three workshops entailed:

  1.  Building Relationships and Equitable Participation: participants identified challenges of systemic and structural inequalities and oppression and were supported to develop ideas and solutions to
    drive forward and embed equity within youth work practice across the sector as well as deepen and strengthen relationships.
  2.  Storytelling: through the process of storytelling, participants were encouraged to: a) reflect critically how storytelling relates to inclusive youth work or practice relating to the experience of global majority staff and consider how storytelling can be used to amplify experiences of inclusive youth work and non-white staff (positive and negative), locally, regionally and nationally
  3. Power and Policy: participants explored and deconstructed the impact of policy and power structures on our on Global Majority Communities. Using a combination of reflective practice and experiences, the workshop worked to strengthen participant knowledge, skills and scope in order to support, strengthen and solidify equitable policy and power frameworks that seek to galvanise the youth sector as a whole.

About the Tackling Racial Injustice report

The Tackling Racial Injustice Report is a co-produced community research project exploring the challenges funders face in reaching and supporting grassroots African diaspora-led groups, as described by the communities themselves. Young Manchester commissioned the research which was delivered by community partners led by Henry Ngawoofah of MEaP. Community partners involved include a diverse spectrum of youth and social well being groups and charities such as CAHN, Elevate Young Minds, Highway Hope, Mighty Youth, Warm Hut and GIFT; also prominent black churches in Manchester with youth teams. Following this research accomplishment, these community groups have continued to collaborate and partner to achieve equity for young people of diverse backgrounds; and has since formed Manchester’s Tackling Racial Injustice Network/ aka TRI Network). The research report was compiled and written by Dr Ornette Clennon (Head of MaCTRI) and published in in April 2022. It explores practical solutions that funders, places, and the not-for-profit sector can implement to tackle racial injustice in our systems and processes.

Whilst originally commissioned to support the youth and play sector in Manchester, and the research co-produced with Manchester-based community groups; the recommendations and findings transcend both youth and play settings, and the Manchester geography to provide a potential roadmap to meaningfully funding grassroots African diaspora-led community groups across the UK. Dr Ornette shared findings from this report at Manchester Racial Equity Conference providing content for the workshop discussions and questions and answer sessions.

You can click on this link to find out more about the Tackling Racial Injustice Report and click this link to download a copy to read.