During August and September 2020, GREC conducted a survey to gather feedback from people with protected characteristics to feed into Aberdeen City Council (ACC)’s Equality Outcomes. The survey was complemented by a series of focus groups held in October and November. In total, over 200 people took part.
More than two-thirds of ethnic minority participants felt that Aberdeen was welcoming, and more than half felt included in their local communities. Figures were similar for Scottish/British participants.
Around a quarter of all participants felt they had been excluded from cultural activities because of protected characteristics, and they were generally part of ethnic minority groups, including half of participants from African, Caribbean or Black backgrounds. The negative experiences they described in comments mentioned racism and being concerned due to previous attacks. A few participants were also targeted by racist comments at sports facilities, but around half of ethnic minority participants enjoyed exercising at a gym, sports centre or swimming pool.
Feedback from the focus groups highlighted that places of worship are key places to socialise for the African community, so their closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionally impacted this community’s sense of connectedness. Members of the Muslim community also discussed the impacts of the mosques being closed, but they spoke positively about the supportive nature of their local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In broader terms, African participants identified a problem in the lack of representatives from their community in senior positions, both in the public and private sector, and during the development of new strategies and plans. European minority ethnic communities had mixed responses about feeling safe and welcomed in Aberdeen, with participants discussing positive experiences, but also challenges to access some services. To overcome these issues, participants suggested an increased focus on bringing people of different communities and cultures together, and an increased understanding of diversity to promote positive community relations.
Data Source: 2020, .
Category: Qualitative Data
Topics: Aberdeen City African Community Discrimination European Nationals Muslim Community Participation Religion Social Connections