In the week of the anniversary of the death of George Floyd we want to share our work to date to challenge racism against Black people and others who experience racism. This includes work on improvements to support and include those experiencing a racism and other groups who experience stigma and exclusion throughout all aspects of our work.
In the initial weeks following events in May 2020 we met several times as a management team as well as with the full staff team, exploring what could be done as an organisation and how we could ensure any efforts made would be meaningful and transformative in the long term rather than superficial and reformatory. While we felt some aspects of our work was already positive we recognised we had a long way to travel.
Since then we have taken the following actions:
- Establishment of an Equality, Diversity working group with representatives from leadership including staff and trustees
- All staff and trustee training on Unconscious Bias by an organisation led by people who experience racism
- Review and update of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy
- Review of our communications output to ensure it represents all communities we support and work with both in images used and content
- Regular reflection on our service and training delivery with full staff team with an anti-racist lens
- Supporting staff to attend training and to address challenges in improving our responses to Black and other communities who experience racism
- Celebration of Black History Month in drop in
- Review of our recruitment procedures including making the application process more inclusive and ensuring a greater chance of attracting candidates from the Black community and others who experience racism by wider distribution of opportunities including specific efforts to improve representation in our governance
- Key actions to ensure greater reach of our services within organisations who are led by and support the Black community and others who experience racism.
We have a long way to go and we must go much further. We are close to finalizing our action plan by which we will be held accountable to all which we hope to publish later this month. This will include specific time and output targets including pro -active measures to challenge racism in our and other services and society in general including system and institutional disadvantage faced by many and promoting their inclusion in all aspects of our work. Ultimately we want to be an organisation that engages the full potential of the individual, regardless of their race, gender or background, an organisation where inclusive, equitable and diverse views, beliefs and values are integrated; an organisation where people who experience racism feel they can belong.