Social Secretary Ella Kipling reports on the Birmingham Race Impact Group’s findings on the 2022 Commonwealth Games


A new report by the Birmingham Race Impact Group (BRIG) reveals that organisers of the 2022 Commonwealth Games have left diverse communities feeling ignored. The report says that the city’s diversity was ‘leveraged as a positive factor in the pitch to secure the Commonwealth Games,’ but organisers have ‘failed to engage the city’s diverse communities in a meaningful way.’

The report highlighted engagement with schools focusing on photo opportunities and flag waving

BRIG commissioned a panel of race quality practitioners and consultants to assess the Games in a number of areas including legacy, community engagement, and procurement. The Games were scored red (urgent action required) and amber (work needed) in all areas. In particular, the report highlighted engagement with schools focusing on photo opportunities and flag waving ‘akin to traditional subjugation-style opportunities for minority groups.’ 

However, the Birmingham 2022 organising committee stated that they are ‘working hard’ to ensure that benefits of the games are available to everyone across the region. While they expressed their disappointment over the report, they stated that they ‘value BRIG’s input’ and will ‘carefully consider their recommendations.’ 

BRIG is an organisation focused on resourcing the next generation of activists by ‘pulling together Birmingham’s best practice on fighting racism.’ Their report said that communities ‘with many deep and unique Commonwealth connections’ feel that they have been ‘largely ignored.’ Jagwant Johal, from BRIG, told the BBC that ‘lack of evidence of any meaningful progress leads us to conclude that the questions raised by communities of Birmingham remain largely unanswered and unresolved.’ 

‘The conclusions of the report card suggest that the OC has been more preoccupied with its internal delivery structures than with winning the trust, confidence, and support of Birmingham’s diverse communities,’ the report states.

A Birmingham city council spokesperson said that the report has made clear there are things ‘to be reflected upon by a range of organisations in the city.’ Meanwhile, Mac Alonge, who is the chief executive of The Equal Group and was part of the report assessment team, feels that it is ‘probably too late for this Games.’ However, he is certain there are lessons to be learned for ‘any future projects where there is an intense amount of capital being poured into a region.’ 

Read more news articles here:

New NUS leader fears for safety amid anti-semitism accusations

Degree grade matters more than institution, reports find

Birmingham pub mental health scheme aims to break taboos