3: Equality and inclusion

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Community work is, at its core, about addressing inequalities to enable the full and meaningful participation of communities and individuals in any and all aspects of their lives. This chapter explores work with people with protected characteristics covered by national and international equality or human rights legislation. Such communities and individuals are often disadvantaged on many levels, and the chapter explores the duty of community workers to remove barriers and promote inclusion in all areas and at all stages of practice and community life. Relevant theory around human rights, feminism and privilege is explored and practitioners are challenged to explore their own unconscious bias to ensure equitable access and inclusive communities. The role of the community worker, it is suggested, is to break down barriers, help people to make connections across difference and challenge systems of injustice.

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