Our Chair, Gwen Bryan, sent a moving message to the team at the beginning of our Summer Away Day on Friday last week. We wanted to share it with you too.
Good Morning all.
I wanted to say thank you for all your hard work.
Don’t worry, I won't sign throughout!
We are a charity that celebrates difference. We recognise difference. And what happened on 26th May affected all of us in different ways. I am saddened, angry, hurt, despondent. But also I'm encouraged. I have hope, that from now things can change. Things will change.
I recognise for many of you that you may not understand what the significance of this one death would be, but it's one of many deaths. All around the world, people are dying because of the colour of their skin. All around the world statistics are that Black and ethnic minority people are at the highest rate of negativity. Highest rate of unemployment, highest rate of death, highest rate of victims of crime, highest rate of homelessness, highest rate of underpay.
You name it, it is the statistics. But from today we can see a change. The focus is on one man's death, but men and women of colour, Black men and women are dying at the hands of an over-zealous police. And this has been going on for hundreds of years.
Much of it can be traced back to slavery where the view is that Black lives do not matter. We are not people, we are property. And property can be disposed of.
In our recognition of difference as a group of people individually and as an organisation we can make a difference. Show how we value people's identity. I don't use the term BAME or BME because that takes away from the cultural identity of each group. I say 'Black and ethnic minority' because that's who we are.
I want to encourage you to recognise the differences among you and among the people you work with, and I want to encourage you to empower, encourage, support and listen to them. This is not a time for exchanging horror stories. It’s a time for listening and showing you care.
Continue all the hard work you do, and be blessed.
Thank you for your time. Bye.