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Black Environment Network (BEN)

Black Environment Network is a unique organisation working for ethnic participation within the built and natural environment. We use the word 'black' symbolically, recognising that the black communities are the most visible of all ethnic communities. We work with both black and white ethnic communities. 

Our work is recognised nationally and internationally. We are seen in the UK and abroad as the leader and the pioneer in the field of ethnic environmental participation, which we have created. BEN has projects in England, Scotland and Wales

BEN takes a unique position with regard to inclusion. We believe that alongside fighting racism, there is an enormous untapped force for change that rests within people of goodwill who far outnumber racists. Alongside stimulating ethnic participation, we work to inspire and enable organisational personnel to gain skills to work effectively with ethnic groups, thereby creating a climate and a framework within which ethnic participation can take place.

We work with major players such as English Heritage, Greenpeace, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Ramblers' Association, Groundwork, the National Trust, Development Education Association, the Wildlife Trusts, English Nature, the Council for National Parks, Victoria and Albert Museum and many others, acting as adviser on policy and strategy, providing training, and playing a key role in promoting the organisational culture change which lays down the basis for effective work with ethnic groups. 
We are instrumental in groundbreaking work with ethnic communities, promoting all developments in the context of sustainable development. 

Our influence can be demonstrate by the wide ranging engagements in which we play a key role:

Governance and Civil Society. British Council Conference. Invitational participation as one of the 100 most significant individuals in civil society. Apr '98

Culture Society and Environment. 7th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. USA.
Keynote Speaker May '98

Dircon. The Wildlife Trusts Directors' Conference. Ulster.
Speaker June '98

3rd European Congress for Outdoor Adventure and Experiential Learning.
Keynote Speaker. Sept' 98

Botanic Gardens Education Network Conference.
Keynote Speaker. Dec '98

The Year 2000 Art and the Landscape Symposium.
Keynote speaker. Mar '99

Where are the Black Leisure Managers? ILAM.
Speaker. May '99

Council for National Parks 50th Anniversary Conference.
Keynote Speaker. Jun '99

'Whose Heritage?'
Speaker and workshop. Nov '99

'Indigenous knowledge'
Speaker. Lancaster University Nov '99

House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee.
Evidence on Social Exclusion. April '00

Government Review on Policies relating to the Historic Environment. Steering Group - Urban Habitat Network Conference.
Speaker. May '00

Whose National Trust? National Trust and Ethnic Communities. Speaker. London Jun '00

Between Nature. Lancaster University. Paper. Jul '00

Arts and the Environment.
Keynote Speaker. Herts Arts Forum Nov '00

Equity and the Environment. Royal Geographical Society.
Paper. London Nov '00

Forward to Action. London Biodiversity Partnership. London. Speaker Jan '01

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