From education to employment

Equality charity tells employers this Black History Month: scrap the term ‘BAME’


Charity Blueprint for All (BfA) has launched a new report and toolkit ‘We Belong Here’ as part of its Black History Month Programme to guide organisations on using cultural and racial descriptors to ensure that everyone feels they belong.

This follows BfA’s survey of people aged 18-30 in the UK from diverse backgrounds which revealed that the majority are uncomfortable with the term ‘Black, Asian and minority ethnic’ (BAME). The survey found that 98% feel it is important for a shared language that unifies people from diverse heritages, however there is no shared word or expression that participants feel represents them all.

Based on these findings, Blueprint for All is now issuing guidance to help organisations reflect on how best to use their own actions and language to bolster feelings of belonging to build personal and institutional impact. The toolkit features ten modules with recommendations such as:

  • Stop using acronyms like BAME and BME: The meaning of these acronyms is not well understood and people feel ‘boxed in’
  • Stop using skin colour to categorise people
  • Deepen historical knowledge of the UK’s collective heritages
  • Talk about racism – and create a ‘safe space’ to do so
  • Review data capture process around ethnic heritage, including declaring publicly how data is used

Blueprint for All CEO, Sonia Watson OBE shares her excitement for the report:

“Our research shows young people of diverse heritage feel British and yet many don’t feel they belong, and people can use terms which make you feel like you belong less. With diversity and inclusion increasingly important to us all, these findings highlight a crucial area that needs constructive thought and action.

“This is an important moment not only for the charity, but for the wider conversation as we recognise and celebrate Black History Month this October. It is so important that we recognise the role we, as individuals have to play in a wider conversation, and here at Blueprint for All, we hope this report can help guide, navigate and inspire proactive change. The report provides an incredible opportunity of growth and education for everyone, and I look forward to seeing the impact it has as it is shared far and wide.”

This research follows Blueprint for All’s ground-breaking research last year which asked 500 young adults how they define themselves and their sense of belonging in the UK to get a greater sense of how cultural and racial descriptors make them feel.

Related Articles