Inclusion Resources – May 2021

Earlier this week marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police, captured by video in broad daylight.

Immediately after this tragic event, there was a renewed interest from the public on the Black Lives Matter movement, and widespread conversations surrounding anti-racism, inclusion and diversity.

One year later, what has been learned and what has changed to allow Black communities to feel safer, more included and be treated fairly?

Some organisations, at the peak of media coverage surrounding Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed, posted black squares on their Instagram page and made pledges to do better for Black employees and potential recruits. How have those changes manifested within these organisations? Or were these actions and pledges merely performative?

Our Inclusion resources this time focus on anti-racism and tackling racial inequality. We feel it is now more important than ever to challenge systems, processes and behaviours that perpetuate the racial inequality and injustice that do still exist in the UK and globally.

We hope you find the following resources helpful.

The damaging impact of white people being afraid to talk about race, by Natalie Morris for Metro

“Ava says that white members of staff at her workplace have frequently displayed discomfort when speaking about race in her presence, struggling to say ‘Black’, but also avoiding conversations altogether or shutting her down.

‘There was a team talk about the gender pay gap and I brought up the “BAME” pay gap, because for those of us who are both women and non-white, that is a huge issue,’ says Ava. ‘What I was saying was barely acknowledged and the subject was awkwardly changed.’

‘Other times I have noticed people really not wanting to say “Black”, or “racism” and stumbling over phrases like “POC” or “BAME”. Don’t refer to me as a “person of colour” when you have the option of saying “Black”, that isn’t better.”

Half of Black Britons ‘don’t think UK has progressed on race since George Floyd murder’, by Nadine White for The Independent

“Speaking to The Independent for a special report, Black Lives Matter UK said it had been “motivated by the resistance and organising” over the past year as “protesters connected the killing of a black American man in broad daylight” with racism that characterised institutions in the UK. But much of what came was “corporate and establishment lip service” to solidarity.

A spokesperson added: “We do not believe that lip service, or ‘awareness’ equals liberation.”

People Of Color Are Not Your Free Diversity And Inclusion Resources At Work, by Sharita Daya for Huffpost

“Black, Indigenous and other people of color are not your free diversity resources. There appears to be an unspoken consensus that we need to help educate others on tolerance, diversity, cultural practices, and much more simply because the spread of this knowledge will somehow help us and our quality of life in relation to others. We are, in effect, being asked to perform the labor to help ourselves, thereby absolving dominant groups from doing the work to unravel bias and prejudice, which, in many cases, they are responsible for perpetuating.

We are not your parents, teachers or Google. It is not fair to expect us to carry the responsibility for solving problems that are more significant systemic issues.

Because someone is a BIPOC employee does not automatically mean they have the authority to speak on behalf of their entire community, nor can it be assumed that they are interested in doing so.”

An everyday dimension of racism: Why we need to understand microaggressions, from Keele University

Don’t be the Organisation that Fails Black Workers, by Inclusive Careers

“The CEO has the power to change diversity and hold all leaders accountable to achieve it. They need to ensure leadership engagement is at the heart of the company’s ED&I strategy.

It’s vital that the demographics of your company reflects the demographics of the community and customers it serves.

From laying out the levelling up agenda and setting clear diversity targets across every underrepresented group from entry roles right through to leadership. Linking top leadership objectives, performance management and reward incentives will make the agenda crystal clear.”

Panel Discussion: But I’m Not Racist, from Anti Racist Cumbria

“On 6th May 2021 we held a special online event for people interested in understanding the difference between being ‘not racist’ and ‘anti-racist’. Welcoming a panel rich in experience and understanding and reflective of the ongoing work that anti-racism requires we covered a broad spectrum; from the seemingly simple, what is anti-racism through to issues such as allyship and microaggressions. The topic is a BIG one, and more questions were asked than could ever been answered in the time allowed, but fear not, we will be picking up these unanswered questions in future sessions and when we cover specific topics such as the workplace, language, and white privilege.”

The campaigner on a mission to tell Black British Stories, by Sharon Kimathi for Reuters

“I want to use the power of film to tell stories that are more representative of the world we live in,” 29-year-old Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview from his London home.

“Our stories are almost always told by white people … I want to make sure that these stories are amplified all throughout the year and not just for Black History Month, and not just (stories of) racial trauma.”