The murder of George Floyd has again sparked #BlackLivesMatter protests around the world and brought the inequalities faced by Black people to the forefront.
The inequalities and discrimination against our Black African and Caribbean communities, namely across health, housing, education and employment, has been well documented. The current Covid-19 pandemic has also shone a significant spotlight on some of these issues.
During this sensitive time, we at Community Southwark and Healthwatch Southwark have begun meaningful and honest discussions about the role we play in society and will be reviewing our own internal practices. This includes our recruitment processes, to ensure that we are being true champions for equality.
We know there is a lot of work to be done now and in the future. We are inspired by, and stand in solidarity with, the many movements and organisations fighting for Black equality and justice in Southwark and worldwide.
With such a vibrant and diverse population in Southwark, we believe that we have a duty to be representative of the communities we support. We commit to continuously improving ourselves and will always stand against discrimination of all kinds.
It has always been Community Southwark's mission to support a strong and thriving Voluntary and Community sector, but that must first start with its people. We are in the process of completing our new strategy, and increasing the support for Black and other ethnic minority communities and organisations is part of this.
We are in the works of creating Southwark's BAME Network for VCS organisations, in order to have a coordinated and strategic approach to tackle these issues. We know that we do not have all the answers and are advocates for communities defining their own solutions. We will be working directly with BAME VCS organisations to hear what support we can offer.
If you're interested in joining our BAME network, or would like to inform its design and delivery, please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also welcome suggestions on what name you feel this network should have. We are aware that the term BAME may not sit well with all.
See how you can support and contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement here.