The ‘mixed’ population is now one of the fastest growing. In mid-2009 in England and Wales it was estimated at 986,600, representing a 47% increase since mid-2001. Around 27.8% of this population lived in London and Croydon is one of three London Boroughs having a ‘mixed’ population in excess of 12,000. The parliamentary event on 22nd October, ‘Making Mixed Race Matter’, is organised by People in Harmony, the longest established mixed race organisation in UK. It is hosted by Gavin Barwell MP who said “As a Member of Parliament, I constantly try to do everything that I can to challenge the prejudice that can exist in society. Any organisation that similarly works to achieve those aims should be applauded for their courage and their efforts. People in Harmony has a long history of using education to combat misinformed discrimination in Croydon. It’s with that in mind that I’m proud to sponsor this vital event in the House of Commons and endorse the crucial work they do in my constituency. It’s with the help of community groups like them that our country is becoming more tolerant, more open and more equal. Long may it continue.”
The 'mixed' ethnicity categorisation in the 2001 and 2011 Censuses has given the mixed race community an opportunity to speak for itself. A picture is emerging that suggests many areas of public services do not take account of mixed race interests and needs. A main objective of People in Harmony is to influence and improve ways in which public services such as education, health, social care and criminal justice are delivered to the mixed race population though discussion and debate, research, campaigns and the arts.
In England and Wales, 2009, the 'mixed' ethnic group was the fifth largest group after White British, White Other, Indian and Pakistani, and now requires commensurate consideration in the policy arena. The event will discuss a number of topics of interest to all in the mixed race community and beyond, including PIH’s history, its collaborative efforts with other mixed race organisations, and the findings of recent research. It will take placed in the Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Westminster on 22nd October, 3.30-5.30pm. “The time has arrived for mixed race people and families to make their needs known instead of being lumped together with other ethnic groups or ignored altogether” said researcher, author and vice- chair Dr Gillian Olumide.
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People in Harmony, PIH, is the national charity for mixed race people, couples and families, including adoptive and foster families. It developed from an organisation founded in 1972 to dispel the racist views of Enoch Powell.