We stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and openly oppose the widespread racial injustice faced by the Black community. We furthermore recognise that the issue of racism, surrounding the murder of George Floyd and others, is not simply specific to the US. The systemic racism faced by Black people in the UK is our collective responsibility to change and it is vital that we work to understand and acknowledge this to create a more equal future, both for our colleagues and centre users. We saw this last year when CharitySoWhite exposed the underrepresentation of BAME individuals within the charity sector and highlighted the discrimination that many people from a BAME background face. This lack of representation can only lead to a lack of understanding. One of the key things that we are seeing at the moment is that words alone are not enough – action is required, and it is required of all of us.
As a charity we should have a clear policy, effectively communicated, which explains our organisation’s expectations of what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace in terms of equality and anti-discrimination, and the consequences if these expectations are not met. It is best if these policies come from the very top of the organisation and are actively implemented, which may include providing specific training for managers (and potentially for all staff).
The Manna Society support a very diverse group of individuals, from very different backgrounds and nationalities. Data regarding ethnic origin is regularly collected and presented to the Committee, and the same should be done for the staff and volunteers, when possible. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to stand up to racism and help tackle every form of prejudice. We are holding ourselves accountable and we will keep the issues of equality and anti-discrimination at the top of our agenda. The time for change is now and we will be working with colleagues and service users to take more progressive steps forward and put an end to racism.
We pledge to:
- Firstly, understand and secondly tackle the structures that are embedded in our society which leads to ongoing racism.
- Continue to support Black people to identify and fight discrimination in the workplace.
- Actively ensure we amplify the voices of our Black colleagues and centre users to dismantle and educate on inequality.
- Create a more equal and diverse environment to ensure people feel they can speak freely to management about diversity and inclusion.
- Let service users know that it is a safe place to discuss any racist experiences they have been subject to.
- A yearly review of the Diversity Policy and its implementation will be prepared by at least one member of the Management Committee and the Director and the Administrator for further consideration and action by the Management.