• BVSC and BRIG Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector Mini Race Impact Summit took place on 5 December 
  • Over 50 people heard how the VCFSE sector needs radical and long-term change to tackle race inequality, and gave their views on actions needed  
  • It’s not too late to have your say on a draft Position Paper and actions towards 10 Year VCFSE Race Equality Delivery Plan for the City! 


Radical and long-term change is needed to tackle race inequality across Birmingham City’s Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector.  

Whilst the sector has historically led the call for change in race equality, it has fallen short in getting its own house in order.  

Race equality issues were highlighted through the first BVSC and BRIG (Birmingham Race Impact Group) VCFSE Mini Race Impact Summit on 5 December. Over 50 people attended the summit and, with support from BVSC Research Team, gave their views on actions needed to address race equality issues in the sector. 

Speakers and Presentations: 

  • Introduction to BRIG– Jagwant Johal, Secretary, BRIG 
  • Birmingham Context: Race Equality in the Birmingham VCFSE Sector - Brian Carr, Chief Executive, BVSC 
  • Shelter’s Journey towards becoming an Anti Racist VCFSE Organisation – Alison Mohammed, Director of Services and Mary Foulkes, Director, Equity, Inclusion and Culture, Shelter 
  • Introducing the RACE Code – Karl George, MBE, Partner and Head of Governance, RSM 
  • BVSC’s Journey through the RACE Code – Brian Carr, Chief Executive, BVSC 
  • National Context: Race equality in the VCFSE Sector - Sarah Vibert, CEO, NCVO 
  • Introduction to Action Planning - Jagwant Johal, Secretary, BRIG 

Click here for further information on our agenda, speakers and presentations. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Policy & Strategy – Around 30% of VCFSE organisations across Birmingham City do not have strategies in place dedicated to addressing or combatting discrimination or prejudice on race/ethnicity. Putting effective policy and strategy into place, including signing up to the RACE Code, can help VCFSE organisations to tackle race equality  
  • Leadership & Voice - VCFSE sector leadership at all levels doesn’t reflect ‘super diverse’ Birmingham City, where ethnic minorities represent 51.4% of the city’s population. Boards, employees, volunteers and clients, as well as key city partnerships and networks, all need to be representative of the background population.  
  • Data – Only around 60% of VCFSE organisations across Birmingham City collected race/ethnicity data about their clients. The right ethnicity data needs to be collected in the right way. 
  • Tackling racism – Combatting discrimination and prejudice is a high priority for the sector. However, racism is prevalent within the sector – this is cultural, systemic and institutional. VCFSE organisations need to actively work towards becoming anti-racist organisations.  
  • Renumeration & Reward – Those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the West Midlands, are on average, paid 9.5% less than white employees across all sectors. This includes many paid below the Real Living Wage. VCFSE organisations need to pay the Real Living Wage and eliminate the ethnicity pay gap 
  • Education – There is a lack of knowledge and skills on equality, diversity and inclusion issues. Greater education and awareness raising on race equality issues is required 
  • Funding – Lack of funding is a barrier to addressing race equality; more funding is needed to provide support to race equality organisations and projects 

Draft Position Paper: 

More information is available on the draft position paper available here: https://www.bvsc.org/vcfse-mris  

Next Steps: 

A full report of the event will be published in the New Year. Information will be used to update the draft position paper and 10 Year Race Equality Delivery Plan, which will contribute to the overarching City-wide plan.  

Sorry you missed out? 

Don’t worry –  

  • All presentations and background info are now at: https://www.bvsc.org/vcfse-mris  
  • It’s not too late to have your say or contribute information and resources– contact Elizabeth Goodchild, Strategic Partnership Manager, BVSC at: [email protected]  

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