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Birmingham

Citizens UK, Birmingham is an independent membership alliance of civil society institutions acting together for the common good of the city.

For a short video clip about us from 2014 please click here

Founded in 2013, we have trained over 300 leaders on acting in public life through the method of community organising. Over 1500 people have participated in public action building accountable relationships with those in power in our city. Our dues paying member institutions from Brum’s faith, education, trade union and community sectors have enhanced their own development and mission from their involvement with Citizens UK.

Together our leaders and communities have won:

• access to specialist mental health services for 16-17 year olds,

• established local shops & community buildings as safe havens near schools,

• secured the backing of elected and business leaders persuading city’s employers to pay the Living Wage,

• resettlement of Syrian refugees from UN Camps

For highlights of us in action please visit our storify page

For regular breaking news posts of our work follow us on twitter @CitizensUKBham

Sign up for updates from this chapter here.

News

Building better hate crime protections: Birmingham's response

Citizens UK, Birmingham ran an event that was both impressive and intimate, with 37 leaders in attendance. Testimony was shared in four themed breakout groups of around ten people, with a chair, timer and note taker each, and with leaders clearly briefed on their themes beforehand. Group themes, such as diaspora, communities, and young people allowed each table to explore experiences of hate and policy solutions

Law Commission evidence hearing


A few leaders were invited to share longer accounts to the room as a whole. There was an horrifying account of the normalised, everyday schoolyard antisemitism faced by a young leader, with jokes about gas chambers often being a daily occurrence, and there was the story of a hijabi Muslim leader being abused in public by an attacker explicitly quoting our Prime Minister’s letterbox comment.

 

 

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2019 Delegates Assembly Update

Please click below to read a message from Citizens UK Birmingham Co Chairs Liz Coleman and Richard Campbell, following our Chapter's Delegates Assembly.

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Citizens UK: Birmingham: Celebrates Six Year Anniversary

This month our Citizens UK: Birmingham Alliance celebrated six years of community organising in the city. The chapter marked the milestone with special event kindly hosted by Canon Gerry Breen at St Chad’s Cathedral.

After a successful six years of community organising in the city - from Living Wage campaigning to refugee resettlement – the chapter has gone from strength to strength. Citizens UK: Birmingham has grown to an independent civil society alliance made up of faith, education, trade union and community institutions.

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At the event, 54 leaders from across the city celebrated and reflected on the success of Citizens UK: Birmingham. Given special mention was the hugely successful Community Sponsorship work in the city and efforts to resettle refugees. Councillors Tristan Chatfield, Waseem Zaffar, Alex Yip and Claire Spencer were given special recognition for their leadership and support.

Our member schools also took part in the anniversary celebrations. Pupils from St Francis’ Catholic Primary School in Lozells shared their personal testimonies on being part of a “refugee welcome school”. Students from the CORE Education Trust also presented a brilliant new city project called Echo Eternal remembering the survivors of the Holocaust and the reflections they have for us. As well as this, a host of other Citizens UK leaders shared news on current projects: Community sponsorship, the Business leaders project and the Islam & Public Life Commission.

Finally, three moving personal stories were read out to introduce a new campaign by Safe Passage: 80 years on. (https://80yearson.org.uk/) The campaign recently received the backing of Cllr Tristan Chatfield at Birmingham City Council to take in 80 child refugees on first instance dependent on securing funding from Government. If you would like to get involved or find out more please email Saidul.haque@citizensuk.org

 

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Reducing child poverty must be top priority for Commonwealth Games legacy

Reducing child poverty must be top priority for Commonwealth Games legacy

 

Alliance of Birmingham schools, Universities and businesses call for Commonwealth Games venues to pay a real Living Wage to beat child poverty

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The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games can leave a living wage and housing legacy like the Olympics

**Limited public release for our Birmingham Commonwealth Games assembly on 7th March: click here and fill in the form to request**

Citizens UK today celebrated the news that Birmingham is to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and asked West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward to ensure the games are used to create a positive long term legacy for the city.

Michael Seal, Chair of Citizens UK, Birmingham said:

"We are delighted with the news Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and congratulate all involved in the bid. We look forward to celebrating the announcement on the 7th of March with up to 1000 people from communities across the region. We welcome the Games are a big opportunity to raise aspirations for the city and the region. 

"To this end we look forward to Birmingham hosting the first Living Wage Commonwealth Games, with guarantees on how families will benefit through good jobs & work-experience, with better access to sports & youth facilities whilst establishing a community land trust for housing.”

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Birmingham Great Get Togethers: Iftars in memory of Jo Cox

 

Here’s a quick round up of the Iftars being held by members of Citizens UK Birmingham this weekend as part of the Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox MP.

Joining us at one of these events was one of the key things that Citizens UK was asking candidates all over the country in the run up to the election. As it happens, some of the Birmingham candidates that we spoke to are attending Great Get Togethers even closer to their own doorstep. There are many other Great Get Togethers happening than just these three – it’s good that Brummies are spoilt for choice.

On Friday, University of Birmingham Islamic Society are hosting one from 9pm:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/305867883206802/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/university-of-birmingham-community-iftaar-tickets-35175377501

On Sunday, Aspire & Succeed leaders are part of this one in North-East Birmingham:

And KSIMC are also hosting on the East side of the city:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/130844914136373/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moseley-road-street-iftar-tickets-34575078992?aff=es2

Refugee Week: Next week is also Refugee Week, so check out this link for some activities that are taking place in the West Midlands (Birmingham events start from page 2 onwards) http://refugeeweek.org.uk/in-your-area/west-midlands/

 

 

 

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Pay Rise for Carers Agreed by Birmingham Council

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Leaders from Citizens UK Birmingham attended the February Council meeting to ask Councillors to commit to their social care campaign by raising council tax by 2% to better fund social care.  Before the meeting, leaders handed Council Leader John Clancy an early Valentine’s Card urging him to show love to low paid carers. 

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Birmingham’s Civil Society & Elected leaders join Special Vigil for victims of Paris & Beirut Attacks

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On Sunday 15th November, over 200 people from Birmingham gathered for a special vigil to remember those that had lost their lives in attacks in Paris, Beirut, Syria, Egypt and others parts of the world. Leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh community came to speak at the event to represent Birmingham as a “city of the world”.

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Foul play in the Premier League? Campaigning for the Living Wage

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The University of Birmingham's College of Social Sciences joined Citizens UK Birmingham as a principal partner last year. Yvonne Sawbridge is a Senior Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre, and also an Aston Villa fan. She has become centrally involved in the campaign to persuade Aston Villa to become the first Living Wage football club in the Midlands. This is an article she wrote for the School of Social Policy blog.

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Fans lead calls for Aston Villa to pay the Living Wage

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This article by Aston Villa fan Dave Partridge appears in the August 2015 edition of Heroes & Villains fanzine. Fans of the club are central to a new effort to persuade Aston Villa FC to become an accredited Living Wage Employer this season, and will carry out their first public action at the club’s first home game.

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