Elizabeth Balgobin: Come on, readers - Third Sector needs more BME voices

There are so many positive things going on in black and multi-ethnic communities, the LGBT sector and the disability sector; so let's hear about them, writes our columnist

People from all across the sector should stand up and be heard, writes Elizabeth Balgobin
People from all across the sector should stand up and be heard, writes Elizabeth Balgobin

The new Third Sector has a lot to recommend it. The news is still available online and the new magazine is able to provide more thoughtful pieces that you can read at your leisure. One of my gripes, though, is that it is rather pale.

Third Sector knows my views on this and knows this is not sour(ish) grapes at not being kept as a regular contributor. I will continue to contribute in a more ad hoc way – linking all my pieces to the governance page was somewhat limiting. My point is that, in 2014, in a magazine for and about the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Britain, I would expect to see in its chosen contributors a better representation of the sector and the general population.

There are many talented people from all the equality sectors out there. Where are they in our new Third Sector? Where are the voices of the black and multi-ethnic communities, the LGBT sector, the disability sector and so on? The most marginalised in our society often fall into one (sometimes more) of these tick boxes. It's not just a tick box for them – it's their life; and those working with these service users might expect to see their stories, their views and their images in our sector magazine.

I have challenged Third Sector about this already; but it also requires us, the readers, to put ourselves forward to tell our stories and share our views. I don't want to see BME stories that are only about Muslim charities being investigated when there are so many more positive things going on. Come on, don't leave me on this soapbox on my own – stand up and be heard.

Elizabeth Balgobin is a governance consultant and currently works as interim chief executive of the London Sustainability Exchange

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