Reducing racism

Can you disprove this? Running cultural and faith awareness projects doesn’t reduce levels of racism



Faith awareness projects - special programmes or one-off events based around improving understanding of others’ cultures and beliefs and promoting tolerance.

Levels of racism – because of the structural nature of racism it can be challenging to define. Although it’s a crude measure, we suggest using individual’s self-assessed bias for example through questions such as ‘how would you describe your own levels of prejudice’. This approach is not immune from healthy challenge but we have derived it from the method used on a national basis in the British Social Attitudes survey. We hope it is simple enough to be a starting point for future work evaluating impact in this area.

“So can we ever really know whether someone is racist from how they answer a survey question? No. But should we take someone's word for it if they say that they harbour some racial prejudice? Of course.” - Alison Park, Co-Director British Social Attitudes Survey


Part A. Quantitative – build the argument

Take a secret ballot of attendees before the event (you can just get them to drop folded pieces of paper into a box):

  • Do you think, in the world generally, levels of prejudice have increased, decreased or stayed roughly the same over the last year?
  • How would you describe your own levels of prejudice before this event? (None; Some; Very)

Take a secret ballot of attendees after the event

  • How would you describe your own levels of prejudice now? (None; Some; Very)

How many respondents said they improved?


Part B. Qualitative – how does your students’ unions contribute?

Interview about 10 people who attended or participated in the event, ask:

  • What did you learn?
  • How do you think this will affect you in future?


Existing literature



(If you develop an interview template, please send it in for others to use