PIH Conference April 2008 ‘Understanding the experience of mixed race families and young people’

Understanding the experience of mixed race families and young people: improving services 

A national conference from People in Harmony, an organisation which has been working with and for mixed race people and families since 1972. The conference report can be downloaded here



Tuesday, 29 April 2008, The Kings Fund, Central London






Since the inclusion of a 'mixed race option' in the UK census, more has come to be known about this population. While 'mixed' is a broad definition, the numbers who identify with the term appear to be increasing. Despite this, services have generally been slow to adopt a realistic view of mixed race people and families.


The Conference

This conference aimed to provide delegates with the opportunity to:

  • Hear about current research on mixed race populations
  • Consider the policy implications of the research findings – focussing particularly on groups which under-achieve
  • Hear from some of the few services which have been specifically developed for people of mixed race
  • Network with professionals sharing interest in the development of services to meet the needs of mixed race people



Plenary sessions included:

  • Crossing the colour and faith line: challenging assumptions about families from mixed racial, ethnic and faith backgrounds (Dr Chamion Caballero, London South Bank University, and co-author of the forthcoming Parenting 'Mixed' Children: Negotiating Difference and Belonging (funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
  • Improving the educational environment for mixed race children (Professor Leon Tikly, University of Bristol)
  • The Multiple Heritage Project: raising the profile of mixed race issues through focussed services (Bradley Lincoln, founder of the Multiple Heritage Project, Manchester)


The practical focus of this conference was strengthened by smaller study groups, facilitated by practitioners who actually work with mixed race people.

These study groups included:

  • Creating a strong sense of self in mixed race young people
  • Mixed race young people: over-represented in the criminal justice system
  • Making mixed race children visible in the education system
  • Social services and mixed race families
  • Complex family systems: working with mixed race service users

Download Conference Report

Download Conference Programme

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