Can race and religion ever be irrelevant factors in an otherwise harmonious, collaborative society? This might be an ambitious question, but in Britain, we are better than most. Of course, racism has always been around, but in recent decades, you would like to think we have made progress in cultural understanding and race relations amongst our many assorted communities. Patriotism is a prickly subject right now, but it shouldn’t have to be. To be proud of Britain should be to be proud of the cultural, economic and social rewards that diversity has brought to our country.
“We need to help people be more comfortable both with other groups but also with themselves.”
The referendum result arguably hindered the progress of race relations, by giving a platform for hate speech to flourish. Regardless, the vision of a truly cohesive multicultural society is shared by many, and more so than ever here in Manchester. Established in 2004, Faith Network for Manchester (FN4M) is an interfaith organisation comprised of community figures representing the spectrum of faith in the city. The aim of the organisation is to not only promote cultural communication, but also uphold the ways in which religion can be relevant to issues of regeneration and public concern across Greater Manchester.
The work of FN4M caught our eye here at The Northern Quota, so as part of our KeepTheFaithMCR campaign we thought it essential to hear their thoughts. Now the advisor to the network, Jonny Wineberg got involved with the network over a decade ago. Over the years he has held the positions of Chair and Vice Chair, but now spends his time coordinating management and funding of projects – a difficult role considering the network receives very little funding! An academic in his own right, Jonny attended the University of Manchester and has conducted detailed research in to demographic change and race relations in Greater Manchester.
Click on the link below to hear more about Faith Network for Manchester, and hear Jonny’s view on Brexit and race relations.