Diversity and Inclusion in Durham
Transition Durham is undertaking action research on the topic of diversity and inclusion within our initiative. We are aware that, like many other Transition initiatives, our active members do not reflect the diversity of people living in our area, and we are keen to explore this further.
Firstly, we will be reflecting back over our history and our current activities to identify any unintentional barriers we may have created that prevent people becoming involved in Transition Durham, and, if such barriers exist, looking at how we can address them to become a more inclusive movement. Secondly, we will begin investigating unexplored avenues to ascertain how we can become more involved in and build or extend our links in the community, allowing us to be included in the activities of a more diverse audience.
Wherever possible our research will be undertaken collaboratively with our local community and we will be utilising an array of methodologies, from interviews and questionnaires to open spaces and empty shops! The research will be managed by Louise Senior from Durham University as part of her MSc Development Anthropology dissertation and should be completed by September 2011. If you’re interested in the research and want to know more, or think you have something to offer to this research, please contact me.
I am particularly interested to hear from Transition groups who feel they have been more successful at representing their diverse neighbourhoods and may have important lessons that we can learn from.
While not wholly relevant, my assessment of Big Society ideas will touch on ideas of social inclusion and cohesion. I have a large array of reading that I could draw your attention to (just in case you've missed any bits) and I'd be really interested to hear what your research found out.
The dissertation I completed as part of this research is now finished, although Transition Durham continue to informally explore the topic of diversity as it evolves and changes.
To sum up the dissertation research findings in one sentence (!!!), we concluded that whilst diversity is an essential element in cultivating community resilience, without simultaneously addressing inequality, its presence will be insufficient. If you'd like to see the full paper, please get in touch as it is too large to attach here.
We also used an unusual 'open shop' community mapping exercise as part of the research process. You can find out more about the outcomes of this particular piece of research at the link below. A 'Guide to Practice' is also included as appendix in the dissertation.
Louise have you published anything from your dissertation? I'd like to learn more about your findings.
I think of doing a similar piece of research in Brixton. I wonder if you have any tips or literature that may be useful?
The entire dissertation, including all appendices and references, is available on the Transition Network website under the 'Resources' tab. You can find it here:
If you have any questions, please contact me directly using the link available if you click on my name. I am currently working on a different research project and am unable to access the Transition Network website as often as I'd like to, hence my delay in viewing and responding to the recent posts here.