BiCon Working Groups (may) want YOU!
At the Decision Making Plenary (DMP) at annual bisexual convention BiCon 2019, attendees voted to ask BiCon Continuity* to set up two Working Groups; one to look at anti-racism and one to look at access for disabled people.
Continuity are currently seeking people to join these Working Groups and we are thinking about how to constitute them initially (ie. Via email lists, face to face meetings and so on). We are considering how to ensure these Working Groups have a way of hearing from people within the minority groups who do not wish to become part of the groups themselves. At the moment no decisions have been made (never commit to a thing until a month after BiCon…)
We would very much like to hear from people who are interested in being part of one or both of the Working Groups or otherwise contribute to them, even if you do not wish to join them.
Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like further information.
We know that there are other areas of diversity and inclusion where BiCon could improve (eg. working class people, religious people) and if this format of Working Groups is successful, we can consider repeating it for other areas in future years. For now, our focus is on anti-racism and disability as these are the areas BiCon attendees raised at the DMP, but this does not mean other marginalising is acceptable.
BiCon remains a very “white” space that isn’t as good at welcoming Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people as it would like to be, despite previous work and training on anti-racism. During the DMP, a passage was read from someone who has felt harmed by BiCons. It was a pleasure to be part of a discussion where people voted to try to make BiCon a place where more BAME people feel part of the community. This felt like a new, broadening commitment after years of small steps.
BiCon has, for a long time, been considered comparatively good at accessibility for disabled people. At times there are mismatches between what BiCon organising teams and venues are able to offer and what attendees are seeking. A working group may be able to bring together good practice into one place so that it can be applied most easily. This seemed like reconfirmation of an ongoing commitment.
The Continuity team also made an important report to BiCon’s Decision Making Plenary. Continuity Treasury have identified that continued low interest rates coupled with rising inflation is putting pressure on the “buying power” of the fund managed by the Trustees.
Treasury estimated from the 2017-2019 accounts that if no action were taken, Continuity would not be able to fund the BiCon start-up loan by 2030.
The DMP was informed that a package of measures would be looked into by the Trustees, and a plan developed for the protection of the fund, to be implemented as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Written by members of the BiCon Continuity team
* The charity that continues to exist between BiCons and looks after funds. See the website www.biconcontinuity.org.uk for more information.