This February CUAI decided to tackle the issue of UK inequality in an inspiring event that merged art and discussion to find new ways of combating inequality. The event explored the intersections and relationships between race, education, welfare and access to justice in creating inequality, allowing us all to get a more sophisticated understanding of how inequality is perpetuated.
We were very lucky to hear from two professionals who are working to make the UK a more equal place. Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang gave an inspiring account of his work in TeachFirst, which aims to close the gap in educational inequality, giving every child the best start in life. We also heard from Grace Seller from Frontline, about how social work can transform people’s lives and give them new opportunities. Both speakers gave us a new perspective on what it means to work with the most disadvantaged in society on a daily basis and how access to education and welfare can change a person’s life for good.
What was particularly inspirational about the evening was that it presented us with a myriad of ways that people can confront inequality. Mariam Ansar gave a fresh personal perspective on the issues of inequality by talking about her own background and her work for CUSU’s BME campaign and reading her poem that beautifully encapsulated the difficulties faced by those from disadvantaged communities. Troy Aidoo’s screening of his short film was a poignant exploration of the violence experienced by black communities at the hands of the police, yet another example of how disadvantaged communities experience injustice even in a justice system that claims to be equal to all. Mariam and Troy’s artistic work gave us a more personal understanding of the pain caused by the systemic injustices of British society and has inspired all of us to work harder to tackle inequality wherever we find it.
If you would like to support Troy’s work (he is currently working on a project called 1500 and Counting challenging deaths in police custody) have a look at the crowdfunding page below or check out his website.
Crowdfunding page: https://www.indiegogo.com/…/1500-and-counting-f…/x/13312315…
Twitter feed: @1500andCounting
If you would like to know more about Frontline, TeachFirst or CUSU’s BME campaign and the work they do check out their websites or watch Frontline’s short film about their work.
CUSU BME campaign: http://www.bme.cusu.cam.ac.uk/
Frontline film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84bE1M6Usz0
TeachFirst website: https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/