Support our key values? £500 grants to be applied for

Thanks to a philanthropist, a fund is available for 20 groups in Leeds to obtain grants of up to £500. Your group must subscribe to Justice, Equality and Solidarity. And it has to register with our friends at  Leeds for Change. And it has to fill in an application form.  Deadline 17 November 2014. More here on the Leeds for Change website 

Ethnic minorities are better qualified but get fewer opportunities

We have received these important findings from the communications company working for a research group a Manchester University:

Better qualified but fewer opportunities

The British workplace is not as fair as many assume it to be. That is the implication of a comprehensive report compiled by the University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity. It concludes that white ethnic groups have a clear advantage in the labour market, despite non-white people out-attaining them educationally.

For example, Indian, Bangladeshi, Irish, Chinese and black African students are more likely to obtain five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C than their white counterparts. In higher education, over 40% of Britain’s Chinese, Indian and Black African groups have degree-level qualifications, compared with just 26% of white people.

Some of these well-educated members of minority groups do, of course, manage to fight their way into clerical, professional and managerial employment. However, the vast majority are facing what the report’s authors called “significant barriers to enjoying the levels of social mobility of their white British peers”.

Indeed, statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that unemployment among ethnic minority groups is rising rather than falling. Between 2012 and 2013, it increased from 13% to 14% – compared with the country’s overall figures of 8% and 7% respectively.

This infographic explores the data.

Lynne Segal revisits ‘Beyond the Fragments’ on 18.9.2013

Taking Soundings event on Wednesday 18th September at 6pm (venue details below)

Lynne Segal, one of the writers of  Beyond the Fragments – Feminism and the Making of Socialism, will be speaking at the September 2013 meeting of Taking Soundings in Leeds. First published in 1979 with contributions from Lynne, Hilary Wainwright and Sheila Rowbotham, a second edition was recently published, containing the original essays, plus three new ones from the same authors. Lynne’s talk in Leeds will take up the themes of her new essay, as she outlines here:

Even as times change, most of us remain stamped by the first moments we consciously enter politics – the moments of our greatest activism or fiercest dreams of different futures. For me, returning to Beyond the Fragments, that means asking what lessons, if any, can be drawn from the spirit of Seventies feminism. It was a politics premised upon equality and democratized resources, which kept most of us firmly part of the Left, attentive to class and anti-colonial struggles, alongside our more distinctive feminist concern with questions of care, culture, the sharing of skills, imagination and more – noting our interdependence, while cherishing autonomy and personal life, knowing we are never outside the social. Given our formidable defeats in worsening economic times for the majority, all the old questions return, but with even greater force. Is it still possible to create modes of resistance that can reach out, beyond the heat of action, to build movements and coalitions that survive and, somehow, impact upon those determining or trying to influence government policies? Can ‘democracy in action’ be preserved to form a coherent and forceful opposition to corporate capital, with its hollowing out of democracy, and the wars, inequalities and oppression it produces or tolerates? These questions are familiar, but the answers get harder to envisage, given that it is now easier, some say, to imagine the end to the world than the end of capitalism.

Lynne’s talk will take place at 6pm on Wednesday 18th September 2013 at Leeds Metropolitan University’s city centre campus: Broadcasting Place, A building, Room GO2, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN (opposite the Fenton Pub).

Copies of the book, at a discounted price, will be on sale at the meeting.

Brief comment on the book – and how to get a free copy by subscribing to Red Pepper –  here

Cynthia Cockburn’s interesting critique of the ‘Beyond the Fragments’ version of feminism was published  in openDemocracy in May 2013