Guest Post: Challenge Poverty Week: Food for thought from EaRN’s consultation event, A Platform for Positive Change
Guest blog from Roseanna Macdonald, Equality and Rights Network (EaRN)Well it’s over halfway through Challenge Poverty Week and we are fresh off the back of our consultation event to address poverty and inequality in Edinburgh and surrounding areas (read the first blog about it here). We had a mix of representatives from public services, third sector workers and interested individuals attend, as well as a guest speaker from Fairer Scotland to tell us about the initiatives the Scottish Government is taking to create more equal Scotland by 2030.
Here are a few thoughts we took away from the great discussions to turn into action points for coming months:
- People experiencing discrimination and poverty should be supported to speak for themselves, not be spoken for- the lived experiences of those in poverty need to be the driving force behind positive change in policy and practice.
- Harmful negative stereotypes of poverty persist- a working definition of poverty that takes into account its complexities needs to be promoted in both the media and wider society.
- We don’t need to reinvent the wheel - lots of organisations and community groups are doing positive work to tackle poverty and inequality in Edinburgh and beyond. We should support people and organisations to learn from each other and share best practice. Which leads us to the next point...
- Sharing information is power - initiatives like mutual mentoring and peer learning should be complemented with an online forum for organisations to connect with one another and identify where different inequalities intersect with one another.
It is this space – the intersection between inequalities – that EaRN will inhabit, through connecting individuals, organisations and public services with one another to address equality issues together rather than in isolation.
A key element of this will be the role of our volunteer Equalities Ambassadors, who will provide a crucial link between public services and the people who are experiencing inequality, discrimination and marginalisation every day.
If you would like more information about becoming a member of EaRN, or about the volunteer Equalities Ambassador role, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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