Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

Race Equality Week: Ending Racism is Everybody’s Business

This Race Equality Week, we’re reflecting on our progress towards the goal of Inspire North being anti-racist, whilst acknowledging how far we’ve got to go and affirming our continued commitment to this end.

Arising from the national conversation in 2020, the daily and systemic racism that employees and service users experience was acknowledged by Inspire North. As a result, Inspire North made a commitment to tackling racism, launching “Ending Racism is Everybody’s Business”.

Over the past two years, ending racism has been firmly on the agenda within all levels of the organisation – from strategic planning, to developing our bid process, producing new HR practices and policies and hiring specialist equality and diversity experts.

The BAME Employee Network has been actively leading on the mission to uncover and end racism within Inspire North. Its aim is to support Inspire North Group in cultivating and maintaining a welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment for BAME employees, volunteers and clients.

We are aware that this self-examination needs to not just be on an organisational level but also a personal level. As such, every staff member has their own individual anti-racism commitments to help them address their own biases and educate themselves on the subject of racism. Staff have been extremely receptive about their own growth and have been pro-active in starting educational book swap groups and creating resource toolkits.

We also know that with action plans, guidebooks and policies, it’s easy to fall down the corporate rabbit hole. That’s why it’s brilliant to see the work our frontline services are doing in regards to becoming anti-racist. For example, our latest Diversity Forum highlights different services are actively engaging with clients to develop better understanding of their cultural needs, celebrating their cultural festivals and teaching clients about notable figures of black history in their local areas.

Services have also been consistently reaching out to minority communities in different regional areas – which recently led to an extremely useful Gypsy and Traveller Cultural Awareness training session for the North East Foundation services.

Measuring our progress and impact is critical and this will take place through various methods including employee and client racism surveys and a constant dialogue with clients, staff and all stakeholders. We will actively listen and prove our actions in our dedication to getting it right.

Our Equality and Diversity Coordinator, Emily Brenson says:

“Our Anti-Racism agenda has led to great conversations and learning across Inspire North, as we navigate our understanding towards becoming a good Ally. We’re not shying away from discussion around white privilege, white fragility, unconscious or conscious bias and what it means to be a BIPOC in the UK today.

We are committed to continuing the work we’ve already done and build on the foundation we’re creating to ensure everyone person working with, and working for, Inspire North actively fights racism.”