The need to end systemic racism has never been so vocal in all corners of the world and in every aspect of life. Stamping out discrimination in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility and this is our opportunity to unite and work together…
The last few months have been distressing, exhausting and quite frankly, deadly.
With the anniversary of Grenfell, the second annual Windrush Day, Brexit lifting the lid on tolerance in a diverse Britain and the murder of George Floyd all hot on the heels of disproportionate BAME deaths from Covid-19, our community is in shock.
To hold a person in oppression, you have to convince them first that they are supposed to be oppressed” – Dr Henrik Clarke
In the month since Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of white police officers, social media and news outlets have been alight with articles about privilege and racial inequalities, forcing white people to acknowledge the uncomfortable barriers that ordinarily rule our daily lives.
Many have looked to the events unfolding in the United States with an air of superiority, assuming that the UK already lives in a ‘tolerant’, post-racial society, forgetting that six years ago deportee Jimmy Mubenga cried “I can’t breathe,” as he was suffocated to death on a British Airways plane at Heathrow.
But according to our government, the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the UK are merely in outrage to prejudices happening in America. The narrative that neither our Cabinet nor our country is racist is not only gaslighting, it’s outright dangerous.
The report by Public Health England Beyond the data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19on BAME groups listed historic racism as a reason for BAME people being less likely to seek care, in addition to widespread racial discrimination affecting people’s life chances and mental and physical health.
The report goes on to set out a commitment to ensure that Covid-19 recovery strategies actively address inequalities to create long-term change in healthcare, but that’s not enough; systemic racism need to be acknowledged and addressed throughout society and in all areas of life.
We’ve seen the reports, reviews and commitments to diversity and inclusion, what we have always needed, and especially now is action.
As a result we have identified key areas and are in the process of producing an action plan with organisations.
If you or your organisation would like to get involved, please email email@example.com
OUR COMMITMENT JUNE 2020
A COLLABORATIVE ACTION PLAN
Next week, we’ll be hosting the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Governance and Inclusive Leadership, chaired by Dawn Butler MP. We’ll be discussing the results of the Public Health England report, government support and asking CEOs to renew their pledge to our Race Champions Campaign, which will include further measures to ensure that the workplace will seek to eliminate all forms of racism and ethnic discrimination.
INVESTING IN ETHNICITY THROUGH THE MATURITY MATRIX
Over coming months, we’ll ask each member of our Investing in Ethnicity initiative for clear commitments that they will actively confront racism and change within the workplace and reach out to each company on the FTSE 250 list with a copy of the Maturity Matrix, a tool that companies can use to formulate actions to progress the agenda and show their commitment.
ALLY INITIATIVE LAUNCH
We cannot move forward without being united and we recognise that bringing people and organisations together is the first step in creating needed change. We will be concentrating on ensuring that companies communicate that every employee within their organisation should be an ethnicity ally, and launch a tool kit and workshops which will aid awareness and engagement.
Due to feedback from our members, a clear area we need to concentrate on throughout this era is wellbeing of ethnic minority employees. We will be holding an Action Group in July to further explore how to better support.
ROLE MODELS AND THE TRUE STORIES
During September and October we will be concentrating on telling stories and lived experiences. We will be celebrating those on our Ethnicity Awards Top 10s using digital sessions and content.