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Women celebrate together in Ethiopia

5 steps we are taking to become a truly anti-racist organisation

Published on 14 October 2020

Christian Aid has a long history of standing for racial justice and tackling inequality of all kinds around the world. Our 75-year history has included supporting the work of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. We also created the Southern African Coalition to demand an end to apartheid in the 1980s.

Sadly, we too have found that the lived experience of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff shows that we at Christian Aid are not free from the systemic racism that is pervasive in institutions around the world including the Church, politics, the arts, business and education.

Following an internal review carried out by external consultants, we have committed to taking the following actions – among others - immediately and over the next 18 months and beyond to tackle racial injustice.

We hope and pray that by addressing the racial injustices within our midst, alongside further steps, we will move closer to being a truly anti-racist organisation.

1. Create a new senior role

We will recruit a senior Race and Diversity lead who will be a member of our Extended Leadership Team.

2. Review our recruitment practices

All our hiring managers will be trained on issues of race equality, with annual mandatory online refresher courses.

3. Increase involvement from our board and leadership team

Two trustees will be designated with responsibility for Race and Diversity oversight (together with the Chair of the HR governance subcommittee). Our board development days will include race and diversity development areas.

We will also introduce an annual report on race and diversity, as well as an independent annual staff survey on racial equality.

Our directors will receive training and group coaching on race and diversity including how to see and address unconscious bias when making decisions and influencing implementing procedures.

Race equality will become a regular item on our directorate agenda, alongside HR and financial reports. All members of our Extended Leadership Team will receive training on race and diversity.

4. Engage all our staff

Staff engagement is key to helping us become truly anti-racist, so we are ensuring our staff have an opportunity to feed in to our plans through staff workshops over the next few weeks and months.

All our staff will have mandatory training on race and diversity and we will also review other training modules to ensure race is reflected and we plan to hold a day of anti-racist learning with all staff in the next six months.

We will introduce staff engagement mechanisms to regularly update on progress. We will also conduct an annual staff survey and highlight action required to close any gap in BAME and white staff experiences.

We will develop mechanisms to ensure that we have a pool of staff champions on race and diversity with a mixture of relevant skills such as supporting, conflict resolution and mediation.

Throughout Black History Month, we are hosting In Conversation events for staff with key BAME voices in public life. Although this month provides a great way to celebrate the contribution and achievements of BAME people, we are committed to keep talking about issues of race and diversity beyond this four-week period.

5. Commit to better data

We cannot make real change until we can truly asses the current reality when it comes to race and diversity, so we will commit to obtaining more robust data. We will also create a mechanism that helps the organisation generate data on race and diversity in a more effective way.

We at Christian Aid will benchmark ourselves against appropriate global and national indices through the introduction of a race equality index.