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Economic Justice

Shift Birmingham participants begin a journey together to understand and reimagine the city’s economy

“I want the words and language to argue for change!”

“I’d like the community I work in to know how the economy could change to benefit them.”

These are just some of the reasons participants gave for joining Shift Birmingham, which kicked off at Stirchley Baths in the south of the city in September. The free training programme brings together changemakers from across Birmingham to look at how power and resources in the city can be rebalanced.

The cohort includes 23 people making a difference across Birmingham in various ways- from a nursery manager to a housing campaigner and a community hub manager at a local college. With the first session postponed due to the unprecedented heatwave in July, there was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation as the inspirational group met face to face for the first time.

The first session set the foundations for a ten month journey where the cohort will be looking at how to improve the local economy and the lives of communities they live and work with, who are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis. They’ll look at opportunities for change that build on the strengths and assets that exist in Birmingham.

Participants will explore pressing economic problems that affect the city – from the housing crisis to the climate crisis — and get confident understanding and talking about their root causes, how they are connected and how to address them. They will also be supported to get their voice heard in the media, and to influence people in positions of economic power to make the type of change this participant called for:

“Jobs for local communities. Skills for local people. Services where we need them.”

Shift Birmingham is delivered by Economy and funded by Birmingham City Council’s Neighbourhood Development Support Unit and the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

This blog is cross-posted from Economy’s recent newsletter.  Many thanks to Economy for allowing us to share it.