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Recent events in America, brought into sharp focus by the shocking murder of George Floyd, have laid bare the injustice, inequality and discrimination experienced by so many as a fact of their everyday lives. His death is by no means an isolated incident.
Framework’s Senior Leadership Team recognise the need to act in accordance with our ethos as an organisation committed to social justice and to demonstrate that we live our values of ‘Respond, Respect and Empower’.
We acknowledge the very real pain and anger people are feeling and have felt over many years; and in order to properly support all our BAME colleagues, service users, partners and communities we are committed to doing all we can to confront and oppose racism.
This means being prepared to challenge structural racism within the wider systems in which we operate, fully acknowledging Framework’s role within those systems, so that we can begin to dismantle them.
Our ambition is to move from being a non-racist organisation to an organisation that is anti-racist and actively opposes racism in all its forms. It is incumbent upon all of us regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural or spiritual background to work to achieve this.
This is likely to be a considerable, and for some, an uncomfortable and even painful journey. Nonetheless we are committed to starting on that journey. It is a challenge but also a historic opportunity.
We cannot identify and implement solutions without the help of our BAME colleagues and partners, however we do not believe it is their responsibility to help us ‘solve’ racism in Framework or beyond, wherever it impacts. It is for us as a leadership team to take responsibility for creating change, but we also know as a white leadership team that we do not have all the answers.
We have been hearing from our BAME colleagues; hearing about their own painful experiences; of their fears for themselves, their families and communities.
We are seeing, we are listening and we stand in solidarity.
So we will commit to making time and resources available to enable us to collectively develop and implement a new and comprehensive anti-racism strategy for Framework.
Therefore we are asking all our colleagues to get involved and help us deliver on this commitment.
Within Framework we already have some effective structures in place, such as the Diversity Leadership Group and the Staff Council, but we accept there may be a need to review and adapt these structures and create new ones if necessary.
It is crucial that we acknowledge the painful lived experience of so many of our colleagues, service users and communities and to do this we must hear their voices; and accept the vulnerability and mistrust that people understandably feel. Our first priority will be to work out how to ensure that a safe and independently facilitated space can be created to begin this dialogue.
In addition we will review key processes such as our recruitment, training and career development pathways, seeking feedback from BAME colleagues on how these might be improved to create greater equality and diversity within our workforce.
We will consider the support structures we have in place, checking that they meet the needs of BAME colleagues; that they offer emotional as well as practical support and adapting and improving them where needed.
We seek to improve organisational awareness, understanding and appreciation of BAME achievements, history and culture and will dedicate resources to showcasing these.
We will listen; we will see and we will act.
Black Lives Matter