Black Lives Matter – Manifesto for Action
Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, so shortly after the death of Breonna Taylor due to police brutality, we saw the whole world wake up. The recent barbaric shooting of Jacob Blake, and now the death of Daniel Prude, have increased the sense of outrage.
We acknowledge the hurt and distress that our Black colleagues may be experiencing, and we stand with those seeking justice and equality.
Mass protests have brought global attention to the reality of systemic racism and injustice across the world. In the UK, the Black Lives Matter movement is highlighting the many ways inequality and white bias exist and continue to be upheld by the structures of society. It has stimulated challenging conversations and is increasing awareness of the deep-rooted suppression of Black voices and experiences. As individuals and as an organisation, we acknowledge that we are part of that society, and that at every level we must be part of making change happen.
As a provider of housing, care and support, we work hard to champion positive attitudes, challenge inequality and stand up for the rights of some of the most disadvantaged people in our society. We are proud to have such a diverse workforce, and we want to do everything we can to empower our staff of colour, ensure they feel truly valued, able to be themselves at work, and that their talent is recognised and developed. Whilst we do have many talented senior BAME staff we know that Black people are under-represented in our most senior roles and on our Board of Trustees.
Racism in any form goes against everything we work for and believe in. We maintain a zero-tolerance policy to racism and discrimination in any and all forms as defined by the Equalities Act, including harassment, victimisation, indirect and direct discrimination.
We care deeply about tackling racial injustice. We know this means doing more and learning how we can do better. This can’t happen quickly enough, but we recognise real work and lasting change will take time.
As an organisation, we are setting out an active commitment to:
- Listen carefully to the experiences of Black people and minority ethnic communities
- Self-reflect, recognise white privilege and continue to learn
- Enable open discussion, acknowledging that conversations can be uncomfortable
- Support the mental wellbeing of our Black colleagues and service users
- Promote awareness of the reality and historical roots of racism and bias
- Take positive action to address racial inequalities for our staff and the people we support
- Practice in an anti-discriminatory, anti-oppressive and empowering manner
- Recognise how different factors in our lives and wider society (including race, gender, class, sexuality) impact on each other and can increase disadvantage and oppression
- Passionately reinforce a culture that values diversity, enables Black and minority ethnic people to thrive and be themselves without apology or the need to accommodate stereotypes and ‘white norms’
To achieve our commitment the actions we will take are:
- Implement mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all
- Train our senior leaders to understand and talk about race and ethnicity
- Celebrate the achievements of our Black and minority ethnic staff and service users
- Make our values and commitment to anti-racism clear through developing an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan
- Create a designated EDI post in our HR team to support our Black staff
- Improve our staff ethnicity data and publish race pay gap reporting from 2021
- Set up an EDI reference group to audit and challenge our social media, publications and promotional activity, to ensure positive images and messaging
- Enable and support all our Black staff and those from under-represented groups working as senior support workers or more senior roles to complete accredited professional and management qualifications
- Seek out dialogue and partnerships with those who challenge injustice in our society
Over the coming months, we will listen to the experiences of our Black and minority ethnic staff and service users. We will review key areas of our organisation. We will engage in a series of challenging discussions and develop our policies to clearly reflect our inclusive values and commitment to anti-racism. We will actively promote our diversity, Black voices, issues and positive messages through our social media, publications and events.
If you would like to share any ideas, give us feedback based on your experiences, or be active in any part of this development work, please email EDI@creativesupport.co.uk so that we can keep you up to date with opportunities for input and discussion.
Creative Support must play a visible and proactive role in creating the change that is desperately needed.