First posted by NIROMP June 2020 and updated November 2020 in response to the recently published report by The House of Commons House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights ‘Black people, racism and human rights’, which points to:
The failings of successive governments to act in response to the successive reports and reviews shows that something is wrong with the architecture which is supposed to protect human rights and promote racial equality.
We ask ‘Why has the social work profession in the UK been so quiet about racial injustice & why have we not heard more from social work leaders?
The National IRO Managers Partnership (NIROMP) stands by our statement of June 2020. As Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs), managers and leaders of IRO services, we have voiced our condemnation of continued racial injustices. We must all take active steps to combat racism wherever we find it.
Despite the long line of atrocities and brutalities endured by the global Black community, we have seen little more than a slow and tokenistic trickle of rhetoric from social work’s leadership on anti-racism.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests and speaking out against continued racial injustices. Racism and racial discrimination is decades, centuries old. In 2020 racism is still killing people, destroying lives, affecting livelihoods and stopping people from breathing.
If social work is truly committed to promoting social justice, in society and in relation to the people, families and communities we work with, then we must address racial discrimination. We must show commitment in our every day actions, in our thinking, in our conversations – with family, friends, and colleagues. This includes reporting racist incidents when they occur; forming like-minded alliances with peers to tackle key issues; raising awareness and making suggestions for positive reform.
Actions definitely speak louder than words. In June 2020 we attempted to pull together some resources to support awareness-raising. We have recently updated with practical information on effective steps we can all take to be a better ally and activist for change. We also recognise that we still have much more to do to.
Some Information and resources:
Understanding the lived experiences of black and ethnic minority children and families By Dr Claudia Bernard
This excellent Knowledge Briefing briefing by @DrCBernard is for social workers and supervisors about understanding the lived experience of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children & families and is FREE to access via the Research in Practice website. A central aim of the briefing is to focus on black and ethnic minority children as these groups of children are over-represented in children’s social work, but have unique issues as a result of various marginalised identities. It provides summaries of research exploring salient factors affecting children and families’ day-to-day realities, thus deepening practice supervisors’ knowledge of how poverty and systemic inequalities affect families’ social conditions.
Read the Knowledge Briefing at source: HERE
anti-racist social work – the theory and practice
It’s time for all well-intentioned platitudes and recycled rhetoric to be converted into meaningful activism and root and branch reform, says local social worker and activist Wayne Reid.
Read at source: BLACK LIVES MATTER: THEN, NOW & ALWAYS
Have a watch of this Social work student connect webinar 6:
Watch this short clip from the excellent documentary series on the School that tried to end racism (and then watch the series):
Watch this excellent series ‘The School That Tried to End Racism’. A powerful lesson in white privilege – you can tune in to the series: HERE
CHRIS MORRISON, INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICER
A collection of great talks, videos and resources by and for children
What’s it like growing up with mixed heritage? HERE
What is racism – and what can be done about it? A collection of really helpful, informative videos by young people: HERE
No more school exclusions
No More Exclusions is a new UK abolitionist coalition grassroots movement. Our mission is to bring about an end to the persistent race-disparities in school exclusions in the next five years and to affect change at legal, policy, practice and cultural level in education and society as a whole over the next ten years. We want an education system that works for all!
Visit the website: HERE
PODCASTS & TED TALKS ON RACISM & ANTI-RACIST ACTIVISM IN THE UK TODAY:
- Ellis Fearon (aged 14) explains Black Lives Matter
- Nova Reid describes microaggressions
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
- Akala: race and class in the ruins of empire
- June Sarpong talks diversity and the British class system
- ‘Ways To Change The World’
- Ghetts on black British artists, gang violence & the evolution of grime
- George The Poet on youth violence, representations and limitations of government
- Munroe Bergdorf on racism, trans activism and acceptance
- Afua Hirsch with David Olusoga
Visit HERE for articles and other resources.
Advice for being an ally
BAMEed is a grassroots network aimed at ensuring our diverse communities are represented as a substantive part of the education workforce. There are three main parts to our network mission:
- Increasing the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people entering and remaining in education careers
- Encouraging and supporting those within the profession to progress in their career
- Championing change in education structures so that bias does not prevent diverse representation
These three parts feed into our beliefs that are listed on BAMEed website here
Black minds matter – therapeutic support
The effects of racial discrimination across this country, for many black people the cases of violence against individuals such as George Floyd in the USA and the many historic incidents in the UK are deeply triggering. Treating mental health must be a priority in the fight for equality and welfare of black people in the UK.
Black Minds Matter is a fantastic organisation on a mission to make mental health topics and support accessible for all black people in the U.K. Understanding that the NHS is currently in crisis and therapy is not always readily available, their aim is to link as many black individuals and families in the UK with certified, professional, black practitioners for sessions as soon as possible.
Learn more about the Black Minds Matter organisation and how to donate. Your support is needed to help bridge the gap so that therapeutic access can be made available. The money raised will be used to pay in full for therapy sessions for those in need. Individuals may choose a practitioner to their liking, keeping confidentiality and dignity as a focus.
Visit the Black Minds website. We have created a website: HERE
HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
A Parent’s guide to black lives matter: HERE
Inclusive bookshops & reads for children
Put this hashtag into your twitter search bar to find a range of books for children and adults #ReadTheOnePercent
Children’s books that cover race and racism: HERE
ROUND TABLE BOOKS exists to celebrate underrepresented children’s books, writers and illustrators. See their last books for children of all ages: HERE
Help diversity-led independent publishers tell more stories! Representative publishing is in crisis, help ensure their future. Watch the video below and read more: HERE
children – our most powerful hope for change
Onjali Q. Raúf is the founder of Making Herstory, an organisation mobilising men, women and children from all walks of life to tackle the abuse and trafficking of women and girls in the UK and beyond. In her spare time she delivers emergency aid convoys for refugee families surviving in Calais and Dunkirk, and supports interfaith projects. Her first novel, The Boy at the Back of the Class, won the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize and The Blue Peter Award. Her second book, The Star Outside My Window, published in October 2019 and she has written a 2020 World Book Day title that’s a follow up to The Boy at the Back of the Class called The Day We Met the Queen. Here she reads an extract from ‘Boy at their Back of the Class’.
‘The need for a more critical engagement with issues around Empire and slavery is essential in understanding Britain’s troubled and oppressive history in its absolute unfiltered entirely’ – The Black Curriculum.
The current History National Curriculum systematically omits the contribution of Black British history in favour of a dominant White, Eurocentric curriculum, one that fails to reflect our multi-ethnic and broadly diverse society. We need a redefined curriculum that aligns to our values and identities, and that is integral to the development of inclusive classrooms that establish belonging and connectedness in the very broadest sense.
Hear from students as to why Black British history is important!
Head over to our website to develop your knowledge on Black British history: HERE
The Black Curriculum: Meet the woman bringing black British history to schools: HERE
Read the report and join the call for changes to children’s education and curriculum: HERE
On racism, structural bias and privilege
Source: Unfiltered with James O’Brien Akala deconstructs race, class, and Britain’s modern myths | Unfiltered with James O’Brien #32
Akala picks apart many of the modern myths around educational attainment, gangs, street violence and black youth, looking at the ways these are perpetuated in the media and who benefits from perpetuating them, as well as looking back to the Windrush generation and the institutionalised injustices that led to the recent crisis. Read about the interview: HERE
Read ‘Natives’ by Akala. Shortlisted for the James Tait Black prize, the Jhalak prize, the Bread and Roses award and longlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. More Information: HERE
A shocking drama inspired by the Windrush scandal. After 50 years in the UK, Anthony Bryan is wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation.
According to the show’s epilogue, “the Home Office revealed that by February 2020 there were 1108 applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, of which only 36 had been granted any money. As of May 2020, Anthony has yet to receive any compensation.”
We need to make concerted efforts to learn and to unlearn. It will take time and effort, challenge and continued activism to really address and bring an end to racism and racial discrimination. Sadly we’re a very long way off from where we need to be.
A damning report was also released in March 2020, but – with coronavirus dominating the headlines – it has not received widespread attention. The Windrush Lessons Learned Review reports on the independent inquiry conducted by Wendy Williams (an inspector of constabulary), and it is pretty scathing about the Home Office’s handling of these cases, concluding that the government department showed “ignorance and thoughtlessness”, leading to devastating outcomes that were “foreseeable and avoidable”.
Watch via BBC iPlayer: Sitting in Limbo
THE POWER OF LANGUAGE
We create new acronyms and initialisms on a regular basis, but acronyms and initialisms are not always well thought through. Where we find evidence that they are not widely understood, have negative connotations or are hurtful to people, it is right that we revisit them.
Law Professor Kimberle Crenshaw founded the Term ‘Intersectionality’. She says: ‘Feminist backtalking confounds patriarchy. Anti-racist questioning confounds white supremacy. Intersectionality is the framework that allows for the “both/and” conversations we most need.’
A PERSPECTIVE ON WOKENESS
@Ayishat_Akanbi On radical kindness/understanding/compassion/empathy… about arguing & shaming each other online … Radical or conformist or performatist? Nuance is important to seeing our interconnections… Enlightening, helpful reflections and challenges:
STRUCTURAL RACISM AND POLICE VIOLENCE
“ Social and behavioral science researchers and educators have devoted themselves with passion and rigor to analyzing, explaining, and attempting to dismantle the mechanisms of oppression and discrimination that disfigure our society. At SAGE, our aim is to enable this crucial work and amplify those expert voices, particularly scholars of color, who need to be heard”— Blaise Simqu, President & CEO, SAGE Publishing
Free to access resources: HERE
HOPE 2020 CAMPAIGN
10 year old Damilola Taylor dreamed of being a Doctor. Shortly before his untimely death on 27th November 2000 he wrote of his hope to change the World. The 20th anniversary campaign is dedicated to young people and their aspirational stories of ambition and hope. The kind of young person Damilola was turning into.
Hope 2020 is a campaign shining light on the positive contributions of young people. Inspired by the philosophy of the public health approach to reducing violence affecting young people. Hope is a vital ingredient especially in our most socially challenged communities. Relationships are key to supporting young people and we are delighted to have such a broad church of contributing partners supporting the campaign.
Read more: HOPE 2020
The lie that invented racism | John Biewen
To understand and eradicate racist thinking, start at the beginning. That’s what journalist and documentarian John Biewen did, leading to a trove of surprising and thought-provoking information on the “origins” of race. He shares his findings, supplying answers to fundamental questions about racism — and lays out an exemplary path for practicing effective allyship. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.