Reshaping Cultural Representation: Engage / One Ren Anti-Racism & Equalities Workshop
04/05/2023 (Staff Post )
Our In-Ren Network Officer, Zaffir Hakim, shares his experience of his recent collaboration with OneRen.
I was delighted to be part of a lively workshop aimed at improving diversity in employment and in services organised by OneRen for staff in culture, leisure and sport in Renfrewshire. As such, the workshop was an opportunity to understand more on race equality using the IN-Ren Race Equality toolkit and to use this as a framework to look at OneRen services and create an action plan for improvement.
Engaging with Ethnically Diverse Communities
The workshop began with a conceptual and contextual overview of race equality issues in Scotland and Renfrewshire. This included a look at barriers to employment for ethnically diverse people and examples of good practice. Discussions that followed created an opportunity for the audience to suggest changes aimed at improving diversity in recruitment within OneRen.
Empire, Slavery and Scotland’s Museums, a national project sponsored by the Scottish Government, made recommendations on how Scotland’s involvement in empire, colonialism, and historic slavery can be addressed using museum collections and spaces based on consultations across Scotland. The findings support the clear need for Scotland to address the legacies of empire, colonialism, and historic slavery within Scotland’s museums spaces and through museum programming.
A presentation from Aileen Strachan, Content Delivery Manager from Paisley Museum on these recommendations led to a discussion to look at ways how OneRen can ensure anti-racism is embedded in their workplaces and public spaces and improve how OneRen services are delivered.
The highlight of the workshop was undoubtedly our guest speakers from the IN-Ren Network: Regine Bews School of African Cultures Project Coordinator and Unyimeobong Matthew, from Inspiring Families. Both gave a humorous and touching reflection of their lived experiences in Renfrewshire and provided valuable insight on how arts and culture can be used to reshape cultural representation highlighting cultural activities as a great way to show their contributions, presence and integration in Renfrewshire.
Overall, the workshop was a great an opportunity for the audience to network and share experiences. It has also led to a range of actions to advance race equality including better partnership working, improved advertising and stronger links with local community groups and organisation I’d like to thank everyone who was part of this workshop and I look forward to working together to take these actions forward.