We stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, trainees, associates, candidates, partners and friends at the end of a week which has demonstrated again, vividly, the systemic and institutional racism which dominates life here, in the US, and around the world.
We recognise that the murder of George Floyd in the United States and the events that have followed globally have happened during a public health crisis which has had a disproportionate and devastating impact on BAME, and in particular black, communities here in the UK, including particularly in London where we are based. The impact of the pandemic and the response to it has again underlined how much work there is to do in building a just and equitable society.
We are part of a social sector that should play a key role in building that future, but has underperformed in that duty. As a result, we know that our black colleagues, some of them trainees in the very earliest stages of their careers in this space, continue to find themselves asked to educate others and lead the effort to deconstruct racism in their organisations as well as the wider sector. We recognise that labour, particularly over the last 3 months, and are grateful for it just as we recognise it as a burden they should not have to carry.
Finally, we recognise that we, alongside many others in and beyond our sector, need to step up. Through our work on our programmes, we have networks across the sector, an explicit focus on personal and collective development for people at the beginning of their careers in social change, and as a result a duty to support the development of a sector workforce fit for the 21st Century. In order to do that we know that many of us in the Charityworks team, as well as white and non-black colleagues across the sector, need to continue to listen, educate ourselves on issues of structural racism, and understand how acutely those issues affect our black colleagues. Most importantly, we must commit to taking action – challenging our own behaviours, processes and ways of working and speaking up in solidarity for change.
We will continue to invest in this work, share our progress and welcome further debate and discussion from anyone across our network and beyond.