Home truths: Undoing racism and delivery real diversity in the charity sector
This report is based on experiences shared by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people working in the charity sector. It seeks to reframe the 'diversity debate' by emphasising that racism is a significant and unresolved issue in the charity sector. As such, a lack of diversity cannot be sufficiently addressed without also grappling with racism and without taking practical action to "create conditions inside the charity sector for BAME people to enter, to stay and to thrive." #leadershipprinciples
"This report reveals some of the failings of the ‘mainstream’ charity sector on diversity, equity and inclusion and suggests that these issues can only be meaningfully addressed by engaging in questions of racism."
Breaking through barriers to Racial Equity
Ten essays on the theme of analysing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work through a global intersectional race lens. The series focuses on ways of breaking through discriminatory barriers to racial equity across sectors. Essays include ‘Social Innovation Alone Can’t Solve Racial Equity’ and ‘The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards. #racialequity
"Good intentions to increase the diversity of organizations have led to “checkbox” approaches that don't account for hegemony, marginalization, and the creation of sustainable shifts in power "
Lorriann Robinson, partner of The Equity Index, details five small but positive steps development agencies can take to improve representation, including banning all-white recruitment panels, selecting the candidate from an under-represented background when two candidates are evenly matched, and rethinking the composition of organisational decision-making structures. #representation
"Our sector — accustom as we are to calling out the wrongs of others, is now facing more scrutiny and challenge from our own staff and more attention from the media. I hope this scrutiny will drive far more creativity, more innovative practice, more willingness to learn from others, and more urgency to act."
The hustle — white saviours and hashtag activism
Bruce-Raeburn argues that the recent momentum generated by the #BlackLivesMatter movement should be a watershed moment for development professionals. Statements of solidarity are flawed without admissions of entrenched racism permeating the sector which must, she argues, come before aid organisations can shed their complicity. #solidaritywithaction
“The majority of the people deemed as 'experts' in the sector are white; very few of these aid organisations have high-level black staff who could be trotted out to speak on behalf of the organisation.”
A blueprint for Black Lives Matter in the development sector
This article puts forward a four-point blueprint for Black Lives Matter in the development sector, which includes a series of proposed commitments and indicators for measuring progress. The four areas are committing to anti-racism, to being a diverse employer, to delivering anti-racist development programmes, and to building diverse supply chains. #antiracismindevelopment
"We must also live up to principles that underpin our work which should put power in the hands of people, communities, and societies as they develop, while challenging paternalistic notions of what constitutes ‘progress’."
Black Lives Matter is also a reckoning for foreign aid and international NGOs
Ali and Romain Murphy argue that the international development sector's response to the watershed moment created by Black Lives Matter must ignite a reckoning rather than yet another round of ineffective technocratic approaches. This must include doing away with the principle of neutrality, dismantling the failed global governance system, ensuring that the leadership of INGOs reflects the communities they claim to serve, and abandoning hollow reforms. #antiracismindevelopment
"Talking about racism is not enough. Issuing a statement on how you support BLM is not enough. Half-hearted attempts at localization are not enough. We can’t afford another 50 years of apathy towards the oppression that’s perpetuated by the aid system."
Anti-racism resources and facilitators
Bond, a UK network for organisations working in international development, has published a list of resources on anti-racism, including facilitators, initiatives dismantling racism in the sector (including The Equity Index), essential reading, webinars and podcasts. To access the full list of resources, visit this post. # antiracismindevelopment
"We’re challenging UK INGOs to look inwards and interrogate the institutional structures that we operate and live in, including the ways of managing, communicating and working that perpetuate systemic inequalities and racial discrimination."
A comprehensive resource archive from the Black Lives Matter Global Network. Their toolkits share lessons on healing action, healing justice and chapter conflict resolution, with experience reaching beyond the development sector alone. #BlackLivesMatter
"The political period we are now entering promises to require a redoubling of our efforts to organize against increasing oppression."
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Cover photo by Isabella Jusková.