Rt Reverend David Urquhart welcome – can we participate rather than tolerate?

I’m at the CBSO Centre for the Birmingham Social Inclusion Summit: Building a more inclusive centre. This event is for sharing and testing the findings from the FairBrum social inclusion process since its launch in March 2012.

Rt Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, welcomed everyone. Here are some paraphrased notes from his welcome.

The social inclusion process started back in March 2012 with the first social inclusion summit. Since then we’ve been listening, learning, working, visiting…

We’re trying to involve as many people as we can. Statutory organisations, local council, the voluntary sector, individuals.

When you look at maps of deprivation from 15, 10 or 5 years ago, its daunting to see maps that look similar. Despite the money and the effort, the changes we want may not happen.

We’re here to see if we can lead practical proposals to help people participate and be economically active – not just joining in but flourishing.

The aim aim includes bridging the gap between those who are doing well – and many people in Birmingham are doing well – and those who are doing less well and find it hard to join in.

We’re are in a global context but we have local responsibilities.

Part of the process is challenging our own ways of working and getting out of our comfort zones.

What are our values? What motivates us? In this process we’ve found:

  • Strong desire to see the changes
  • Strong desire to see people doing better
  • Virtues and belief

Confirmation of importance of respect but moving away from “respect” as just tolerance or acceptance in a quiet, uninvolved way.

What about “I appreciate you.” Can I participate rather than tolerate?”

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