The plan

The University of Birmingham

What does “tackle the parallel living that a diverse university falls into and move towards a more unified co-existence” actually mean? UNIty’s Nazmin Begum responds.

Simply put, we are aiming to bring about a change within the University of Birmingham campus which will lead to a more integrated cohesive student body.

We want different ethnic backgrounds, classes, religions and cultures to be celebrated and shared, and this can only occur if students have a platform upon which to share their diverse backgrounds. In essence, although diversity is rife upon campus, this diversity is encompassed within parallel living. The move towards a more unified co-existence can be difficult without the correct platform. And this is where UNIty comes in!

UNIty will bring both an outsiders’ perspective but also an insiders’ perspective together (though the mix of our project members i.e. alumni, current students and a prospective student), and work towards the ideal of equality, participation and interaction in order to bring about a cohesive student body.

We will host a number of events that are appealing to the mass student body and aim to work with both societies and other organisations at the university in order to have a mass turnout, thus spread our message to the masses.

Prior to this however, we will make our presence felt on campus through campaigning and spreading our brand through multiple channels, with social media playing a key role. Following that, our key activities will be centred around the university’s freshers fair in October.

It is important to stress that the University of Birmingham is our pilot project; thus this is only the first phase for UNIty. Once we have brought about successful change at the University of Birmingham, we aim to look at implementing our toolkit at other higher education institutions around the West Midlands, and following that, going nationwide! Who knows? Maybe we can conquer the world!

Nazmin Begum, UNIty Founding Member’

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Bright Ideas: UNIty meets ‘First Light’

Meeting with Lizzie Nolan, Rebecca Quansah and Daniel Smith (First Light) – 10/03/2011

Fazeley Studios is like an oasis… And Birmingham is the desert. The calm and tranquil nature of the place wreaked charm, creativity and intelligence. This was where our meeting with First Light took place.

A registered charity, First Light gives young people the opportunity to run media projects. Because of this we felt they were the ideal people to support UNIty and our proposed plan which relies very much on media and film.

From our meeting we came out with more specific ideas about the documentary we plan to make. It will follow our journey and will be used to show funders and supporters alike about the progress we have made. As well as this, it will portray of the diversity we seek to unite in a manageable and entertaining format. Furthermore, we discussed marketing the brand and the logistics of running such an ambitious project; the external point of view proved invaluable.

First Light sells themselves an organisation that ‘helps young people from all backgrounds to develop their skills, talent, creativity, confidence and entrepreneurial capabilities’. Lizzie, Rebecca and Daniel unquestionably lived up to such a inspiring ethos by being both brilliant with any questions we had about their field, but also as amazing mentors that we hope stay with us throughout the project.

Daniel Bridgewater, UNIty Founding Member

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The Trickett’s of the Trade!

Meeting with Lisa Tricket (University of Birmingham) – 16/02/2011

UNIty took the first stepping stone towards success today by attending a meeting with Lisa Trickett and our very own Zehra Zaidi. As Director of Knowledge Transfer at the Birmingham Business School and with an illustrious history in local government and the business world alike, Lisa Trickett is the perfect person to help us take UNIty forward. Not merely giving us pointers as to the direction in which we should take, more crucially, Lisa made us realise the potential UNIty has and, with slight reevaluation, the impact it could truly make.

The discussion centred around both our ideas and how we can implement them in the university as well as the political and social undertones that fuels the UNIty fire. Improvements were suggested, discussed and made: the project was growing.

The meeting lasted just over an hour and, from this, we gained a plethora of invaluable advice all of which will undoubtably underpin UNIty over the coming months.

Daniel Bridgewater, UNIty Founding Member. – Lisa Tricket Bio

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Welcome to the official blog for the UNIty Social Action Project!

Under the umbrella organisation ‘UpRising’ (a branch of the Young Foundation), UNIty aims to tackle the parallel living that a diverse university falls into and move towards a more unified co-existence. From a student and young leader point of view, as opposed to the more frequently attempted academic and political stance, we will not only break the barriers that prevent a cohesive community but aim to encourage those of all groups to challenge their preconceptions; thus facilitating a collective sense of complete equality.

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