Posted: 03 June 2020

#BlackLivesMatter: fighting racism wherever we find it is the only way forward

All of us have watched the news over the weekend and been absolutely horrified by the events in the USA. Too many people in our BAME communities in the UK also experience injustice, racism and prejudice. However the #BlackLivesMatter campaign has shone a light again on the racism, injustice and prejudice that the black community regularly experience. 

We work with young people across the country and we know that BAME young people are more likely to live in poverty, face exclusion from school, or experience the criminal justice system. We know that BAME young people are at risk from violence and experience disadvantage.  Many live in inadequate housing and suffer discrimination and prejudice.  This has been exasperated by Covid-19, and Public Health England have reported that people from ethnic minorities are more likely to die from the Coronavirus.

Our teams are working hard to support black young people particularly impacted by the events of this week, and we are determined to use our energy and our voice to help BAME young people have a fairer start in life. 

Ijeoma Olou, the author of So you want to talk about race calls every organisation to be anti-racist.  She says 'the beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist.  Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself.  And that’s the only way forward'. 

'Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it...'

We know we need to lead by example, and we are absolutely determined to be an anti-racist organisation. In the autumn we created a new Diversity and Talent team and appointed Michelle Clark as our first Executive Director of Diversity and Talent, because we are absolutely committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

We value and celebrate all and we will fight racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever we find it, and work hard to create a fairer, more equal, just society.

By Mark Russell
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