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Introducing the Culturally Diverse Hub in Leeds

Added: 13/12/2021

Culturally Diverse Hub

We are proud to announce that the body formerly known as Leeds BME Hub has changed its name to The Culturally Diverse Hub (Tackling racial inequalities in Leeds). We acknowledge that language is ever evolving, and the term agreed that we’ve chosen today, may need to change in the future.

Why we’ve changed our name

Nationally and locally, fervent discussions have been taking place about the use of the acronym “BAME / BME”. One thing hub representatives agree on is that these acronyms are no longer fit for purpose and for the last year the hub has discussed how we would like to identify ourselves.

The acronym BME originated from the 1970’s anti-racist movement to unite communities to fight discrimination. Initially, BME stood for Black and Minority Ethnicities to represent Black (people of Africa and Caribbean origin, generally described as black post slavery and colonisation). The term evolved to BAME to include Asian communities mostly of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indian origin).

We feel that what initially started off as a means of trying to overcome ethnicity disparities has become part of the problem. Both terms imply individuals are a homogenous group, fails to acknowledge identities with which people have chosen to identify and it does not consider white minority ethnic groups.

“BME as an acronym is no longer fit for purpose because it is outdated and not representative or inclusive of the multiple diverse communities in Leeds. The word minority also feels reductive and confers images of less than or inferior to some people” – Hub representative

BME/BAME is unwieldy and lacks nuance and fails to acknowledge the complexities of identities. As an example, for Lara Rose (Hub representative and Leeds Beckett’s Black, Asian & Minoritised Ethnicity Students’ Convenor) her blackness can be informed by her being Yoruba (tribe in Nigeria) or Nigerian or British born, by her class identity, by her gender…and so much more. Blackness is not one thing, and it isn’t experienced as such. The issues our diverse populations face is changing and now more than ever, specificity of identities matter.  If discrimination against certain racial groups and disparities goes unnoticed and unresolved, social issues will continue to deteriorate.

Words matter, and they especially matter when it comes to identity. Britain’s diverse communities have had several labels since migration from the “new commonwealth” in the 1950s and 60s. The truth is, there will never be a handy acronym that can capture the complex histories and cultures of Britain’s diverse communities; but what matters is what term diverse communities choose to identify themselves as.

As a group, hub representatives have chosen to identify as Culturally diverse Hub (Tackling racial inequalities in Leeds). We are committed to being specific and to acknowledging the many intersectionality’s that make up an individual’s journey.  Gone are the days of being lumped together.

” Culturally diverse captures the essence of multiple communities with multiple cultures and ethnicities and allows different ethnic groups to have equal weighting and equal treatment in the wider Leeds community “- Hub representative

Culturally Diverse Hub

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