Building Bridges: The Unlimited Rewards of BAME communities
Written by Isabel Whisson
The Faith Regen Foundation and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) came together on 19th April 2012 to host an event to champion the unlimited rewards achieved when organisations from different walks of life come together.
Focusing on the importance of working with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) communities the event showed the “relationship of opportunities” to be had from cooperation. Held at the London Muslim Centre, where the Faith Regen Foundation is based, the Centre, which has been dedicated to bringing forth community cohesion and social welfare for over 100 years, could not have been a more appropriate setting to advocate the cause of the BAME community.
The Faith Regen Foundation is a national, multi-faith regeneration organisation that promotes tolerance in order to achieve cohesive and sustainable communities. Founded in response to the widespread stereotyping of Muslims that took place following the 9/11 attacks, the ethos of Faith Regen centres on cooperation and understanding between different communities. It’s most recent partnership with RNLI is a perfect manifestation of what can be achieved when two seemingly different organisations come together.
The work of the RNLI focuses on coastal and river rescue around the British Isles, and more recently internationally as well. However, with many UK coastal areas being inhabited by people of white, middle-class backgrounds, BAME communities were not being involved in their valuable work. In commitment to “working with the community for the community”, partnership with Faith Regen will enable the RNLI to promote its services and volunteering opportunities to BAME communities. Mutual benefit is found in the increased capacity to save lives as well as the promotion of tolerance amongst people of different backgrounds in new ways.
This ethos of reaching out to other communities, organisations and institutions lies at the heart of Grassroot Diplomat. We believe in the endless mutual gains that are to be had by creating dialogue between different groups. By reaching out to grassroots projects and building relationships with varied individuals, organisations, and governments we hope we can contribute to the ‘building of bridges’ that is so crucial to a healthy, unified society. It was a pleasure to attend the Faith Regen event, and an inspiration to see groups of different backgrounds helping each other in new ways.