Co-operativesUK has launched a new initiative, Co-operative Diversity Action, to help engage people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in co-operative enterprise.
Co-operative Diversity Action is a new initiative and website - www.diversityaction.coop - set up to provide strategies, resources and guidance to encourage more people from BAME communities to get involved in co operatives.
Dorothy Francis, Chair of Co-operative Diversity Action, said: 'This is a great chance to build on existing good practice. Co-operative Diversity Action will work with all types of co-operatives to develop shared strategies and resources, so that we have the skills, knowledge and expertise to attract participation from people from ethnic minority communities across the whole co-operative movement.'
Co-operative Diversity Action stems from the work of the Ethnic Diversity Steering Group, which was established by Co-operativesUK in early 2009. The steering group has renamed itself Co-operative Diversity Action and established the website to reflect its outward facing role in actively supporting co-operatives in increasing the participation of people from BAME communities.
Co-operative Diversity Action's members come from different parts of the UK and represent a range of different sectors from the movement, including retail societies, co-operative development bodies, worker co-operatives and housing co-operatives.
The website provides a space for co-operative enterprises, business development specialists, co-operative support organisations and BAME support organisations to access and share resources.
It already features case studies, sample equality and diversity policies, fact sheets and guides, reports, action plans and diversity strategies from the retail societies such as the Co-operative Group and Midcounties Co-operative Society.
Co operative Diversity Action is also inviting contributions from co-operatives and support bodies to ensure all the information on the website is as up to date as possible.
The members of Co-operative Diversity Action are also able to work with and directly support co-operatives in engaging BAME communities.
Dame Pauline Green, Chief Executive of Co-operativesUK and a member of Co operative Diversity Action, said: 'This is a chance for Co-operativesUK to use its role as the co-operative membership body to encourage co-operatives to work together to address an issue that is of critical importance for co-operative business imperatives and co-operative values.'