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AHRC – Place Programme Policy Brief Series: Embedding Diverse Perspectives

25 March - 13:00 - 14:00


Throughout 2024, the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Place-Based Research Programme is publishing a series of policy briefs based on innovative arts and humanities research in all 4 nations of the United Kingdom.

In this event, we share insights and recommendations from the University of Sheffield’s Roots and Futures project. It engages with current opportunities and challenges to equality, diversity and inclusion in local heritage and makes recommendations for embedding multiple histories, cultures, and perspectives in city-level heritage strategies.

Local authorities, national governments and heritage organisations are seeking better ways to empower and embed the voices of underserved communities, often through celebrating cultural heritage. Addressing this in ways that are meaningful to communities is a fundamental step towards building trust between the different stakeholders. The Roots and Futures project trialled novel participatory approaches to heritage strategy and programming to platform diverse voices, experiences, practices and traditions.

Prof. Lizzy Craig-Atkins, Roots and Futures project lead, will discuss the findings and recommendations with Olivier Tsemo (Sheffield & District African Caribbean Community Association), Dr Jo Buchanan (ICOMOS-UK Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee, and Dr Andy Brown (Historic England).

Prof Lizzy Craig-Atkins is the lead for the Roots and Futures project. She coordinates a research team with expertise spanning heritage, the charitable sector, local government youth services and community-led advocacy. The academic team are based in Archaeology within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield and work closely with partners across the city including Sheffield City Council, Joined Up Heritage Sheffield and a wide range of organisations representing Sheffield’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

Olivier Tsemo is the CEO of the Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association (SADACCA) and co-chair of Sheffield Culture Consortium. In addition to a professional and academic background in mathematics, education and the energy sector, Olivier has significant experience serving as President of a large community organisation and leading large teams of people, delivering transformational change and large educational programmes. He regularly advises politicians, and is a high-profile contributor in the media, the Parliamentary Review, the Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and at national and international conferences.

Dr Jo Buchanan is an experienced cultural heritage professional working on projects to increase awareness of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK. Her research has explored UNESCO, hybrid cultural governance and performative heritage and has informed national and regional heritage strategies. Jo is passionate about creating bridges between academia and practice that promotes intersectional, inclusive methods of working practice that create positive change, with compassion and empathy.

Dr Andy Brown is currently Analytics Director with Historic England, the government’s adviser on the historic environment. Trained originally as an archaeologist, he has worked in heritage for 35 years and has become a jack-of-all-trades, including having an unlikely expertise in the origins of bungalows. He has developed a particular interest in the role of heritage in promoting pride in place.

Place is a strategic priority for UKRI and Feeling Towns is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Place-Based Research Programme based at the University of Glasgow. Director: Prof. Rebecca Madgin (Rebecca.Madgin@glasgow.ac.uk)

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