Black Lives Matter

BLACK LIVES MATTER

I was asked this week what our response is to Black Lives Matter, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

I was born into privilage because I am a middle-aged white Englishman. I don’t mean we had a lot of money, I grew up on a Council estate where me and my sisters would often have to trawl round our neighbours to borrow fifty pence for the meter. Being born white in England in the latter half of the twentieth century means we are living off the proceeds from colonialization, subjugating whole nations for our greed. Poverty hasn’t been eradicated in the West, it’s just been exported, and we continue to keep these nations, African and Asian, poor by our crippling, loans, corrupt practises and miserly aid. But you don’t have to go abroad to experience this. The lack of equality and inclusion in the UK is well documented; unemployment is twice as high for Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic (BAME) people, people of minority ethnicities made up 27% of the prison population compared with 13% of the general population and according to The Guardian, the FTSE 100 has more CEOs called Steve than from ethnic minorities.

The Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) have published a report this week called Home Truths: Undoing racism and delivering real diversity in the charity sector.

This is not in response to the murder of George Floyd but it comes at a time when every sector of society is reflecting on their support for Black Lives Matter.

 

The report is aptly named for a sector that prides itself on serving others, and opens with statement: ‘The charity sector has a problem with racial and ethnic diversity.’

Black, Asian and Minoritised Ethnic (BAME) people are under-represented in the sector and those who are in charities can be subject to racism and antagonism not faced by white colleagues. This report reveals some of the failings of the ‘mainstream’ charity sector on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and suggests that these issues can only be meaningfully addressed by engaging in questions of racism.

 

The report found:

68% of respondents (335 out of 489 people) said that they had experienced, witnessed or heard stories about racism in their time in the charity sector

50% of respondents (246 people out of 490) felt that they needed to ‘tone down’ behaviour or to be on their ‘best behaviour’ in order to fit in in the charity sector

222 people had been subject to ignorant or insensitive questioning about their culture or religion

147 people had been treated as an intellectual inferior

114 respondents had been subject to excessive surveillance and scrutiny by colleagues, managers or supervisors

 

Among sector wide changes, the recommendations for changes in organisational policy include:

1.       Integrate explicit race equity goals into charitable work

2.       Report publicly on DEI targets

3.       Publish ethnicity pay gap data

4.       Change recruitment criteria, e.g. value attributes differently, including lived experience and alignment with institutional vision

5.       Invest in supporting and safeguarding BAME charity people, including proper complaints procedures

6.       Work with and pay BAME DEI specialists to improve practice

 

Recommendations for CEOs and senior leaders

1.       Learn more about racism and current anti-racist thinking

2.       Take responsibility for learning how racism can manifest in your organisation

3.       CEOs (with board chairs) should lead on and be held responsible and accountable for progress on DEI targets

 

You can read the whole report here:

AVECO

 

It’s long been true that minority groups require special measures to ensure that they benefit from the same rights as the rest of the population. In a democracy this shouldn’t be the case, but it is, so as long as this remains true we need to continue to campaign that Black Lives Matter. Only when there is real equality and inclusion can we say All Lives Matter.

Here at Trinity we shall be implementing the recommendations, but I feel like we’re doing okay on most of them, but what do I know, I’m a white middle-aged CEO called Steve.

Steve Hedley

CEO

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1 Comment

  1. Trinity homeless project is amazing and I wouldn’t be were I am today with out u guys . I’m so grateful and appreciate everything u have done for me thanks you Steve Headley for helping me with housing and encouraging me to volunteer in the trinity shop. Made me the lady I am today much love xx

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