Mu’minah Iqbal, Policy and Practice Research Assistant, is helping to deliver the Race Equality Foundation racism and trauma project, in partnership with the charity Barnardo’s. The project’s focus is on the impact of racism, trauma and intergenerational trauma on Black, Asian and minority ethnic children, young people and families.
The racism and trauma project was launched earlier this year. It seeks to investigate the impact of racism, trauma and intergenerational trauma on the lives of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children, young people and families in Britain. As their needs are often missed in the development of trauma support, it is our hope that the research from this project will result in guidance and the creation of a trauma informed intervention that is appropriate and aimed at minority ethnic families.
Essential to the development of this project has been engaging with minority ethnic children and young people from around the UK to create a co-production team. The purpose of co-production or co-produced research is to make sure that we are giving the same level of importance to lived experiences as we give to research, expert opinions and academic theories. The co-production team currently comprises 17 individuals between the ages of 16 to 22. They make sure the research is reflective, relevant and inclusive of their lived experiences and the workshops are an opportunity for them to have their say on the direction of the research.
To recruit and engage young people we used a range of methods. We reached out to our pre-existing network of young people who have been involved in previous Race Equality Foundation projects to see if they would like to continue working with the Foundation. We also reached out to our different partners and community networks who work with young people. The project was also shared through social media which helped to generate interest. We then held an open day style event at the Foundation’s offices to help interested young people get a better understanding of the project and to encourage long term engagement.
In order to make co-production both accessible and rewarding, we are taking a number of different steps. Firstly, we have adopted a hybrid model of in person and online co-production sessions to ensure people from all over the UK can participate. To accommodate young people’s busy lives, we have held in person sessions over the school holidays, and online sessions have taken place in the evenings. Travel costs are reimbursed and participants are provided with a thank you voucher for their time and contribution.
Future sessions have been planned by their requests and recommendations. Some of the young people have expressed topics that they would like to explore in more depth and others have expressed they would like to develop their creative and presentation skills. Our future sessions will be built around incorporating these components with the input of the co-production team. As well as using the sessions to think about what effective trauma informed support and interventions could look like.
In our sessions so far, we have asked young people to have a go at writing their own definitions of trauma and thinking critically about this. We have also begun to discuss some of the settings in which young minority ethnic people might experience trauma and why.
In our future sessions we will explore the concept of racial trauma, intergenerational trauma, trauma informed care and barriers to support. We are also planning to have some creative and visual outputs to make sure the voices of lived experience can directly comment and contribute to this field of research.
We have already learned so much from the young people involved in the project. It has been great to see their enthusiasm and to hear their intelligent and thoughtful responses and ideas. We hope that the workshops have been equally useful and rewarding for them too.
The co-production team is still growing and if you know of anyone interested in contributing, please share and contact me at Muminah@racefound.org.uk.
Some group exercise definitions:
“Trauma is an emotional and psychological wound caused by an event or sum/accumulation of events that negatively impacts a person’s wellbeing and functioning”
“Trauma is an event or experience that usually leads to long lasting impact on the victim’s physical, emotional and or social well-being”