Anti-racism is a shared responsibility

We have designed a series of events to mark the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which is on 25 May 2021. In this blog, our Managing Director, Claire Williams, introduces these events and explains why it is important that anti-racism is understood and acted on as a shared responsibility. As well as the importance of not relying on lived experience.

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Why we need to learn from our history

Today, 22 April 2021, is Stephen Lawrence day, where we remember the murder of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence in an unprovoked, racist attack. We mark this day as an opportunity to raise awareness and take action to support anti-racism efforts because 27 years after what happened to Stephen Lawrence, another black man, George Floyd was killed by the police, Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police and this April Daunte Wright was fatally shot by a police officer. These tragedies are not isolated incidents and are a part of a larger pattern of racism that occurs everyday, even if they are not always covered by the media. For example, Black men in the UK are more likely to die in police custody than their white peers. To prevent deaths like these from happening again and again, we need to keep challenging racism.

The anniversary of the murder of George Floyd

25 May is the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, which precipitated an international discussion about racism – and what it means to be anti-racist. To mark this date, and as part of our commitment and action to create anti-racist cultures, we are running a series of events over three weeks, as part of our 10th Birthday event programme. These events focus on:

Lived Experience and Shared Responsibility

One of the key messages over the past year has been the importance of seeing anti-racism as a shared responsibility. It is not on the shoulders of our colleagues who have experienced racism first hand to fix these problems but we recognise that employers really value hearing about lived experience. Many members and clients have specifically asked for learning to be delivered by members of our team who have lived experience; authentic voices are critical to the inclusion journey.

However, we also advise our clients and members that although lived experience is really important in some specific contexts/scenarios, it is important to be mindful of the impact on these colleagues. You don’t need lived experience to raise awareness, support people to become more inclusive and create equitable systems and structures. So, going forward, all of our team will be showcasing how the conversation still has impact, still feels true, has integrity, when delivered by allies. We will be following our own advice.

Inclusion Insights

Every month we release a newsletter open to members and non-members of Inclusive Employers, sharing thought leadership for Inclusion and Diversity. This month our newsletter will feature a blog by our colleague Sandy Sohal, Special Project Inclusion and Diversity Consultant on secondment from Guinness Trust to Inclusive Employers, which will explain why racism and police brutality is not a problem unique to the United States and why the UK also needs to become more anti-racist. To sign up for your copy of the newsletter, click here.