DAY 2: JULIE JAYE CHARLES
Here’s Julie Jaye Charles' story: she is a Black disabled activist who advocates for racial and disability equality. She‘s been campaigning for the Black disabled community for more than three decades by setting organisations, crowdfunding, and advising the government on how to better support this demographic. Jaye Charles’s success as an activist is shown through the multiple awards she has won from Lifetime achievement award, Excellence in Diversity to the Royal Association of Disabled People. But on top of being a successful activist, she is also a single mother of two as well as a grandmother.
One of the organisations that Julie Jaye Charles has set up, The Equalities National Council (ENC), is the only charity which is Black and minority ethnic user-led disabled peoples organisation in the UK. The organisation is also renowned for primarily focusing on delivering expert advocacy and mentoring support on behalf of BME disabled people and their carers.
In the UK Minority, ethnic people face discrimination in many types of service provision such as housing, education, and access to food banks. On top of this, Jaye Charles believes that Black disabled folk are often “invisible”, and therefore there needs to be an increase in funding for organisations supporting these people so that their needs are met, voices are heard and they are involved in government policymaking. However, despite all the progress she has made there is still a long way to go as there is a continued failure from the government to act on the recommendations that these Black Disabled organisations give. This shows that there is still a need for increased funding, active allyship, and an increase in the provision of resources to achieve equality.