On 11th December 2017, BSWN held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a panel discussion titled 'Inclusive Growth – a mechanism for addressing inequality?’. The meeting and discussion were well-attended by over 40 individual and associate members of BSWN. The AGM was chaired by Dr. Marie-Annick Gournet who is also a member and the Interim Chair of our Board of Trustees.
The West of England Economic Growth Conference is fully supported by the West of England Combined Authority and the West of England LEP and is the region’s biggest business event of 2017 and brings together public and private sector leaders to discuss and debate the key business themes and opportunities for growth. Director Sado Jirde represented BSWN as a key note speaker.
The Bristol Somali Festival is a sister to the week-long Somali Festival in London that is curated by Ayan Mahamoud. This is year’s festival focused on the concept on Identity, Belonging and role of culture within the diaspora community. Thanks to the success of the last year’s Bristol Somali Festival, BSWN in partnership with M Shed and other partners were able to bring Somali Festival to Bristol once again for two days of discussion and activities aimed to celebrate the Somali community in Bristol.
Due to the incredible demand, and to also bring the documentary back to the community where it was filmed, BSWN hosted a second documentary viewing at the Docklands following the launch event. First, the documentary was screened before the BME community was engaged on their views of the documentary and where Bristol as a city is headed in terms of racial politics, heritage, and belonging. Speakers for the evening included Dr. Edson Burton, Sado Jirde, Kunle Olulode, Delano Gourmet Moore, Michael Jenkins, Desmond Brown, and Councillor Estella Tincknell.
#ThereISBlackInTheUnionJack a film and history project by BSWN looks at the relationships between heritage, race, identity and belonging for the Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) community in Bristol. Charting the changing nature of BME identity in the city through conversations with BME Bristolians across generations and genders (with the help of trained BME volunteers from the community), the documentary features interviews with members of the community, activists and political leaders. This documentary screening was followed by a panel discussion with speakers including Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, Afua Hirsch, Maya Goodfellow, Omar Khan, and David Olusoga.
This workshop led by Dr Therese O’Toole (University of Bristol) who has researched and written extensively on radicalisation was an outcome of our ongoing effort to improve relations between the police and local Black and Minority Ethnic communities. Dr. O’Toole shared key findings from her most recent research before the attendees broke into groups for a discussion that focuses on identifying the three greatest challenges the muslim community is currently facing, and what possible community-led approaches could be successful in tackling them. This event was attended by approximately 20 members of the local muslim community, teachers, parents and public sector workers.
The meeting was hosted by BSWN to offer an informal platform to discuss any issues the muslim community might have post - Manchester terrorist attack with the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Sue Mounstevens. The meeting also explored wider issues in relation to community policing, and a mechanism for engagement to ensure there is open, transparent and effective way of collaborative working between the OPCC, police and the community to address the imminent threat of extremism in our society.
This event was the second part of our BAME Round Table event hosting candidates for the West of England Mayor 2017, with four candidates present to answer questions from audience: Tim Bowles ( Conservative ), Darren Hall ( Green Party ), Lesley Mansell ( Labour Party ), and John Savage ( Independent ).
In order to provide the opportunity to speak with as many candidates as possible, BSWN in partnership with Business West decided to host the BAME Roundtable Event in two parts. Part 1 hosted the Liberal Democrat candidate Stephen Williams, and the discussion was chaired by the founder of 91 Ways, Kalpna Woolf.
On the 3rd March 2017, Black South West Network (BSWN) together with Voice 4 Change England (V4CE), Social Investment Business (SIB) and the legal firm Burgess Salmon hosted a half day event to look at exploring the role of social investment across the BAME sector in Bristol, to address BAME economic inequality and the viability of this route for our communities.
The aim of this event was to provide information about the big developments in health and social care, and in regard to the VCSE Review of how health and social care should be supporting the voluntary sector (https://vcsereview.org.uk/). Furthermore, the event aimed to inform attendees about local developments in Bristol and the South West and to share examples of key developments in social prescribing, health and justice, and new models of healthcare.
Bristol City Council in partnership with Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and the Bristol Cultural Steering Group has appointed Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy (TFCC) to lead on Bristol’s Cultural Future a plan for culture in the city. In partnership with Black South West Network, we were able to consult 20 residents and VCS organisation representatives around the challenges to the creative industry to Bristol.
Following the launch of Bristol City Council’s draft Corporate Strategy consultation seeking people’s views on a draft five-year plan for the city, Black South West Network working with Cllr Asher Craig & Bristol City Council (BCC) Policy Team, decided to host a Race Equality focused consultation meeting to explore challenges and opportunities for the BAME community that can be fed into the strategy.