The last twelve months has brought issues of race and structural racism to the forefront of public discussion in ways not seen for decades. From the death of George Floyd to the response to the report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, as a society we are now more able than ever to confront the issues of systemic racism in front of us.
At Community we’re very clear that racism is a trade union issue, and an issue that the trade union movement should take a leading role on. It affects people inside and outside the workplace – whether that be with discrimination, access to decent jobs, equal pay or the disproportionate deaths that BAME communities have suffered due to Coronavirus.
We also recognise that the trade union movement has not always been as inclusive as it could and should have been. We are determined to set an example, practicing what we preach and fighting to make our movement fully inclusive.
Equality is at the core of our mission to create a better working world. We must all work together to eradicate racism and discrimination, and as a union we must use our position to make this a reality.
This year, we’ve partnered with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to work with teachers to support younger people to make a difference.
Tomorrow will mark Stephen Lawrence Day – a celebration of everything that Stephen was and could have become and what is being achieved in his name.
Over 100 schools have joined with us to be part of the day. We’ll be hosting an exciting virtual school assembly on how you can make a huge impact on your workplace and to promote friendship, respect and difference.
We have also developed a range of school educational materials which include a staff briefing, suggestions for assemblies and a suite of further resources which allow for different curriculum entry points.
We’ll be hosting a webinar with an expert panel including Doreen Lawrence on the importance on anti-racism within education work, as well as a webinar with Stuart Lawrence on the importance of tackling hate crime.
Real societal change requires us all to contribute in whichever way we can. Across the country tomorrow, thousands of people will be doing just that. As a member of Community’s NEC, I’m immensely proud of the work we are doing to help make that change and create a better world free of racism and discrimination. I invite you to join us.