Professor Shirin Rai of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies is one of nine academics from across the UK who have formed the Consortium on Practices for Wellbeing and Resilience in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Families and Communities (Co-POWeR).
Professor Rai will focus on the interaction of care, caring and carers within BAME families and communities in Coventry and Leicester, seeking to understand how COVID-19 has affected those being cared for as well as their paid and unpaid carers, and recommending ways to increase their wellbeing and resilience.
The UKRI Agile Research and Innovation Response to COVID-19 awarded £2.5 million to create the Consortium on Practices for Wellbeing and Resilience in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Families and Communities (Co-POWeR).Co-POWeR will explore how emergency COVID-19 powers are disproportionately impacting people from BAME backgrounds, and how the pandemic is affecting care and caring, as well as mental and physical health and wellbeing across all ages.
Some of the stories encountered during the research will be dramatized in partnership with Coventry’s EGO theatre group to provide a powerful narrative illustrating the interaction of the COVID-19 pandemic with the social and institutional discrimination faced daily by BAME groups in the UK.
Professor Rai said: “I am looking forward to working with colleagues and with BAME communities in Coventry and Leicester on this important issue to develop a rigorously researched, innovative and participative piece of work with policy relevance.”
The group will be led by Iyiola Solanke, Professor of EU Law and Social Justice in the University of Leeds School of Law.
Professor Solanke, the project principal investigator, said: “There are two viruses affecting people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities across the UK. One is COVID-19 and the other is discrimination. We want to illustrate that the way in which COVID-19 is exacerbating the experience of inequality for those in these communities.
“There is agency – people are able to adapt and support themselves – but the combined impact of COVID means that government intervention is essential to ensure the ongoing wellbeing of people of all ages who are subjected to these two viruses.”
Co-POWeR is a multi-disciplinary consortium of nine academics from across the UK who are all members of the Black Female Professors Forum.
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