This autumn colleagues from across the electoral community celebrated International Democracy Day. To coincide with this event, a new annual week of action that will put the spotlight on democratic engagement and boost participation was launched by Chris Skidmore, the Minister for the Constitution.
The inaugural National Democracy Week, to be held next summer, will be themed on the Suffrage Centenary, as we celebrate two significant anniversaries in 2018: 100 years since women won the right to vote and 90 years since women won equal voting rights to men. National Democracy Week will take place 2-8 July, and bring together organisations from across the public, private and charity sectors. A National Democracy Week Council, chaired by the Minister, will provide a forum for organisations to support and develop activities to take place during National Democracy Week.
As an organisation Elevation Networks is committed to helping people to have their say in society and make their voice heard. An example of this is through our annual Great Debate Tour the first and largest national debate forum targeted at cultural communities on University campuses across the UK, providing a platform for those less easily heard, and enabling people to speak for themselves. The tour aims to tackle the dual issues of young ethnic minority disengagement from the mainstream political process and lack of ethnic minority political representation in national and supranational institutions. In 2016, 2,174 university students from black and minority ethnic backgrounds participated in the Great Debate Tour, representing over 50 universities.
The Minister, Chris Skidmore invited Elevation Networks, Chief Executive Barbara Kasumu to be a member of the National Democracy Week Council. As a member of the Council, she will play a crucial role in shaping this important week and encouraging other organisations and key influencers across the UK to take part.