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Leicester and Birmingham: ‘Diversity is a beautiful thing’

Leicester and Birmingham: ‘Diversity is a beautiful thing’

The first "super-diverse" cities in the UK are Leicester and Birmingham, where the majority of residents are from BAME (black, Asian, or minority ethnic) backgrounds. Minority ethnic people make up 59% and 51% of the populations in these cities, respectively.

According to the data, 59% of Leicester's population comes from a minority ethnic background, while 51% of Birmingham's population and 54% of Luton's are people of color. 18% of the population in England and Wales is BAME.


Although the achievement was not unexpected, John Cotton, a Labour councillor, called Birmingham's ethnic diversity a "veritable strength."

"In the end, people make a city, and people make a home, and that city and home are one and the same here in Birmingham - and that's something we're proud to be: a welcoming home to all who come here," said the mayor of Birmingham.

Although the census only confirmed what Birmingham Council already knew about the population's makeup, he said the information was "crucial" for informing central government when allocating resources so that the city could receive "our fair share of funding and support, so everyone has a chance to prosper and succeed."

 


Leicester's diversity, according to Dr. Chris Zembe, a senior history lecturer at De Montfort University who specialises in colonial and postcolonial history as well as the African diaspora, is due to "evolving local political willingness to accept immigrants from outside the borders of Europe."


Leicester has become a global city with a respect for one another's differences thanks to policies that welcome and encourage integration rather than assimilation, according to the mayor.

Through its Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, which focuses on the experiences of marginalised people, institutionalised racism, and racial violence, the university will run a project marking 30 years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence in London the following year. In order to address deeply ingrained forms of inequality in society, Prof. Lisa Palmer of the centre stated that the census data showed "now, more than ever, all institutions nationally, from education, health, and employment, need to take the issue of race and racism seriously."

The Prana cafe in Leicester's city center, which Sukh and Andie Johal own, is one illustration of the city's "melting pot of cultures." The vegan cafe employs a mix of people born and raised in Leicester, including Sukh himself, and staff from South Korea, Turkey, South Africa, and Thailand. We have always been very diverse since the beginning. It all fits together perfectly naturally. "The issues and divisions arise when we begin to categorise ourselves into groups," Sukh said. "I believe that diversity is a wonderful thing."