At our most recent Generate Voices meeting, we were joined by Lucy and Anne-Marie from Changing Our Lives, an organization that tackles racism and health inequalities of people from black and minority backgrounds.
Lucy and Anne-Marie started the meeting by asking members what they understood by the word rights.
Leon answered “It’s about how people are treated and having equal access to goods, information and services”
The guests then asked members what they thought ethnic minority means.
Michelle said “It’s to do with your culture and race”
Our guests explained to members that it’s to do with being non-white British and their work focuses on this in relation to health inequality.
Our guests then asked if members knew what an Acute Liaison Nurse was?
Michelle answered “They care, liaise and delegate with patients in hospitals and at home”
Acute Liaison Nurses work with people with learning disabilities to improve their experiences of hospital care.
Changing Our Lives also checks to see if these nurses are doing their jobs properly.
Members then shared their thoughts and concerns on racism.
One member said “Racism can be harmful if racist thoughts become actions”
Rio said, “During childhood, I experienced negative experiences being mixed race and it made me insecure!”
Nic asked “Why does racism happen?”
Rio answered “A lot of people are scared of difference”
Leon added “Some people are deliberately racist, and some are ignorant due to lack of exposure”
Nic said “Some people think ethnic minorities are aggressive and misinterpret their behavior”
Members were then showed a video showing people’s experiences of racism, one video showed a man sharing his experience of a time when he was in a park with his son and was approached by a man asking for drugs.
Members were stunned and shared their concerns on what this man spoke about in the video.
Michelle said “The man in the video who was asked for drugs was targeted by someone who thinks all people of color are up to no good”
Leon added “The worst thing is that the man’s son was exposed to this racist and negative behavior, which could damage him mentally in the long term!”
Nic asked “Do you think racism will ever end?”
Chiz answered “The only people who could determine that is the people who are intentionally racist due to hate!”
Leon asked, “If statistics fuel racism?”
Chiz said “Media and negative stereotypes more than anything fuels racism!”
Changing Our Lives wants to find out why ethnic minorities have different and more bad health outcomes compared to white people in the same position.
Michelle said “Some ethnic communities are more affected by certain diseases like sickle cell”
She also added “Lack of understanding of different conditions may lead to misdiagnosis”
Jodian said “That’s why it’s important to have a medical passport!”
Michelle said “Communication is the key”
Leon added “Training and knowledge needs to improve along with regular checks and reviews, as always, people’s confidentiality must also be respected!”
Terry said “More research is required, and I’ve realized this when I was involved in similar work!”
Changing Our Lives said they’ll be in touch with regards to getting some of the members involved in the project, we would love to get involved with their project in some capacity!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this and want to find out more about the Generate Voices Meetings, please do contact Generate Voices Coordinators, Chiz and Tony.