Find out what happened at the first City Conversation and how to take part

16 May 2018

The first City Conversation took place on Wed 9 May at Bristol’s City Academy.

Responding to the Runnymede report of 2017 which stated Bristol was the most segregated core city in the UK, three Bristol institutions – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol Post and Ujima Radio- announced four City Conversations to take place in venues across the city, culminating in a final discussion at Bristol Old Vic in the autumn. They are calling on the varied and diverse communities of Bristol to join together for some of the most powerful conversations that can be had – between people who think differently to each other and want to make a change.

The first City Conversation took place on Wednesday evening at Bristol’s City Academy.

To those who were there, thank you for sharing your thoughts about Bristol’s reputation as a divided city. There were many intelligent, generous and brave voices in the room and we should celebrate that as a community.

There is still a lot to say and to hear from people in all corners of Bristol. The next conversation will be held at Merchants' Academy in Withywood on Wed 27 Jun, 6.30pm. The more people we can get there, the more representative we will be of our whole city.

One of the big points to come out of City Conversation 1 was the need for action – no chat without change.

What should be the actions we take to make change happen?

 To allow us all to keep talking until the next City Conversation, a 'Year of Change' Facebook group has been set up as a forum for ongoing discussion. To get the ball rolling, we discussed:

  • Education and opportunity for BAME individuals, through business start-up schemes, Board room representation and what we teach in schools around Bristol’s history.
  • Accountability – there are various laws and acts in place to ensure equal opportunities in our society. But when that doesn't happen, institutions and organisations need to be held to account.
  • White privilege needs to be acknowledged. Stop contextualising the issues that are hurtful to many and start apologising.
  • Institutions need to be represented at the next conversation to explain their position and to hear concerns.

Some of the feedback from City Conversation No. 1 also included potential questions to ask at the next conversation. Please do let us know your suggestions.

Suggestions so far:

  • How do you motivate people to prioritise equality over their own privilege?
  • Commonwealth: what does it mean in action?
  • What does equality or opportunity look like for a black person?

To recap the first conversation, take a look at Bristol Post's live blog. We'll also be posting edited audio highlights very soon.

City Conversation 2 will be held at: 

Merchants' Academy in Withywood on Wed 27 Jun, 6.30pm. (Doors 6pm) FREE, but ticketed 

A crèche will be available  The conversation will be BSL interpreted

You can book your place at the first conversation in the following ways:


By phone: 0117 987 7877 (Bristol Old Vic Box Office) Please let us know, via Eventbrite or by phone, whether you may need to take advantage of the crèche, giving detail of number and ages of children to be supervised.

By social media#CityConversations | @BristolOldVic | @BristolLive | @Ujimaradio | Facebook group: