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Insights from our Reframing Race session

Following the launch of Reframing Race’s new guidance, "Contains Strong Language" on July 18, 2023, we reflect on the session we had with Nina Kelly and Sanjiv Lingayah in June.

We held a free online #ReframingRace session presented by Sanjiv Lingayah and Nina Kelly. It was chaired by our Deputy Director, Sharmin Shajahan, on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

The virtual session which focused on Reframing Race’s ground-breaking evidence-based study of attitudes towards 'race' and racism, had over 100 attendees drawn from our members and grantees.

The large turnout reflected a healthy concern among members of the Black and Minoritised communities with issues about race and how discussions around it are framed.

The report, "Testing Times: Messages to Reframe Race" undertaken with funding from Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation and hosted by Voice4Change is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind, especially in the way it illuminates mainstream views on race and racism in England and Scotland.

Led by Sanjiv Lingayah and Nina Kelly, the report tested a representative sample of about 20,000 people across England and Scotland.

In their presentation, Sanjiv and Nina provided insights on how the research was conducted with emphasis on key questions like: “What does the world we want to see look like and how is ‘race’ treated in the press?

It also focused on building a network of reframers made up of advocates, stakeholders, community, PWLE; changing the story by exploring new frames and testing messages; collating existing research on public opinion; understanding how the public thinks about race and exploring the common grounds and contested spaces around ideas the mainstream public holds on our issues.

They noted further in their presentation that findings from the research indicated that there is a need to reframe how descriptors are used especially when it comes to Black and Minoritised people – we should “talk about people, e.g., ‘ethnic minority people’ rather than describing them just as ‘Ethnic minorities’ because Ethnic minorities’ and other whole-population descriptors (e.g., ‘Blacks’) dehumanises people who experience racism.”

Some of the insights that they shared from the research include the following:

· 40% believe: some ethnic groups are naturally harder working than others

· 30% in England believe: someone’s ‘race’ tells you something about their character

· 20% in England believe: some ‘races’ are born less intelligent than others.

Positive outcomes shared included the belief by respondents that:

· 90%+ everyone in our society, regardless of race or ethnicity, has a shared humanity and should be treated with dignity

· 80%+ All of us, regardless of race or ethnicity, deserve justice to be served, including righting wrongs from the past

· 90%+ UK / Scottish Government has responsibility to end racism.

The ultimate purpose of the research is to use this new understanding of public thinking to build demand for the solutions needed to end racism. As Sanjiv and Nina put it: “new ways of talking about racism can lead to new ways of listening.” To learn more about the language, metaphors and statistics that were most persuasive in moving people towards an anti-racist position, click here to read and download the full report

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