Over the period of Covid-19 lockdown, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an array of organisations, charities, communities and political leaders to bring a culture of welcome to the Borough of Sandwell.
In my role, I have created and been maintaining all social media pages and communications for the #BOSSandwell Campaign. The campaign is working towards greater inclusion, equality and opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers, as well as standing strongly in solidarity with the #BLM movement and anti-racism.
If the refugee crises are shown in the media, stories rarely ever address the links to environmental migration. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 33.4 million people were forced to leave their homes in 2019 due to disasters negatively affecting their livelihoods. This number is only expected to increase as we move further into the 21st century.
“The Atlas of Environmental Migration, which gives examples dating as far back as 45,000 years ago, shows that environmental changes and natural disasters have played a role in how the population is distributed on our planet throughout history.”Dina Ionesco – UN IOM
With more and more catastrophic climate-related events having direct causal links to human activity, it has never been more important to focus on the displacement and safe settlement of humans.
More than ever before, I feel the urge to actively work towards breaking down perceptions of “other”, separation and racism. Working in my home town, Sandwell to do just that feels right. After all, it all starts at home.