Black Community Development Project is one of the leading organisations in Scotland, developing community-based initiatives to promote social justice and improved lives for diverse minority ethnic people who live in the Greater Pilton and North Edinburgh areas. It evolved out of a strategic collaborative effort between The Muirhouse Anti-Racism Campaign (MARC) and The Pilton Community Education Team to combat racism, when in August 1991, the local, mainly white community in Muirhouse rallied around a family of ‘mixed-race’ background, who were being socially and racially harassed.
BCDP was founded on the recognition that racial harassment and discrimination deter minority ethnic residents from using local services and taking a pro-active role in articulating their needs around service provision and in fully participating in civil society. Since it became independent in August 1995, BCDP’s main goal has been to challenge the marginalisation and oppression of minority ethnic people in Greater Pilton, by adopting an approach to its work that is unique in a number of ways.
It actively works with both the local minority ethnic and indigenous white communities in working for social justice for all. It has also established the importance of substantial interchange between people of different ethnic backgrounds, which goes beyond the purely commercial and is grounded on the belief of the need to develop a more sustainable and cohesive society, that is, a society that recognises and combats different forms of discrimination and oppression.
It was started by the local white working class community of Greater Pilton who retain a strong ownership of the Project, thus demonstrating that communities can work together on issues that are important to them.
Over the years, BCDP has consolidated its philosophy and practice in developing community-based activity that is dedicated to promoting social justice and life chances for marginalized groups in Scotland. BCDP has existed within the community for the past 12 years providing various services.