JUST is a groundbreaking initiative set up by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust in 2003 to promote racial justice in West Yorkshire. Since its establishment JUST has become a leading voice in the North promoting racial justice, civil liberties and human rights. The fall-out from the 2001 Northern Uprisings and the introduction of draconian legislation following the 7/7 London bombings has resulted in civil liberties and human rights increasingly becoming an integral part of our work in the region.
In an era where the Community Cohesion and Prevent agendas have become the key paradigms of government policy and the Race and Institutional Racism agendas have been rolled back by the State, the adverse impact on Black and minority ethnic people has been unprecedented.
BME people continue to be over-represented in poverty, discrimination, NEETS, criminal justice, stop and search, education, poor health and other poor quality of life outcomes. Instead of investment in resources and funding to address the generational and historic systemic and structural discrimination that BME people experience, the government’s ‘war on terror’ has ‘criminalised’ BME and particularly Muslim people and its community cohesion policy has put the burden of good race relation on visible minorities.
The attrition of civil liberties and human rights that have been developed in response to the perceived threats from Muslim terrorists has legitimised the incursion of the State into the public and privates lives of citizens.
Similarly the recent attack on the BME Third sector that have followed the recommendations by the Cohesion Commission to withhold funding from single identity groups who are considered to perpetuate ethnic divides has resulted in critical services and support being withdrawn from some of the most vulnerable BME communities. The constriction of grant aid following the transition to commissioning and procurement by local authorities has left the BME sector unable to compete as equal partners. Consequently the voice of the BME Third sector has become invisibilised within key decision making arenas where critical decisions on funding and service priorities are formulated.
The move towards an Equalities framework has effectively undermined the gains made following the introduction of the Race Relations Amendment Act. The proposed Equalities Bill that will give public authorities greater scope to frame their priorities across the equalities spectrum based on determination of local priorities carries with it a real risk that Race as a discrete Equalities strand will be even further downgraded.
In response to these very real threats facing the sustainability of the BME sector JUST West Yorkshire’s key role is to challenge the implementation of retrogressive government legislation and policies and seek parity in outcomes for BME communities underpinned by the values of racial justice, civil liberties and human rights.
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
JRCT are an independent, progressive organisation committed to funding radical change towards a better world. The JRCT makes grants to individuals and to projects seeking the creation of a peaceful world, political equality and social justice.
JRCT funds the main body of work JUST West Yorkshire carries out and also the Racial Justice Network.
For further information on JRCT please follow this link.
Lloyds TSB Foundation
Lloyds TSB funds local, regional and national charities working to tackle disadvantage across England and Wales. The Foundations focus is on supporting underfunded charities that can make a significant difference to the lives of disadvantaged people by helping them to play a fuller role in the community.
Lloyds TSB funds the Young Radicals Project.
For more information on Lloyds TSB Foundation please follow this link.
Oxfam is an international organisation working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives. Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.
Oxfam had funded many projects for JUST and is currently funding the Big Society Book JUST will be publishing.
For more information on Oxfam please follow this link.
To promote a just, fair and equal society by working alongside communities and key stakeholders in Yorkshire and beyond to promote racial justice, civil liberties and human rights as a bedrock of policy, practice and legislation.
To be recognised as a regional leader for challenging racism and racial injustice and advancing values which bring about positive change in the lives of the region’s visible minorities through empowering them to improve their life chances, challenge discrimination and speak truth to power.
JUST ‘s core defining values are justice, integrity, openness, transparency and accountability. JUST recognises that the impact of racism and racial injustice on communities is dynamic and responsive to local, regional, national and global events.
JUST seeks to meet these contemporary challenges through developing action-oriented and outcome-driven solutions in solidarity and co-operation with communities and stakeholders committed to challenging racial injustice, promoting civil liberties and human rights.
To work in partnership with individuals, communities and stakeholders committed to JUST’s core ethos
To mainstream JUST’s organisational values and practices through increasing awareness about the impact of racism, discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion on visible minorities.
To act as a catalyst encouraging and enabling a subscription to JUST’s values through empowering and enabling community action; providing expert knowledge, information, advice and guidance; developing a robust evidence base using research methodologies; and working in partnership with key stakeholders.
To promote equity in power relationships between the state and citizen through encouraging scrutiny, transparency and accountability in the implementation of legislation and public policy and practice
To achieve excellence and best practice through fostering a culture of continuous organisational learning, reflection and review