UCLan partners with Lancashire BME Network to strengthen racial equality drive

UCLan partners with Lancashire BME Network to strengthen racial equality drive

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has teamed up with the Lancashire BME Network (LBN) in a bid to strengthen the support and opportunities available to marginalised communities living in the county.

The two parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to officially cement the new partnership, which will see them work together on a number of ventures over the next few years.

LBN works with diverse communities to achieve equity of access to support and services. This is achieved by increasing access to training, education and employment, as well as providing infrastructure support to organisations within the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector.

It will work closely with UCLan’s GRACE (Global Race Centre for Equality), a trans-disciplinary team who explore the ways that institutions and society more widely can work towards racial equality. 

GRACE is currently working to evaluate the impact of several LBN projects. These include assessing the efficiency of an information, advice and guidance service designed to help marginalised communities in Pennine Lancashire be more resilient and self-sufficient, and an offender rehabilitation project, which used a Citizen’s Jury framework to provide young minority ethnic men with access to better opportunities upon release from prison.

Director of UCLan’s GRACE Pradeep Passi said: “As a civic University we’re delighted to join forces with the Lancashire BME Network in order to empower our local communities. This partnership will link academic expertise with many local projects run by the Network to make sure they’re reaching the right people and having the maximum impact.”

Naz Zaman, Lancashire BME Network Chief Officer, said: “Lancashire BME Network was founded on the principles of openness and collaborative working to bring about sustainable change for communities that have historically been marginalised.  We welcome this partnership as an opportunity to feed into and learn from cutting-edge research being carried out by GRACE and UCLan.”

The relationship will also benefit UCLan students and staff by allowing the LBN to provide student placements and volunteering opportunities, as well as providing guest lectures and good practice for staff development. Dr John Wainwright, Co-Director of GRACE, added: “There are so many mutually beneficial opportunities for both parties and we’re already looking forward to working on joint research projects that are specifically focused on improving the lives of marginalised communities in

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