23rd October 2010

Sub: "Interfaith Week - Conference on ‘Faith, Caste and Community Cohesion’"

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Voice of Dalit International. Along with many individuals and organisations who worked tirelessly, we are happy that UK has made caste discrimination illegal through the Single Equalities Act 2010. Once believed to be an Indian phenomenon, caste discrimination is no more country or faith specific. Apart from affecting the psyche, body and well being of the victims/ communities, caste practices threaten the democratic fabric of UK and works against all norms of equality and community cohesion.

The London Borough of Ealing is the fourth most ethnically diverse Borough in England, with 55% minority ethnic background and over 100 languages spoken. With the new Act in place, it becomes incumbent for all, to understand the implications of how caste works in the fields of employment, education, health, housing, welfare, policing, etcetera.

As part of our local work, VODI works in the Borough with the affected, marginalised and excluded communities. 9 years of local involvement has taught us the need for addressing the problem of caste discrimination and resulted in the formation of community-led organisations, an Interfaith Coalition Against Caste Discrimination and the inclusion of ‘caste as an aspect of race’ in the Single Equalities Act. In this respect, we value the importance of interfaith working through local Faith Forums and the Interfaith Network of UK.

Cooperating with different Faith Communities, on Saturday 23rd October 2010 – during Interfaith Week, we are holding a ‘Question Time’ Style Conference, from 1.30 - 6pm, at the Dominion Arts Education Centre, 112 The Green, Southall UB2 4BQ.

The Conference is organised with a view to making Ealing and other Council/s, their various Departments and those delivering services aware of what caste is and how it impacts on their Equal Opportunities, Strategies, Plans and Policies. We invite you /delegates from your organisation to take part in this Conference and the Question Time.

As participation is limited to 200, we request you to book your seat in advance. Priorities will be on the basis of ‘first come first served’. Email us or follow our Website for Registration.

Thanking you,

Eugene Culas
Voice of Dalit International (VODI)
ICG House, Station Approach,
Greenford, London UB6 OAL
Tel/ Fx : (00 44) 0208 813 2380
Email: vodi@vodintl.org.uk
Web: www.vodintl.org.uk