Course Facilitators: Chiz Kaluba & Sruthy Manendran
Our sessions are led by 2 course facilitators, with a group of young people with learning disabilities who are interested in finding out more about race and racism. The sessions are designed to increase members knowledge of the issues, understand how they impact on people like themselves and to take action to make their voices heard.
What have we covered?
The project has been delivered over Zoom every fortnight and involves discussion, on the topics research and information delivered. The sessions we have already covered so far are:
- Your Rights [as set out in the Equality Act 2010]
- George Floyd and racism in the US
- Racism in the UK
- Racism Around the World
- Media bias/thinking critically about the news
- The impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities
- The intersection of race and disability
- Racial profiling and stop and search [including de-funding of the police]
- Cultural Appropriation & Appreciation
- The debates around statues and “removing history”
- Intersection of Sexuality and Race
During these sessions, as course facilitators, we document discussions, member opinions, analyse data and leaner understanding of the presented topics.
We also produce easy-read materials and deliver the controversial topics and related jargon in layman terms.
What have we achieved?
The project has provided learners with opportunities to get involved with community based cultural activities, creative writing and projects about race issues.
We have hosted numerous external guests and established great working relationships that have resulted in some very fruitful collaborations that our members should be proud of!
Our sessions have helped promote equality, diversity and inclusion among members, whilst providing them with opportunities to get involved with community based cultural activities, creative writing and related projects.
Involvement and contribution to the 50 year edition of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities
The success of our sessions has not gone unnoticed and has led to the establishment of solid working relationship with www.survivingthroughstory.com
We were contacted by Sue Ledger and Paul Christian who asked our members to get involved in make contributions towards some literature that they were writing, regarding black people with learning disabilities experiences in the UK care system. As a result, our manuscript BLD-21-0126 “Being part of history, Being part of activism: Exploring the lives and experiences of black people with learning disabilities” has been accepted for publication in the 50 Year Edition of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities.
In addition, this collaboration also provided numerous Generate members affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns with access to a platform where their voices could be heard, by giving them the opportunity to tell their stories of the pandemic and meet other affected people through the surviving through story website.
Our group sessions have been noticed
We have also been invited to the George Padmore Institute which is an archive, library, educational resource and research centre that houses “materials relating to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe”. The Institute heard about the work we are doing educating our members on race issues and has offered us access to their materials.
We have written a book!
Another collaboration with Jo Grace of www.thesensoryprojects.co.uk. Is a book project that has resulted in Generate members co-authoring a book of sensory stories [On 3 Influential Black British People]. The stories we have written are aimed at people with profound disabilities [using sensory aids & props] and our book shall be published, for general sale in October 2022.
This, along with the Generate Voices project has been vital in supporting adults with a learning disability to influence change within the organisation and amongst delivery partners so that programs and activities better meet the needs of learning disabled people.
Dr Nicola Clare Grove was so impressed with the group that she chose a recorded discussion between our members, about their experiences/views on the Covid-19 pandemic, to be used as the opening presentation at the 2021 Surviving Through Story end of year event.
Once our book, of sensory stories, is published, the group will collectively decide what to do with the funds generated from sales and will at some point start working towards co-producing a set of easy-read [Race Awareness] resources, based on what they’ve learned, which can then be used by Generate members and other local groups.
The group has also discussed putting on an educational Race Issues event for Generate members and their families, so they also can benefit from the knowledge and empowerment that our members have gained from the project.
Want to know more?
To find out more about the Race and Racism project, please contact Chiz: