Back to all events

Democracy and Inequality on Why a Strong Civil Society is Needed for a Strong Democracy

Democracy and Inequality on Why a Strong Civil Society is Needed for a Strong Democracy
26 May 2017

University of Birmingham Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Saul Becker and Citizens UK are delighted to welcome internationally renowned speaker, community change maker and Co-Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Ernesto Cortes Jnr. to the University of Birmingham on Friday 26 May 2017
Mr Cortes has worked with disadvantaged communities across the South West of America for many years, bringing together pastors, teachers, nurses, schools and families to build some of the best known and longest standing Community Organisations in America.  They have fought for and won billions of dollars of investment into their communities and trained thousands of community leaders to take power by using the tools of democracy and relationship building.

During his presentation Mr Cortes will argue why a strong and active Civil Society is so important to the way democracy is both learned and practiced. He will share stories from 50 years of building civic power across the USA. His experience has taught him of how important it is for the key institutions of civil society like faith and education to challenge the growth in inequality for many reasons but particularly for its corrosive effect on the human condition and the quality of family and community life. 

As the UK prepares for a General Election on June 8th it is anticipated that Mr Cortes' words and experience will prove highly relevant at such an important time, and a reminder of the central role Civil Society must play in a healthy democracy - and not just at Election time.

 Agenda for day:


10:00 - 10:30 - Welcome : tea & coffee

10:30 - 10:45 – Welcome & Introductions – Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Saul Becker & Neil Jameson Executive Director, Citizens UK

10:45 - 11:30 - Presentation Ernesto Cortes Jnr – 'Democracy and Inequality: Why a Strong Civil Society is Needed for a Strong Democracy'

11:30 - 12:00/12:15 - Panel discussion and questions around topic

12:00/12:15 - 13:00 – Buffet lunch and networking



Places are limited for this event, so book your place as soon as possible here.


Any enquires should be directed to: Sophie Sinclair


26 May 2017



Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME)




Alan Walters Building

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Back to all events