Together’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
Posted on 12, July 2020
At Together for Mental Wellbeing we stand against racism in all its forms, and with those who also stand against racism in all its forms.
The tragic and traumatic death of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 sparked grief and outrage across the globe. At this point in our history, the Black Lives Matter movement is crucial to tackling the racism and inequality that are systemic in our society. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people have – for far too long – experienced a range of health, social and economic disparities as a consequence of discrimination and prejudice. At Together, we work alongside many people who experience multiple disadvantages and inequality. We also see this starkly reflected in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities all over the world.
It is important to acknowledge that, as well as BAME communities, other marginalised groups experience inequality and oppression on a daily basis. At Together, we are committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms.
Our organisation strives to ensure that our work alongside service users is free from bias, as we make decisions with – and sometimes for – the people we serve. We aim to question our own prejudices and ignorance, and to meet the urgent need to continue to educate ourselves. Our work endeavours to always take into account the impact of historical inequalities on marginalised groups within our communities.
We will be unwavering in our actions against racism within our own organisation, and within the broader charity sector. We pledge to our staff and service users that if they ever experience any form of racial discrimination directly, or through casual comments or insensitivity, or witness it when directed towards others, that they feel able to raise concerns without fear of repercussions, and are confident in our responses. If we have ever fallen short in the past, then as an organisation we are truly sorry. That should never have happened. We are committed to learning by listening, and that is how we aim to continuously improve.
We have a Code of Conduct in all of our employment contracts, and have Equality and Diversity and HR policies that set out the expectations and requirements for all staff to abide by. If staff have experiences that do not meet our commitment or their own expectations, we are urging them to speak to their manager, a colleague, our Workforce Representatives Council, or seek redress through our Grievance Policy. We also encourage service users and staff to make use of our complaints and whistleblowing procedures.
Our People Strategy directs that “we must mobilise the diversity of our workforce to create an inclusive, kind, caring and creative workplace”. Our values are key in helping us to promote and act on this vital equality and diversity within our organisation: collaboration, integrity, continuous learning and improvement, resilience, and choice through involvement.
At Together, we take pride in our commitment to service user leadership and peer support; to giving voice to the irreplaceable value of lived experience that is so crucial to not only strengthening our services, but to tackling the systemic discrimination and injustices in our society as a whole. We believe that this commitment builds a strong base for us to act on racism and build an organisational community based on diversity, equity and inclusion. We have strong values and a principle of “working alongside” – and just as we work alongside service users, we will listen to the perspective of all those who are most affected by distress in any form.
We know we have more work to do, and we will keep talking in a way that leads to real change. We may not get it right all of the time, but we are an organisation that is determined to make a difference. We will always take whatever action is needed to eradicate injustice and oppression in all its forms.