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CARG First Annual Conference
7 May 2022

To what extent does the UK believe it enables its minorities to express their identities and value their diversity? Is this reflected in UK public institutions, civic organisations and private corporations? The Conference explored where we are in the UK regarding minority rights, protection and participation through 4 sessions covering racism, identity, education and Sinophobia.

The Conference was opened by Ching-He Huang MBEa celebrity food writer and TV chef. She has appeared in a variety of television cooking programmes and is the author of nine best-selling cookbooks.

The 4 Sessions

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Racism

For individuals and communities to contribute successfully to the state, they and their families need to feel valued and secure. Racism and hate crime has no place in society.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Professor Binna Kandola, OBE, is a visiting Professor at Leeds University and Aston University and a consulting editor for the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology.  A diversity, assessment and development specialist, he has a particular interest in the study of unconscious bias.  He is the author of ‘Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference’ and 'The Invention of Difference: The story of gender bias at work'.  

Sergeant Chris Excell, a Metropolitan Police officer for 15 years, has worked in different units, including Emergency Response, Neighbourhoods and Territorial Support Group.  He is currently Chair of the Black Police Association, dedicated to improving the working environment of officers and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Professor Binna Kandala shared his insights from 35 years of experience into racism and discrimination in the workplace.

Sergeant Chris Excell shared practical experience of dealing with discrimination and racism.

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Identity

What is ESEA identity?  How important is ESEA identity?  Should we blend in or should we exert our identity?

Oi Mei (they/them) is a mixed British/Chinese creative from the North East. In their spare time, you can find them gaming, listening to audiobooks, experimenting with art, or playing outside with their dogs.

Adie (she/they) is a freelance copywriter and science communicator based in London. In her spare time, they foster anxious cats and educate people on texturism, appropriation and microaggressions surrounding the natural hair movement. 

Oi Mei and Adie from Stop Asian Hate UK (SAHUK) explored interactively with the audience our experience of identity and whether we should blend in or exert our ESEA identity.

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Education

Learning from others the experience of educating the public on racism and hate crime, drawing lessons from the efforts by the Black community to reform the school curriculum and looking towards a future of inclusivity of the ESEA heritage in the UK curriculum.

Julliet Makhapila is a community transformer, educator, political activist and founder of the UK Africa Diaspora Forum. 

Dr Renie Chow Choy is Lecturer in Church History at St Mellitus College and a historian of early medieval Christianity.  

Mark Healey is an independent Hate Crime Specialist, CEO of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week (NHCAW) and Croydon Hate Crime Officer at METRO Charity. 

Julliet Makhapila shared lessons from the Black community efforts to reform the UK school curriculum.

Dr Renie Chow Choy spoke of her personal response to the monument to Sir Harry Parkes, who was instrumental in instigating the Second Opium War.

Reverend Mark Nam spoke on behalf of Mark Healey on rising the awareness of the wider community on racism and hate crime.

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Sinophobia

An analysis of the changing relationship between China and the West, the potential effects of the proposed Counter States Threats Bill and creation of a foreign agent registration scheme, and sensational media reporting on Sinophobia.

Professor Astrid Nordin, is the Lau Chair of Chinese International Relations in the Lau China Institute, Kings College London.  Her research develops critical conceptual tools that draw on Chinese and other global traditions of thought, and uses these to understand global challenges as they relate to China’s growing global role. 

Richard Spence is a freelance investigative journalist examining new legislation that the UK government plans to implement to curtail foreign interference. 

Professor Astrid Nordin considered the impact of geo-politics on Sinophobia and how the UK Chinese community may respond.

 

Richard Spence shared his research and draw lessons from Australia and the United States on the potential impact on the Chinese community in Britain.

The Conference was chaired by Dr Yeow Poon, a co-founder of CARG.  He is also the Chair of the Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham, President of England China Business Forum, Chair of Arts in the Yard, a Trustee of Chinese Welfare Trust and Honorary President of Chinese Liberal Democrats.