Post Lockdown Impact on Black Children and Vulnerable Learners; Roundtable discussion, 27.5.20 — Academic Creative Enterprise

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon

Here is a webinar roundtable organised by the Aspire Education Group that I took part in that explores the Post Lockdown Impact on Black Children and Vulnerable Learners. At 36:17, I talk about the differences between synchronous and asynchronous online learning approaches and the opportunities they bring for community education. Here is the staff survey from this […]

via Post Lockdown Impact on Black Children and Vulnerable Learners; Roundtable discussion, 27.5.20 — Academic Creative Enterprise

To the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent towards its midterm review report on the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024

Academic Leads (Drafting team): Dr Michael McEachrane, Dr Ornette Clennon, Elsie Gayle, Shaban Jah and Constance de la Vega

Related Posts

24th session of the Working Group WGEPAD (OHCHR), 25-29 March 2019, Geneva

EU Commission Report on “Being Black in Europe” 28.11.18

UN Human Rights meeting to be addressed by Visiting Research Fellow 16.11.17 – UPDATED: 26.11.17

United Nations WGEPAD 20th session, “Leaving no one behind, people of African descent and the Sustainable Development Goals”

As members of the International Coalition for People of African Descent (ICPAD)—an international civil society coalition that has been formed around IDPAD and the forthcoming UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent—with CSOs from Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, the US and Europe, we drafted interim comments with recommendations for the progress made in the International Decade for People of African Descent. The report was submitted to UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) in the OHCHR on May 17th 2020.

For our comments and recommendations, please click here.

24th session of the Working Group WGEPAD (OHCHR), 25-29 March 2019, Geneva

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon

Related Posts

To the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent towards its midterm review report on the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024

EU Commission Report on “Being Black in Europe” 28.11.18

United Nations Human Rights Meeting in Geneva addressed by Visiting Research Fellow 16.11.17

UN Proposal for Leaving Noone Behind 3-7.4.17

The Working Group of Experts on People of African (WGEPAD) Descent public session Data for Racial Justice was held in Geneva from 25-29 March 2019.  This thematic session  involved specific focus on its mapping exercise and brought together experts to discuss the human rights situation of people of African descent globally. It also involved a comprehensive look at varied intersections of big data and racial justice (and injustice) globally.

We were a handful of UK civil society organisations that were invited to submit a baseline data set on the Human Rights of People of African Descent in England and Wales.

Our data set contributed to WGEPAD global mapping exercise of the Human Rights of People of African Descent, here.

This session directly came out of our earlier recommendations that were accepted at the 20th session, “Leaving no one behind, people of African descent and the Sustainable Development Goals”, 3-7 April 2017

 

Project Mali Enterprising Leaders, 27.4.19

The Ubele Initiative and Locality’s national report entitled “A Place Called Home”, highlighted an urgent need for BAME communities to be offered targeted support, advice, capacity building and investment to enable them to retain and build sustainable community business models because assets they ‘owned’ are being lost. In response to that, in 2017, Mali Enterprising Leaders was the first community business pilot project which sought to create community business opportunities, inter-generationally within BAME community organisations in the UK.

The project:

  • Increased BAME organisations’ awareness of current and emerging trends in asset development and community enterprise in London and Manchester
  • Contributed to the sustainability of existing BAME-led organisations with community assets through increasing their capacity to establish and run community owned businesses
  • Offered a menu of tailored community business support to 5 BAME community based organisations in London and Manchester
  • Contributed to the growth of the next generation of BAME community entrepreneurs aged 18-30 years
  • Supported organisations to begin to develop and test out community enterprise ideas
  • Commissioned BAME led support providers to provide local, tailored and targeted support services directly to and within BAME organisations and communities and introduce them into the Power to Change enterprise eco-system

For more details, read here

The project report here:

Witter, Y., Clennon, O. D., Murray, K., Sawyerr, A. (2019) Evaluation Report For Mali Enterprising Leaders (MEL). [report] London: The Ubele Initiative/Power to Change doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.20330.36801

EU Commission Report on “Being Black in Europe” 28.11.18

Academic Leads: Dr Michael McEachrane and Dr Ornette D Clennon with Esther Mamadou (ENPAD)

Related Post

To the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent towards its midterm review report on the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024

24th session of the Working Group WGEPAD (OHCHR), 25-29 March 2019, Geneva

United Nations Human Rights Meeting in Geneva addressed by Visiting Research Fellow 16.11.17

UN Proposal for Leaving Noone Behind 3-7.4.17

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I was invited by ENPAD to contribute to some of the strategic thinking in the policy forum discussion that was arranged to explore the policy implications of the Being Black in Europe report.

Report Launch in the European Parliament

We are here to examine the policy implications of this report:

For details about Cecile Kyenge’s political victimisation, see here.

This description very much evokes Du Bois’ 1912 Of the Training of Black Men.

Generating Agency

See Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations. For argument suggesting the need for greater nuance around the debate around the reparations, see Chapter 1 of Black Scholarship Activism between the Academy and Grassroots.

This point about the need for better application of the law seemed to be a running undercurrent during the day and will be explored later.

Decolonising Education

There is much work to do to bring the knowledge of the academy about critical race studies into the popular domain, especially in the area of education. For information about the crucial role of supplementary schools in creating knowledge agency in the face of a sometimes mainstream education that can often appear to seek to obscure, see here, here and here.

The need for Intersectional Policy Making

For some UK research into this area of race, sexuality and mental health, see here.

For research into BAME health inequalities and structural discrimination, see here.

Statutory Data Collection for Evidence-based Policy Making

For work around the correlation of the UN SDGs and the work of civil society and grassroots groups, resulting in a Community Reporting Matrix, see here.

Equality Bodies and their Role

See below for suggested ideas around strategic litigation. However the diversity of Equality bodies, themselves was called into question….

Click on tweet below to access video

More information about Sweden’s UN audit on race and inequality, here.

In summary

  Lunch

Policy Forum in the European Commission

Here are the joint policy recommendations that we wanted to discuss with the EU Commission:

The Role of the EU Commission and Member State Compliance

The Need for Strategies to tackle Afrophobia

Presentation and discussion of the Report

This is an important point because the report can still be viewed through the prism of the invisibility or pseudo-neutrality of “whiteness” which means that progress will be very difficult to attain. Whiteness needs to be problematised and recognised, as part of the solution (c.f. decolonisation of both the coloniser and the colonised). Without this recognition, developing policies will be very difficult because the negative ethea of powerbrokering institutions will never be fully examined.

Recognising the Structural Legacy of Colonialism

For some of our contextual UN policy development work in this area of campaigning for the recognition of colonialism through education, see here.

In policy terms, I am alluding to the need of a stricter adherence to the original implications of Crenshaw’s 1991 Mapping the Margins, in terms of both the overlapping vectors of injustice and the gaps in the law to deal with them.

Closer EU Commission Partnership Work with Civil Society Grassroots Organisations?

It is interesting that the knowledge and skills base of civil society and especially grassroots organisations are not routinely recognised as demonstrating “expertise”. So, although these groups are regularly consulted about research, they tend not be awarded the initial FUNDED contracts to actually conduct the research because there appears to be a widespread perception that they do not have the expertise. For more about how knowledge can be decentralised away from the academy and acknowledged in community spaces, see here, here and here.

This very much ties in to the earlier observation about the lack of diversity in equality bodies and their need to widen their recruitment strategies (e.g. ethnic minority internships, closer links with ethnic minority-led civil society organisations and NGOs etc)

Continuation of Statutory Obligation to Collect Demographic Data

The Race Disparity Audit is a good example, see here.

Roundtable Discussion

Accessibility of Policy Making Process to Communities

Funding

Generating Agency

See here, here and here for the implications for funding in this area of litigation.

Possible Next Steps

Campaigning Activities

ENPAD and ENAR need to continue campaigning for the adoption of statutory obligations to collect disaggregated data on ethnic minority inequalities in member states. It would be good for ENPAD and ENAR to be more closely involved in designing and delivering future EU Commission reports and surveys into member state data collection. Clearly, policies designed to tackle ethnic minority inequalities will be easier to write with comprehensive data as evidence. This will be extremely important for nation states such as Spain (as explained by Esther Mamadou), Finland and Poland (and others).

Political Activism Activities

In view of the EU elections in May 2019, building on Dr Michael McEachrane’s suggestion for an EU Commission event, ENPAD and ENAR should prepare for this event by augmenting their human rights training workshops to include educating their participants about the political party systems in their member states. We need to utilise the best practice of our US colleague LaTosha Brown, who has paved the way in finding ways to galvanise the African American grassroots vote (making a critical difference in election results in some US states). In an EU context, grassroots civic engagement programmes are very much needed but equally needed are engagement and alignment with the most appropriate political parties that will be able to represent and action social justice reforms. The minority voter has the power to become the king maker and their potential currency needs to be galvanised in order to create leverage (i.e. lobbying) at national levels. However, for instance, without statutory data collection, this echoes Esther Mamadou’s concerns and challenges about the lack of migrant registration in Spain with its ensuing political implications.

Strategic Litigation

Michael O’Flaherty correctly surmised that we already have laws that prohibit structural discrimination and that we need to find ways of better enforcing them. This will be a challenge for some member states who simply do not have the data to act as evidence that can build strong legal cases. However, in current (for now) member states such as the UK where data on ethnic minority discrimination is robust, strategic litigation has now got to be considered (as it is with the Windrush debacle). Building on a post roundtable conversation with Larry Olomofe, we will need to follow up as a matter of urgency on the developments of the BEUC report that explored mechanisms of legal redress in the EU. We will also need to closely examine ways of funding litigation campaigns using mixed income stream models (EU institutional, private finance e.g. Open Society Foundations as identified by Esther Mamadou, grassroots enterprise financing systems, etc).

Book Alert – Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots: A Bridge for Identities and Social Justice, 22.7.18 (28.9.18) — Academic Creative Enterprise

Update Published 26.9.18 “This is a timely and important book that expertly combines personal narrative with nuanced theoretical analysis. Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots is a deeply engaging work that urges the reader to consider the possibilities and challenges facing academics who work towards social justice. Once picked up, this is a […]

via Book Alert – Black Scholarly Activism between the Academy and Grassroots: A Bridge for Identities and Social Justice, 22.7.18 (28.9.08) — Academic Creative Enterprise

Medical cannabis academic shares excitement of meeting Home Secretary Sajid Javid at 10 Downing Street

Academic Lead: Yewande Okuleye

Yewande Okuleye, whose transdisciplinary investigation of cannabis self-medication, was invited by the PM to attend a reception for the 70th anniversary of the Windrush
Medical cannabis academic shares excitement of meeting Home Secretary Sajid Javid at 10 Downing Street

Yewande with Sajid Javid

Yewande Okuleye, a medical cannabis researcher within our School of History, Politics and International Relations, has spoken of her ‘excitement’ meeting Home Secretary Sajid Javid and the real-world application of her research into cannabis self-medication during an event at 10 Downing Street for the 70th anniversary of the Windrush.

The event, which took place on 22 June, saw Yewande being invited by the Prime Minister as part of the Operation Black Vote parliamentary scheme, where she is currently shadowing and learning from Tom Brake MP.

For more details, see here.

Manchester Supplementary School Network (MSSN) Policy Brief: Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon and Jan Bradburn (Manchester City Council)

Related Posts

Government Green Paper on Integrated Communities Consultation with Supplementary Schools, 10.5.18

Government Green Paper on Integrated Communities Consultation with Supplementary Schools, 2.5.18

Executive Summary

Read full Policy Brief, here

Supplementary schools are volunteer-led spaces, offering educational, cultural and language provision for mainly black and minority ethnic (BME) children and young people. Research has consistently shown that they offer an invaluable resource for many pupils, but are often overlooked by mainstream schools and education funders. (Nwulu, 2015, p. 7). According to Ramalingam & Griffith’s (2015) report, there are between three to five thousand supplementary schools across the country that operate mainly on Saturdays and sometimes on weekdays in the early evening. These statistics are especially important when we consider that approaching a third of all BAME pupils attend supplementary schools alongside mainstream education.

In order to give feedback on the Green Paper, we arranged two focus group meetings with a range of BAME supplementary schools from Greater Manchester’s African and African Caribbean, Somali, Muslim, Arab and Chinese communities. Our discussions with the focus groups revealed the wide range of activities that our supplementary schools undertake and although their central focus is education, they very much act as community hubs with the potential to deliver an even greater range of community services. The overwhelming sentiment from our groups was that the government needs to greatly expand its current recognition of ‘out-of-school settings’ to include the wide range of community activities that supplementary schools already run to “build[ing] strong, integrated communities” that “challeng[ing] attitudes and practices which…foster[ing] division” (HM Government, 2018, p. 16)

Policy Recommendations

We would suggest that funding is needed for pilot projects that promote community cohesion and inter-school cooperation. These pilot projects could act as opportunities for supplementary schools to build track-records for larger consortium-based commissioned community services (e.g. youth engagement, adult literacy, etc.)

We would suggest that more funding is needed to create a dedicated Local Authority team that looks after safeguarding and (teacher) training for supplementary schools. This team would also be responsible for managing any paper work that future regulation might create.

Back to Policy Recommendations and Updates, here.

Government Green Paper on Integrated Communities Consultation with Supplementary Schools, 10.5.18

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon with Jan Bradburn (Manchester City Council)

Related Post

As you can read, our second set of discussions were also wide ranging and along with our first consultation will be the basis for a Manchester City Council collective response to the Government Green Paper on Integrated Communities.

Attendees: Jan Bradburn, Manchester City Council; Sheena Wadhera, Manchester City Council; Sondos Abaas, Almanar School; Mohammed Kouzali, Almanar School; Jenny Liu, Chinese Education Culture Charity College, Manchester; Norea El Mashay, Al Hikmah Academy; Mohammed Hasan, Samodon Trust; Ornette Clennon, MEaP/MMU

Headlines:

Integration Green Paper

– We discussed the Integration Green Paper and the Out of Hours School Settings paper.
– We also fed back on our group discussion from our last focus group meeting.

Awareness of Supplementary Schools, their activities and staff

– In the context of potential regulation, Sondos said that the government needs to fully know what supplementary schools do before placing extra regulatory demands on them.
– Sondos, Mohammed K and Jenny Liu said that their schools were Edexcel exam centres and that their role in the exam success of their students needed to be promoted more widely. They said that this was a challenge because their students sit their exams in their mainstream schools, which don’t seem to acknowledge the input from their supplementary schools.
– Sondos said that mainstream schools have extensive problems with exclusions but said that supplementary schools don’t have these problems because their children are too busy studying.
– Mohammed K said that most of their children are high academic achievers.
– Jan made the point that supplementary schools want to teach all children in their local communities but this was not a general perception of supplementary schools.
– Sondos also said that the schools achieve all of their results with very small budgets.
– Jenny Liu made the point that supplementary school Heads have to perform many roles all unpaid; from cleaning, teaching, administration
– Jan warned that the relationship between some mainstream and supplementary schools was sometimes strained because the former does not always recognise the financial constraints of the latter especially when it comes to venue hire.
– Jenny Liu said that she preferred working in secondary school venues because they allow her school greater freedoms to temporarily customise the space than do primary schools.

(My reflection: the debate about regulation in the context of PREVENT seems to conflate two distinctly different constituencies of young people because the schools represented by our focus groups work with high achieving, studious and ambitious young people who would be least likely to be at risk of radicalisation. It would appear that the young people at risk of radicalisation would also be at greater risk of other types of exploitation, which should also be closely monitored. Schools operating in dangerous environments that could be putting young people at risk were not likely to be participants in the voluntary code of practice that has already been established, in other words they will already be operating underground.)

Voluntary Code of Conduct

– Jan reminded us that Manchester City Council operates a voluntary code of conduct with its supplementary schools.
– Mohammed K asked who they could contact within the council if his school had social care concerns about their students.
– Sheena said that there were sign posts to other Council services but admitted that they could be made even clearer.
– Jan said that MCC can already intervene in terms of for example safeguarding issues, but also promoted and supported the adoption of effective school policies and designated safeguarding officers.
– Sheena asked how the group felt about the paper work that would be associated with regulation
– The group answered by re-iterating that if their work is valued then the government needs to come and see their work before imposing regulation.
– Sondos said that if they are required to do more paper work, they would want to be funded to be enabled to do so (taking into consideration their voluntary status)

Creating a Platform to Promote Manchester’s Supplementary Schools and Funding

– Norea said that our schools needed a platform to promote their achievements.
– Jan said that she compiles reports of all her visits/events/training on a monthly and annual basis.
– Jan said that she and her team are currently updating the MCC supplementary school page to include information about their schools’ achievements.
– Jan said that the culture, language and exam centre success needed to be promoted on the page.
– Sheena said that it would be possible to turn the current page into a holding page with links to some of Jan’s reports whilst the new page was being constructed.
– Sondos asked how the government regarded MCC and its work in this area.
– Sondos said that they needed  the government to recognise what our schools do and that an MCC platform would help, so that schools could secure funding to do more but also to build sustainability in terms of their venue arrangements.
– Jan made the point that the government perception of supplementary schools is that they are reluctant to share and showcase their work with statutory agencies but in her experience in Manchester, this was the opposite. Jan said that she found that the schools that she and her team worked with were extremely open and welcomed scrutiny of their affairs. Jan attributed to this to a healthy relationship generated by good will by the Voluntary Code of Conduct.
– Sondos also said that funding would be welcomed to enable more work with mainstream schools

(My reflection: Manchester City Council needs to more aggressively promote itself nationally as a beacon of best practice in this area)

Supplementary Schools, Community Cohesion and Humanitarian Work

– Mohammed H said that supplementary schools tend to spend less time with the children but achieve greater motivation via their youth engagement
– Mohammed H said that Manchester’s supplementary schools need to meet more regularly to strategise their work in terms of collaborations
– Mohammed H said that many schools also do valuable charitable work (e.g. fundraising) for groups in their ‘home’ countries

(My reflection: the current network meetings could involve breakout sessions designed to encourage inter-school collaboration, especially if project funding were available to encourage such activities)

Funding

– Ornette asked if it would be possible to prepare schools via their policies, safeguarding and governance to become commission-ready in order to be able receive commissions from the MCC to provide local youth and community services.
– Ornette also asked if project funding for supplementary schools could be used to help them build a track record in order to help them become commission-ready for larger bids
– Sheena suggested that there should also be funding for a dedicated MCC team that would report the achievements of the schools
– Sandos said that this dedicated team could also do the paper work for the schools and become a community version of OFSTED

Recommendations

The focus group made the following recommendations:

– Funding is needed for pilot projects that promote community cohesion and inter-school cooperation. These pilot projects could act as opportunities to build track records for larger consortium-based commissioned services (e.g. youth engagement, adult literacy, etc)
– Funding is needed to create a dedicated LA team that looked after safeguarding and (teacher) training for supplementary schools. This team would also be responsible for managing any paper work that future regulation might create.

Linked to Research: Making Education a Priority (MEaP)