By Liz Carnelley, Programme Director, Near Neighbours
I strongly believe that in our local communities we need to intervene positively to bring people together, so that they can make a difference where they live - this is why I am supporting the Social Integration Commission. At Near Neighbours we are committed to bringing people together in religiously and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, helping them to actively develop strong relationships with one another, as well as shaping their local communities.
There are people and movements who seek to divide communities with hate and division, mistrust and rumour, discrimination and fear. There are also people of good will seeking to work positively together with others, promoting diversity, harmony and peace which provides a context for building up our communities and making them better places to live for everyone.
Transforming our communities into places of hope, co-operation and mutual care, where people of different backgrounds come together and work together for their communities, must be a priority. Any research into integration will help organisations like Near Neighbours to better understand the nature of social division and isolation, and in turn be better at counteracting it; for this reason I am delighted to support the work of the Commission.
Liz is a member of the Commission's Delivery Working Group