A Birmingham woman who spent decades campaigning for the end of global debt has been awarded the first ever Faith in Action trophy to thank her for the contribution she has made in the city and across the globe.
Audrey Miller was one of the organisers of the Drop the Debt campaign which in 1998 formed a human chain of 70,000 people around the ICC as world leaders gathered for the G8 summit.
Following the summit, Audrey was secretary of the Birmingham Jubilee Debt group from 2001 to 2008 and more recently worked with the campaigning group’s multi-faith arm. In December 2011 she was awarded a Near Neighbours grant to bring women in Sparkhill together to learn more about global poverty.
Speakers at the event last Wednesday evening (19th Nov) included Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji, Jehangir Malik UK Director at Islamic Relief and the Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham who hosted the event.
The faith leaders spoke about the billions of pounds that had been saved as a result of the successful campaigning for debt relief and the millions of lives that had been affected as a consequence.
Guests at the event had a chance to record tributes to send to Audrey who was unable to attend. Also during the evening seven young faith activists from the Sikh, Muslim and Christian traditions spent time interviewing the experience campaigners and charity workers to understand how their faiths inspired them to actions. The reflections of the young people have been recorded as a short film.
Speaking before the event, Audrey said she was really honoured to be nominated for the award but she hoped that future recipients reflected the diversity of Birmingham’s multicultural heritage, particularly across the faiths.
“I am glad this award has been set up. Although I feel I don’t deserve it, I am delighted to receive it,” she added.
Tim Jones of the Jubilee Debt Campaign said: “Audrey has worked tirelessly to bring together people of different faiths to campaign for justice. She has helped show the common strands across faiths which call for people to speak out against the oppression of others. This has helped lead to billions of dollars of debt being cancelled, leading to literally millions more people having access to healthcare and education. Audrey’s work to bring together neighbours in Birmingham and across the UK has been part of a much wider coming together of neighbours across the world, for the benefit of all.”
The trophy aims to be a way of expressing gratitude to her for all she has done in Birmingham and across the globe. It has been set up by the Near Neighbours Birmingham Faith Advisory Panel.
Author: Andrew Mathews
Date: 24 November 2014
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