It is only a year since the fabulous Race Equality & Social Justice Conference held by Race Council Cymru and 4theRegion. Looking back at video footage of people crammed chummily into seats right next to each other, milling around with drinks and chatting, without masks on is surreal. The event was some 7 months before the shocking death of George Floyd … 8 months before angry people in Bristol threw a statue into the harbour … and we had plenty to talk about, as people concerned about race and equality always have.
“Black Lives Matter” took on even more resonance as Covid spread and people realised the particular risk faced by BAME people. All sorts of factors are at play here, not just poverty, but poverty is most certainly relevant. It is relevant to front-line, poorly paid care-workers, who can’t take time off, no matter how frightened they are. It is relevant to larger families in homes without enough rooms for a sick person to isolate from others. And I believe it is relevant to the everyday stress that affects people’s immune systems, and is worse for people on low incomes, and no doubt worse for people who feel uneasy going about their daily lives, as many BAME people so tragically and unfairly do. More on that in a future article. Today I just wish to look back with gratitude for a wonderful event that combined knowledgeable speakers, an enthusiastic audience and a lively atmosphere.
4theRegion continues to deliver excellent online conferences and talks – do check them out.