Anti-Racism & Activism: Towards Racial Justice

Last updated: 26 May 2021

Towards Racial Justice One Year Later: THE BIG PROMISE.

On May 25th 2021, one year to the day of the murder of George Floyd, we honoured Mr Floyd’s name and called for reflection one year on.

We ask what has changed? What actions have we taken towards becoming anti-racist. Actions definitely speak louder than words. What next?

We ramp up our efforts. We are calling on all IROs, their leaders and wider colleagues to publicly announce their Big Promise. Watch our five minute video and please, register your promise.

Register your Big Promise and join us in making a public commitment to keep to it. NIROMP will add your promise to our website and will share on social media. Join the movement.

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.

Actions speak louder than words. Now is the time. Make it public, transparent and accountable.

REGISTER YOUR PROMISE ONLINE BELOW

More of NIROMP member promises and the actions we are taking: HERE

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.

Information and resources:

Advice for being an ally

This great open source starter guide is shared here thanks to Amélie Lamont. It is a resource to help anyone considering allyship better to understand the pros and cons of what being an ally entails. Allies understand their role in collaboration with people whose lives are affected daily by systemic oppression. Being an ally is not to be taken lightly. Read this helpful starter guide at source: HERE

BAMEed is a grassroots network aimed at ensuring our diverse communities are represented as a substantive part of the education workforce. More information: HERE

WhiteAccomplices.org have developed a website to support white people wanting to act for racial justice. It draws from ideas and resources developed mostly by Black, Brown and People of Color, and has been edited by Black, Brown, and People of Color. More information: HERE

The Black Care Experience

Building a support network for The Black Care Experience Community, The Black Table Talk aims to inspire hope and healing for the Black Care Experienced who share their personal stories of being placed in England’s Care System. It also aims to help Foster Carers and Adopters learn and understand how to care for the Black Children or Young People they Foster and Adopt, and it includes plans to create The Black Care Directory, a Consortium of Black Owned Businesses offering their Products and Services to be a part of Our Village helping to provide Black Care.

More information: HERE

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:

Please see this article, which may be of interest: The art of becoming a social work practice educator by Shabnam Ahmed

Hair and skin are important to a black child’s identity – but many social workers don’t understand this by Zoe Thomas

Skin and hair can be integral to a young black person’s sense of self. Yet in the UK, black children and young people face discrimination about their bodies. It’s not just schools sending black children home because their hair is deemed contrary to uniform codes. The importance of hair and skin to black children is also overlooked in social work.

Read the full piece by Zoe Thomas, Lecturer in Social Work: HERE

We also recommend reading this piece by written by a Cafcass Service Manager, North West England: The importance of physical appearance to the identity of Black children

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri: HERE

Author Emma Dabiri says the stigma around Afro-textured hair is a construct. Here’s where the myth comes from:

A collection of great talks, videos and resources by and for children and young people

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

‘It All Adds Up’ is an animation created by the Student Commission on Racial Justice a partnership of Leaders Unlocked and 10 leading colleges in England. More: HERE

PODCASTS & TED TALKS ON RACISM & ANTI-RACIST ACTIVISM IN THE UK TODAY:

Visit HERE for articles and other resources.

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 or by PARENTS AND CARERS

A Parent’s guide to black lives matter: HERE

Be-Longing is the story of Khoji, a 9-year ‘looked after’ boy living within a foster family. Be-Longing follows Khoji’s progress as he enters ‘care’ and embarks on a journey towards regaining belief in himself and adults. Be-Longing is produced by DrumCamFilms and directed by filmmaker Mike McKenzie. Mike and his wife Carol have been fostering children for over 13 years. Be-Longing has been nominated and won several awards at a number of prestigious international and UK wide film festivals. More information including film viewings: HERE

Black hair and skin care by Adoption Star: HERE

White foster carers need more information about caring for black children. Black children in care must be empowered to become confident adults, and identity and culture are an important part of this. An important read and includes a helpful book recommendation ‘Black Children in Care: Health, Hair and Skin by Denise Lewis and Flo Awolaja.

Inclusive bookshops & reads

Put this hashtag into your twitter search bar to find a range of books for children and adults #ReadTheOnePercent

There’s a small pool of Black-owned bookshops across the UK that have struggling through the pandemic, but are beginning to open up and are taking online orders.

So, swot up on our list of these independent bookshops which either specialise in texts that relate to Black culture, or are owned by a person of colour and spread the word to help them increase their sales and feel your support.

Afori books of black origin: HERE

Children’s books that cover race and racism: HERE

Books of Africa is an bookstore and publishers which works on making a whole range of books on history, literature, science, economics, poetry, fiction and finance available to the masses, written by mainly authors with African descent: HERE

Jacaranda Books is an award winning independent publisher and bookshop which focuses on showcasing diverse authors both online and in store: HERE

No Ordinary Bookshop specialises in children’s books for children of colour, showing a diverse range of characters so that all can recognise themselves in their pages: HERE

Serendipity is a Black-led arts organisation and based in Leicester which also publishes several titles a year focusing on Black arts, heritage and cultural politics, including BlackInk, which is a new magazine of international voices from across the African and African Caribbean Diaspora and indigenous communities: HERE

Book Love is a multicultural travelling book carnival and online bookshop which is run by a collective of educators, creatives and community members: HERE

Imagine Me Stories, a monthly subscription box which seeks to empower children by providing books with Black main characters and Black history/African activities: HERE

Black Cultural Archives is a library, exhibition space, cafe and shop which dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain: HERE

African Books Collective is an online resource which champions African publishers based in Africa, but with a distribution centre in Oxford making it much easier to order their texts if you live in the UK: HERE

The Sevenoaks Bookshop is a charming space, located in leafy greater London, south of the centre. The history of the name dates back to 1948 and since then there’s been four owners, most recently Fleur Sinclair who has been at the helm since 2015: HERE

ROUND TABLE BOOKS exists to celebrate underrepresented children’s books, writers and illustrators. See their last books for children of all ages: HERE

New Beacon Books was actually the UK’s first ever Black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor, after being founded by John La Rose and Sarah White in London in 1966: HERE

Pepukayis Books specialises in African-centred books and fostering a space for learning and celebration of African culture in the UK to support the Black community: 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’.

EDUCATION WORKFORCE

BAMEed is a grassroots network aimed at ensuring our diverse communities are represented as a substantive part of the education workforce. More information: HERE

No more school exclusions

No More Exclusions is a new UK abolitionist coalition grassroots movement. Their 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

CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

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

‘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 the Black Curriculum website to develop your knowledge on Black British history: HERE

Read: THE BLACK CURRICULUM BLACK BRITISH HISTORY IN THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM REPORT 2021

The Black Curriculum: Meet the woman bringing black British history to schools: HERE

Read the report by The Black British Curriculum 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

Rapper, poet and scholar Akala joins James O’Brien to discuss race and class.

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

UNFILTERED WITH JAMES O’BRIEN | EPISODE 32: AKALA (21 May 2018)

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

Windrush scandal

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.  

Read:

Intersectionality

Jahnine Davis and Nick Marsh, PhD researchers have produced a guide exploring issues related to child protection and safeguarding. The guide to Initial meetings with young people: an intersectional and systemic approach. The also provide excellent training and consultancy. Please check out their website here. Also please check out Jahnines work / article around ‘Where are the Black girls in our CSA services, studies and statistics?

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.’ Please watch:

OVERLAPPING STORIES

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

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.

Resources for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in your workplace

Here are some resources for advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in your workplace, which may be of interest: HERE

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