JRF is committed to standing in solidarity with black and ethnic minority communities facing prejudice. As a leading voice on poverty in the UK, we know that people of colour are more likely to be restricted by poverty’s grip. We also know that people of colour have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and this will have long term ramifications for these communities. That’s not right and we are wholly committed to spearheading the social change required to end it.
But JRF cannot expect a change in society if we do not evolve our organisation. To be an effective catalyst to social change, we will continue to fund and facilitate research into the causes and impact of poverty on BAME communities, but we must also keep holding a mirror up to ourselves. Right now, our team doesn’t reflect the communities we serve. Our networks and the beneficiaries of our funding are not as diverse as they need to be. We have long acknowledged the issue and have plans and initiatives in place to tackle it, but the just global outrage at the murder of George Floyd has provided us with further focus and the impetus to do better.
We do not claim to have the answers, we will continue to listen and learn.
Our areas of focus will include:
- Holding those with power to account on the UK’s record on poverty and its disproportionate impacts on people of colour
- Diversifying our networks
- Attracting and retaining talent from BAME communities
- Bolstering and supporting our internal BAME network
- Using our spending power to tackle race inequality as a driver of poverty
- Ensuring that our poverty outcomes take race, ethnicity and intersectionality into account
- Continuing our commitment to work alongside and amplify the voices of people experiencing the intersection of poverty and racism
- Educating ourselves further on structural and systemic racism.
These conversations are ongoing across our group, with our colleagues in JRHT who are equally committed to challenging structural racism. We will publish further details when our plans become a little clearer.
To our partners and allies, we are keen to collaborate. Our sector has a problem and by calling it out and working together we have a better chance of change. Together, we must do more.
Black lives matter.