15 February 2008

Threatened Closing of Southall Black Sisters

If you ever took an interest in Afro-Asian history in the West, Southall Black Sisters are already familiar to you. But it occurs to me that this particular demographic, even amongst readers of my blog, is likely quite small. So let me introduce you to SBS’s work and history, if only briefly, so that you might better understand the meaning of the present threat to cut to their funding.

Southall Black Sisters was founded amidst the storm of the Southall Race Riots in 1979 as an organization to defend and to empower Black (Afro-Caribbean and Asian) women in Britain. Specifically, SBS aimed to support victims of domestic violence and abuse, though their efforts quickly spun out to solidarity work on a number of issues related to labor, race, immigration and gender. The organization filled a need that neither white feminist groups nor Black anti-racist groups were addressing. They have continued this work for three decades, becoming a major local and national voice for women of color.

News of the threat to their funding comes via bloggers at Black Looks and The F Word, both of whom encourage you to send a letter to support continued funding for SBS. Black Looks acutely ties the de-funding of SBS and similar programs to the increased currency of the myth of a post-race era:

After nearly 30 years of working with women in the Black community, particularly on all forms of violence against women, Ealing Council has now decided that there is no longer a need for “specialist services for Black and Ethnic minority women”. Their decision is further evidence of the trend across Britain to end funding of Black and ethnic minority organisations under the false belief that institutional racism is now a thing of the past.

Support for SBS’s work can be addressed to:

Jason Stacey
Leader of Ealing Council
Ealing Town Hall
Uxbridge Road
W5 2BY

Get to it.


Anonymous said...

Interesting I will be back to read more on life in Moscow. A friend wrote this piece on my blog a while ago and would be interested to have your thoughts.


McFry said...

it is totally my own provincial issue, but whenever i read phrases like "in the West", i immediately jump mentally to the western
U.S. haha! my bad..

& then i get all confused for awhile, until i figure out what you're talking about.

when you get back state-side, i should be in New Mexico, Montana, or somewheres in between.

cheers ;)

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

McFry, Yeah, I have the opposite problem. I saw a link to a new-ish blog called "The Edge of the West" and thought to myself--a blog from the margins reconsidering Eurocentrism? Went to find the good, but not what I thought *Edge of the American West* blog.

Where will you be in April? I'm making a quick fly-through to hit a conference in PVD.