Ethnic-led organisations discussed BAME

In March 2021, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities recommended that the government stop using the term BAME and the government is currently considering its response to the Commission's recommendations. This was one of the topics discussed in a focus group about Southwark Council grants funding & BME led community organisations. 

On the 11 of November 2021  members from a wide range of ethnic-led organisations discussed the use of the terminology BAME and whether a more appropriate and meaningful terminology can be used in applying for funding from Southwark Council.  

The overwhelming majority agreed that BAME is a problematic terminology for a number of reasons but there was no consensus about a suitable alternative. 

Latin Hub argued that BAME is problematic mainly because it established hierarchies among the different community groups. However, in the context of funding, we don’t mind being ‘labelled’ as a way of recognising the specific barriers that we face as a community.  

With regards to access to funding we argued that small grassroots organisations can be at a disadvantage because they ‘don’t know where to start’  and suggested that a tool kit explaining the funding streams available, eligibility criteria and calendar of application deadlines will level the playing field between the more experienced fundraisers and the smaller organisations.  Another  mentioned point is the lack of feedback that prevents unsuccessful applicants from improving their bid for the next round. 

Other Latin American organisations also that contributed to the debate were LAWRS, VOADES and  AYMARA. The need for more co-fund opportunities was also stressed and we hope that we can work together in the future. 

Latin Hub UK welcomes this initiative from Community Southwark and looks forward to continuing to participate to push for change in the right direction.