Statement of support for #BlackLivesMatter
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance stands with all people of colour in the fight against racial injustice and inequality.
As part of our commitment to equality and social change,
- We reaffirm our total opposition to all forms of racism everywhere in the world, in light of the killing of George Floyd in the US last week
- We recognise the violence and gross injustices to which the Black community is subject on both a personal and structural level around the world
- We recognise the disproportionate use of force against Black people in the UK’s policing; as well as the disproportionate use of stop-and-search powers against Black people
- We recognise the need for substantive change in how we address racism as a society
- We affirm the need for all of us to act against racial inequalities and discrimination
- We recognise that ethnic minority communities in the UK and elsewhere have been disproportionately affected by covid-19, including ethnic minority health and care professionals
- We recognise that our country’s health inequalities have risen year on year, again disproportionately affecting ethnic minority communities
- We recognise that ethnic minority community-support organisations are currently under significant financial threat
- We recognise that ethnic minority communities are insufficiently represented across both the cultural sector and the charity sector
- We recognise that the recent killing of George Floyd – as well as other deaths in the US and UK – point to the interpersonal violence that is threaded into this structural inequity
We acknowledge that culture and creative practice has a role to play in recognising and challenging historic oppression, and that silence too is an act of violence.
What CHWA is doing
As an organisation we know we have a long way to go. We will follow the advice of our colleagues at Museum Detox to use this time to ‘reset and renew’. We are building a focus on health and cultural inequalities into our structures. We commit to ensuring our Board, employees, freelance contractors, membership and stakeholder groups are representative in terms of ethnicity, as well as Disability, socioeconomic background, sexuality, age and all recognised protected characteristics. We commit to amplifying Black voices and the voices of ethnic minority communities through our website, bulletin and social media.
We have compiled resources here put together by people with greater expertise. Please consider supporting these organisations and following their work. Please also get in touch with us with suggestions of other organisations or resources you feel we could add here.
Museum Detox is asking the following questions:
- This is a time when museums, galleries and heritage sites are closed. It’s a time to reset and renew. As you look at planning on reopening your doors, what can you change to ensure your organisation supports the Black community?
- Are your Black employees paid the salaries they deserve? How many have done free diversity consultation for you and have not been remunerated?
- Does your organisation hire staff on a token basis? How many staff in each department are Black? Are there Black voices in each team, office and meeting?
- How do you target the Black community as an audience? Are Black people running your marketing campaigns? Have you ever asked the Black community what they would like to see?
- Do you have a staff network for Black employees? How are they heard, empowered and valued? How do you handle grievances?
- What training do you provide staff around microaggressions and unconscious bias? What training do you provide Black employees so they can fast track through the hierarchy?
- How many Black people are at senior positions in the company? How many have decision making powers? How many Black trustees do you have?
- Have you understood the difference between Black, BAME and people of colour? Have you amplified Black voices through your platform?
- It is vital that organisations support. Statements are the first steps, but we need meaningful change. This is not a time for you to profit from a PR trend, or to benefit financially. This is the time for you to think and act - because you have a responsibility.
The Ubele Initiative is mapping the impacts of Covid on BAME Mental Health, and has been spearheading regular emergency discussions of the impacts of covid on BAME communities. https://www.ubele.org/.
The Synergi Collaborative Centre “aims to better understand and tackle ethnic inequalities in the risk and consequences of severe mental illnesses among ethnic minority people.” https://synergicollaborativecentre.co.uk/about-us/
Words of Colour is a professional development programme for writers of colour, and has recently launched a free writing for wellbeing programme: https://wordsofcolour.co.uk/
Culture& is “openening up who makes and enjoys arts and heritage” through training and its creative programme: https://www.cultureand.org/