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Diversity, equity and inclusion: what can philanthropy offer?

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Today we publish a suite of Vital Signs reports on diversity, equity and inclusion. They examine the experience of five groups whose contribution to the vibrancy of our region is often inhibited by deep-seated inequalities: women; people with learning disabilities; Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Our reports set out the facts of inequality in our region, alongside the testimony of people affected by them. They identify a range of serious issues, with many problems exacerbated by the pandemic,  or highlighted by recent high-profile events. For example:

When we awarded the tender for this research to Cullagh Warnock, and Dr Chris Hartworth of Hullabaloo Research, we knew that they would face massive challenges in capturing all aspects of communities’ experience. COVID-19 added to their difficulties, limiting the research that could be undertaken, and delaying publication by several months. We think they have done a great job within these limitations, providing a good starting point for a conversation about the role of philanthropy in making the North East a fairer place to live.  The debate may well touch on other communities’ experience of inequality – such as those of people with mental health problems, religious minorities or older people – and it should be shaped by the active involvement of those with lived experience.

As ever, Vital Signs attempts to provide a starting point for a discussion of the issues, rather than the final word on them. If you want to discuss anything in the reports or have any feedback please contact Mark Pierce, Associate Director of Knowledge and Research.