“RCAC’s Community Champions will once again be on the road over the next couple of weeks, as they carry out a survey of members of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities in Wales, about creating a Wales free from racism by the year 2030, through the Welsh government’s Race Equality Action Plan Community Engagement strategy. This progressive and ambitious aim is being promoted by the government in Cardiff, through a series of policies, strategies and action-plans over the next decade, building on the foundation created by legislation, such as the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 and the Enabling Gypsy, Roma, Travellers plan 2018.
Our Community Champions, Billy, Jamie and Jolana are just that; from the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities themselves, trained in carrying out surveys and questionnaires amongst GRT groups. As members of these communities themselves, they are able to elicit the kind of responses to questions that non-Romani social science researchers are unable to achieve, as the trust between these latter and the Romani and Traveller peoples is just not present (similarly to other Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities surveyed by researchers from outside of these groups). Billy, Jamie and Jolana have that trust already, have a clear means of communication (in terms of languages, being Romani speakers), and a lifetime of shared experiences and lived expertise of being Romani and Travellers themselves. These factors, combined with their training allow them to reach the Romani and Traveller families and deliver results that no other kind of researchers can.
The survey design, delivery and reporting is led by a leading Gypsy-Traveller academic, Dr Adrian Marsh (who holds a first-class honours degree in east European history, a master’s degree in Turkish and Russian area studies and a doctorate in Romani Studies), born in Wales and a long-standing consultant expert for RCAC, the European Roma Institute, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, Save the Children, and the Open Society Foundations, as well as being a Researcher in Romani Studies affiliated with the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.”