MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
‘One Community, Many Voices’ was the apt title of the conference organised by JAN (Joint Association of Nissa Trusts) on community cohesion. As one of the keynote speakers I was delighted to hold forth on this subject as it is so fundamental to making life work for the multitude of communities that choose to make Haringey their home.
It was also about tackling extremism and eradicating radicalisation of young Muslims. On my way to the conference, I heard on the radio that new figures showed a 300% rise in race crimes in the last few years – so the need for social cohesion, vigilance and non-stop, day in day out work is vital. Overall, we do pretty well in many respects on these issues in Haringey – and after 7/7 there was not one single race incident in Haringey and because so much work has been done by the politicians, the council, the Race Equality Council, The Peace Alliance, The Faith Forums, JAN Trust itself and the many organisation who work to ensure that no community is isolated.
With new communities arriving, we need to ensure that our history of funding separateness (with the best of intentions) is now mutated to fund togetherness. There is lots of good work going on. And our local police team is a great bonus in that they are so engaged with the community. For example the Police Amateur Boxing Club is doing outreach with Muslim boys from the Wightman Road mosque.
And we are blessed with our local mosque and the elders who reach out and invite the local community in.
Anyway – JAN Trust itself does brilliant work with women from a number of different ethnic backgrounds – helping them access public services, teaching English, IT and sewing skills and giving advice on jobs and careers. Rafat Mughal, who started it and has run it for 17 years, is the driving force – nagging, begging, cajoling and pleading for funding to keep this important pathway for women into the world.
Congrats to all!