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Taking Stock – The Equality Act Five Years On
What has changed, and what remains to be done? – a Pan-Dorset Perspective
Yesterday the Arts University Bournemouth, witnessed a landmark conference on work done at voluntary sector, diverse communities groups, local authorities and public service organisations levels at a pan-Dorset level over the past five years since the passing of the Equality Act in 2010. The two main outcomes of the conference were to learn about the incredible amount of successful often innovative work that over the past five years has been taking place to make real the spirit of the values at the heart of the Equality Act, and at the same time how much work still needs to be done to counteract prejudice, discrimination and especially the mistaken perspective that E&D is a luxury item.
Noting the incredible range of equality, inclusion and respect for diversity and understanding of the particular needs and issues of diverse communities (many of which continue to face no less diverse forms of encountered prejudice and discrimination) Best Practice works and initiatives that for the past five years have been taking place across Dorset, was for all at the conference an inspiring and instructive experience.
Notes from the conference workshops meetings and from these some common themes and statements of support and supportive action, will be produced soon and distributed to all who attended. However, all of the input and great experience shared at yesterday’s conference can be summed up by the conclusion that pooling E&D best practice, linking it to the business effectiveness and efficiency case for E&D embedded in organisations and businesses at all levels, is a great need and no less great Opportunity. Through such a pooling of expertise, innovation and hard but very successful work, Dorset’s diverse communities have the opportunity as a result of the conference to not only challenge discrimination and prejudice wherever and whenever it is found, but to challenge to complacency about action not needing to be taken to support victims of discrimination and prejudice. This is an exciting message, and a very practical one.
Dorset Race Equality Council, as in 2009 with the Kingston Maurward College Equality Bill conference was delighted on demand from our partner organisations and groups and communities from across the Protected Characteristics spectrum to have initiated and facilitated the conference and wishes to record its great appreciation to the Arts University Bournemouth for being a most enthusiastic host to the event, to the conference’s two keynote guest speakers (Professor Harinder Bahra, and Debbie Ward [Chief Executive Officer of Dorset County Council]), to its workshop leads, and especially to all who attended and contributed such valuable insights and guidance to the conference through presentations and workshop discussion topic activity.
The feeling at the end of the conference for all who attended, was a dynamic one and exciting one that bodes well for future success with frontline and innovative work ahead in the next 5 years – the spirit of the conference can be summed up as One Dorset, One People, One Community, and that discrimination and prejudice have no place in our county, that is proud to celebrate its diversity, and Respects and Values its diverse communities.
Watch this space for a full article on the conference outcomes, coming very soon!
Dorset Race Equality Council
If you have received an invite to the conference through Eventbrite, please register as soon as possible using the link sent, as we need to know final numbers before the end of August and it would be a shame not to have your community represented.