York’s Hidden Stories is a community-based project which aims to capture and share the experiences and values of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community in York. The project is run by the Centre for Global Education (CGE) as a response to a case study of York’s BME community, which emphasised the need for York to strengthen its commitment to racial equality and diversity (Craig et al., 2010*). The project is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Comic Relief.
LIdIA and English Language and Linguistics students are working with the CGE to transcribe and analyse the interviews that were collected from the BME participants. The outcomes of this research will feed back both into the project and more widely into future research practice. In particular, by means of thematic analysis it will identify and feed back the themes that emerged from the interviews; and by applying a critical analysis of the interview techniques, it will inform future practice of community workers conducting interviews with multilingual participants.
Furthermore, it is anticipated that the research will impact on future exploration and generate a greater response to the needs of York’s ‘hidden’ BME community.
So far, the project has also benefited a group of English Language and Linguistics students who have had the opportunity to transcribe the interviews, participate in follow-on Playback Theatre events and meet the BME participants. The project has allowed the students to grow in their own understanding of what it means to be a minority language speaker in York and to also develop important team-building skills. The impact and value of the project partnership was evident as the students and staff from the Department of Languages and Linguistics organised and participated in a fundraising event for Sports Relief.
*Craig, G., Adamson, S., Ali, N. and Demsash, F. (2010). ‘Mapping rapidly changing minority ethnic populations: A case study of York’. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Available online at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/changing-minority-ethnic-populations (Accessed March 20, 2014)