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Exclusive podcast delivers the early insights of ground-breaking research on racism and ethnic inequality in Britain

Dharmi Kapadia, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester and one of the authors of the recently published book, Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a Time of Crisis: Findings from the Evidence for Equality National Survey, has been interviewed in an exclusive podcast with the UK Data Service. In the podcast Dr Kapadia throws a light on how the pioneering Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS) was conducted, its initial findings on ethnic and religious inequalities and what researchers, students and policy-makers will gain from the new data.

New data yields shocking statistics

One of the most shocking statistics to have emerged from the survey is that 1 in 3 people who belong to an ethnic or religious minority group have been subjected to a racist assault or abuse. The Guardian featured this data, as well as further startling insights into the discrimination faced by Roma, Gypsy and Traveller people, in an article last month.

Dr Kapadia has been working on racism and ethnic inequality for more than 10 years and is one of the team at the Centre of Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), based at Manchester. Her research has shown that there have been consistent ethnic inequalities within the labour market, health services, mental health services and education.

The impetus behind EVENS was the stark evidence of racial inequalities during the early stages of the pandemic, when ethnic minority healthcare staff who contracted the virus died in disproportionate numbers. This disparity was then reflected by the death rates across the wider UK population. On the findings from EVENS Dr Kapadia comments: “The data is showing that sometimes things are actually getting worse for some ethnic minority groups.”

A persuasive study of unprecedented scope

Following the findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, Dr Kapadia acknowledges that researchers may have found it difficult to convince policy-makers to accept evidence of ethnic inequalities embedded within the structure of society. She hopes that the unparalleled scope of EVENS will offer a compelling counter-argument.

EVENS allows people to identify within 22 ethnic minority categories, compared to 19 within the most recent UK census. Around 14,000 people participated in the survey, which saw CoDE partner with organisations such as the Race Equality Foundation and Runnymede Trust to spread the word amongst ethnic and religious minority groups. The ground-breaking methodology underpinning the survey also allows for a new level of insight into the experiences faced by these communities.

Datasets to be released exclusively via the UK Data Service

The book Racism and Ethnic Inequality in a Time of Crisis: Findings from the Evidence for Equality National Survey is available now and offers readers headline statistics and data visualisations. The datasets themselves will be released exclusively via the UK Data Service this June. Dr Kapadia comments: “This gives people an opportunity to do more in-depth analysis for research questions or everyday problems that they see can be answered with the data.”

The UK Data Service will be publishing key takeaways and highlights over the coming months. We will also be creating a new training programme on how to use the datasets and working to produce a teaching dataset, ideal for undergraduate students to carry out their own analysis of this wide-ranging and radical study.

Research on a global stage

The EVENS study and other research into ethnic and religious inequalities in the UK features on our poster presentation at this year’s IASSIST conference, taking place in Philadelphia. The theme of the conference is Diversity in research: Social justice from data and the poster will be available to view on Wednesday 31 May from 17.00 to 18.00 UTC-4 (local time), with Communications and Impact team members Gemma Hakins and Rodney Appleyard on-hand to explain – or you can view both the poster on racial attitudes and the poster on diversity and inclusion online at Zenodo.