We all know about the high levels of inequality across our region, about the lack of access to reliable and affordable public transportation, and the rising numbers of people who are relying on food banks in order to put food on the table.
What we want to know is what makes a fair and equal society? In this time of political upheaval and imminent change, this question becomes even more important. What kind of North East do we want to live in? What can we do to defend our basic human rights to food, housing, social security and health amongst others? How do we ensure that people from every sector of society are protected and that they have what they need to live a life of dignity and freedom?
The Social Rights Alliance North East (SRANE) has been asking these questions across the North East over the past 10 months. We have facilitated workshops from Middlesbrough to Northumberland on using human rights for local change. We are exploring how human rights are more than a shield to protect the individual from the state. Human rights also have a unique ability to help people move and work together for change.
But we don’t want the conversation to end there. In order to hear from as many people in the region as we can, we have condensed our Talk.Act.Change workshop into a free downloadable toolkit. This is designed to be used by anyone – friends, colleagues and community groups. The toolkit includes information about social rights and equality, a response sheet for your answers, and a workshop format if you need some ideas.
The responses we gather from this toolkit join those from the workshops, and together this will help SRANE identify areas for change and develop effective campaigns to promote true equality in the North East.
None of the above questions have simple answers, but one thing is clear: whatever social change we seek, we need to make sure that the voices of those with lived experience of poverty, vulnerability and inequality are prominent throughout the process. As many movements have agreed, ‘nothing about us, without us, is really for us.’
Want to be part of the change? Join the conversation – download our Talk.Act.Change toolkit.
Sign our pledge for social rights and get involved with SRANE.
For more info contact email@example.com.
This blog was first published on VONNE in December 2019.