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About the project

The Commission on Diversity in the North is a newly founded working group whose mission is to facilitate dialogue and knowledge transfers between academia, local government and civil society in the North of England. The Commission examines the challenges that the Brexit vote and the ongoing negotiations on leaving the European Union bring to diverse communities in the North of England.

It is thought that migration and race issues in the Brexit vote have increased tensions between White British, British BAME groups, British Jews and Central and Eastern European migrants, Roma people and other foreign EU nationals. We hypothesise this may signal the end of the long established post-war settlement based on a vision of Britain as an open, diverse, multi-racial society, built on manageable immigration. The recently published Casey Review: A Review into Opportunity and Integration (Dept for Communities and Local Government) has also called for a renewed inquiry into British multi-ethnic communities. The Commission counts on the generous participation of key stakeholders across the region including  civil society organisations, the Runnymede Trust and New Europeans, town council representatives and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Police, JUST Yorkshire, Leeds Jewish Representative Council and Stop Hate UK, as well as academics at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds.

Key Objectives:

  • To co-produce knowledge and ignite a genuine conversation with both the wider public and with key stakeholders in on the state of ethnic relations in communities across the North after Brexit.
  • To build capacity amongst key stakeholders within the region on diversity by supporting the members of the Commission with up-to-date information and expertise throughout the period of the negotiations of leaving the EU therefore enhancing the impact of academic expertise.
  • To create and develop a mixed regional network of experts on diversity in Yorkshire with a durable legacy. In order to secure the longevity of the Commission, we will create a mailing list for the members, a space to confidentially store reports, documents and police briefs, news about relevant events or to open consultations with the other members on a specific issue.

The Commission will hold three public working session which take place from September 2017-March 2018. The working sessions will focus on the complex community relations in West Yorkshire informing the stakeholders during the months of negotiations of the effects of triggering of Article 50.

The Centre for Race and Ethnic Studies in the School of Sociology and Social Policy hosts the Commission. At the University of Leeds, the project is led by Prof. Adrian Favell and Dr Roxana Barbulescu, with the participation of Dr. Paul Bagguley, Dr. Yasmin Hussain, Prof. Ian Law and, Prof. S.Sayyid.  The Research Assistant on this project is Dr. Claudia Paraschivescu.

The Commission on Diversity in the North is funded by the ESRC IAA fund, Leeds Social Science Institute and the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.