Since the brutal killing of George Floyd, caused global grief and anger that also impacted us here in the UK and on a local level in the city of Leicester. We have all been directly or indirectly made aware of the ongoing problems of racism; specifically related to the black community.
Since the horrific event unfolded on 25 May and the ensuing global impact of the BLM movement highlighting the need for change; a light has been shone upon our individual and collective flaws back here and the need to be truly anti-racist. This has led us to encourage challenging conversations with staff, volunteers, and young people alike. Along with, each of us dedicating ourselves to learn more, do more and be better at fighting against oppression. So, our staff team have made individual commitments to be a part of a collective training opportunity, that will help us to gain a deeper understanding of intersectionality and institutional racism with particular reference to the Black Lives Matter movement. The journey to achieve this will be a long one and at times challenging. But we are fully committed to going on it. Therefore, we have started by taking the following steps:
In our regular team meetings and discussions, we have shared our personal stories related to racism and privilege, reflecting upon our own views and implicit bias. From that we are mindful of the work we actively all need to do to truly become an anti-racist organisation.
We have had conversations with our volunteers to take them on the same learning journey, challenging, and reflecting on their individual biases and prejudices that they bring to volunteering. So, they too can be challenged, and access the learning available to become anti-oppressive in their approach to volunteering.
We have been providing check-ins with the young people due to the level of shock and trauma the murder of George Floyd has caused, providing emotional support, and offering ways they can make a positive and constructive difference.
We have worked alongside the young people to write to their Local MP, despite not being old enough to vote, so they can encourage their MP to represent their desire to tackle racism and injustice.
We have compiled a resource list about the reality of the black experience, providing necessary information to be educated further about historical and contemporary issues regarding racism and injustice to help us understand more and better equipped to challenging it.
We have also been compiling a series of training slides and information to enable an improved level of understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement with information on FAQs and myth-busting.
Individually, we have been accessing information and content to better understand the different forms of racism and how it can be reinforced on a personal, cultural, structural, and global level within society. So, we can better understand our individual roles in challenging racism wherever we find it.
We have created a team of young people who are passionate about helping to create change and actively support the anti-racism and Black Lives Matter movements, to help us to produce a leaflet. This leaflet aims to highlight the various types of racism in the world, but most importantly to educate and inform other young people and their families, about the importance of these movements and how to tackle social stigmas to ensure that we are having well informed conversations.