Boscombe Forum Equality Inclusion & Anti-Discrimination Policy
1. The Boscombe Forum, hereafter referred to as the ‘Forum’ recognises that discrimination and prejudice are unacceptable, contravene the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and can be in some cases regarded as the criminal offence of hate crime. The Forum and that it is in the interests of the organisation and officers, trustees and volunteers to utilise the skills of all of its current and future members.
It is the aim of the Forum to ensure that no member, volunteer or officer receives less favourable treatment (either overtly or indirectly) in being a member of and contributing to the work — including engagement activities with the broader general public or public and private sectors organisations as well as businesses and community groups and the voluntary sector – of the Forum on grounds of the Protected Characteristics; age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation
2. It is the aim of the Forum to be representative of all sections of society with all members feeling respected and able to contribute fully and enthusiastically to the Forum’s work and engagement activities.
3. The Forum opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation, prejudice in all its forms and manifestations, as well as having a rigorous approach to prejudice-derived actions and prejudice related forms of discrimination. To that end the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all in our activities, work and engagement & communications.
4. All members will be treated fairly and with respect. Selection for volunteer officer posts, will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.
6. This policy and the associated arrangements shall operate in accordance with statutory requirements (such as the provisions of the Equality Act 2010). In addition, full account will be taken of any guidance or Codes of Practice issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission [EHRC], any government departments, and any other statutory bodies. This will be reviewed on a 6-monthly basis to take into account new anti-discrimination and inclusion-supportive legislation, codes of conduct and best practice.
7. The Forum through its work also seeks to be an effective means via its activities of promoting inclusion and community cohesion through a robust stance on hate crimes, since the later are harmful to all sections of the broader community in Boscombe.
8. The Forum also encourages gender equality, and that where possible women residents and women working in the Boscombe area are encouraged to become members of the Forum and contribute to shaping its work and informing its activities.
The Forum because it is a community cohesion and inclusive values supporting entity, is a party-politics free organisation, and as such provides no platform for members should they seek to promote or describe party political perspectives of any kinds, especially those that could impact negatively on the purpose of community cohesion of a fully inclusive kind, including any references to particular protected characteristics communities.
OUR EQUALITY AND INCLUSION MISSION AND POSITION COMMITMENT STATEMENT
Inclusion and respect for diversity is at the heart of the Forum’s work and ethos. We seek to through our activities and engagement work in pursuit of these to: create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our volunteers/members are recognised and valued.
RESPONSIBILITES OF FORUM OFFICERS
Responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation and operation of the arrangements will rest with the executive committee under the lead of the Chairperson and Secretary who will ensure that all executive committee members are aware of the equality & anti-discrimination policy and the reasons for its importance. Officers will ensure that grievances concerning discrimination are dealt with properly, fairly and as quickly as possible, and that proper records are maintained.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
All members and volunteer officers are required to:
n comply with the policy
n Support in their conduct as Forum members inclusive values and the anti-discrimination perspectives that are at the heart of the Forum
n not discriminate in their day to day activities or induce others to do so
n not victimise, harass or intimidate other members who belong to protected characteristics groups.
n ensure no individual is discriminated against or harassed because of their association with another individual who has a protected characteristic.
n inform the Chair, Secretary or any executive committee member if they become aware of any prejudice related or discriminatory behaviour either against a Forum member, or by a Forum member by another member of the Forum.
The Forum supports in its aims and objectives activities and perspectives that are supportive of the particular needs of all Protected Characteristics communities, and individuals belonging to all nine of these communities. The Nine Protected Characteristics Are: Disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage & civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation
In addition the Forum recognises that certain of these Protected Characteristics Communities are and have historically been subject to especially serious levels and forms of discrimination and prejudice that are in some cases related to hate crime. These communities are: ethnic minorities; sexual and gender minorities (LGBT) and disability. The Forum as a part of its work will in its activities and undertakings seek to counteract prejudice and hate crime, to build an inclusive and vibrant Boscombe in which all sections of the community are free from the effects of prejudice, fear and discrimination, for example in housing/rented accommodation contexts, daily life, as and where able employment, and in education service provision and in healthcare provision.
RACE/ETHNICITY AND MULTICULTURAL VALUES
The Forum’s vision and purpose encompasses the building of bridges and friendship between peoples of different races and ethnicities, through the sharing of their cultures and traditions. We oppose completely all forms of racial discrimination and racial prejudice: members of the Forum are required to conform to this position and perspective clearly and at all times. Those who contravene this requirement will be subject to membership suspension and expulsion from the Forum, if found to have held and expressed views that support directly or indirectly, racism/race hate, and race-based discrimination.
The Forum is aware of the particular and important/special needs of disabled people joining and participating in the work and activities of the organisation at all levels.
The Forum will:
n include the needs of disabled people in its strategies and activities, and representation to external groups/bodies/organisations
n Encourage those with disabilities people to become members and participate in Forum activities, giving reasonable adjustments for their particular aptitudes and abilities to allow them to contribute to the work of the Forum
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
The Forum is aware of the particular inclusion and anti-discrimination needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans [LGB&T] people joining, being represented and participating in the work of the Forum at all levels.
The Forum will:
n follow a membership recruitment policy that is positively inclusive of LGB&T people
n Be fully supportive of activities and initiatives through the Forum and otherwise in the Boscombe wards areas that seek to counteract prejudice and discrimination against LGB&T people, including in any education related contexts
n include LGB&T equality and anti-discrimination components in any activities and work undertaken by the Forum
MONITORING & CONFIDENTIALITY
We monitor the effectiveness of the policy and arrangements.
n Diversity monitoring will be a mandatory feature of Forum activity and included in the Forum’s board member’s form. The information collected for monitoring purposes will be treated as confidential and it will not be used for any other purpose.
n If monitoring shows that the Forum organisation needs to improve outreach to certain Protected Characteristics it will review, for example, membership recruitment strategies, publicity material and marketing and promotion of the Forum, as well as, if relevant, processes and policies.
Forum members whose membership of the Forum is suspended due to infringement of the Equality & Anti-Discrimination Policy have a right to appeal against the suspension.
The effectiveness of this policy and associated arrangements will be reviewed annually under the direct supervision of the Chair/Vice Chair, Secretary, and committed members of the Forum from Protected Characteristics communities.