Action and Accountability
Our founder Viana Maya has signed her name on this Open letter Created by the Runnymede Trust:
In case any of our readers wonder what ‘gaslighting’ means. This report couldn’t be a better example, creating a false narrative to distract from the urgent actions needed to face up to racism and ignoring contemporary research that did not reach the same conclusions. There are fears that it would be used as a tool for inaction if it's not rejected.
Our organisation works with marginalised talent every day to support them to access and gain employment. As a black-led organisation, we have created safe spaces for people to share their lived experiences while working on their personal development. We have made a conscious decision not to share screenshots of our sessions and always ask participants, without coercion, for permission to use their images or speech to maintain this safe environment.
In the private 1-2-1 sessions working with Black and Brown people, we have heard stories from people who have/are experiencing the unimaginable effects of the hostile environment policies, such as no recourse to public funds.
We are elevating talented women who have been left broken, unsure of their skills or worth in the workplace, from years of institutional racism faced in academic posts or while in education. Some have spoken up and have faced retaliation within institutions.
We are supporting young black women who experience constant microaggression during job interviews or in the workplace with nowhere to turn for help or advice.
We have worked with black talent who have experienced racism and discrimination in the workplace and don’t want to complain for fear of messing up THEIR careers.
We hear from current students in high schools and universities who are experiencing everyday racism disguised in banter!! When they do complain, nothing is done about it. You can learn more from InterculturalYouthScotland or Follow the experiences and recommendations made by the BlackEd Movement https://www.facebook.com/blckedmovement/.
We could post lists of spaces where these real experiences of institutional and systemic racism are happening to people every day. These experiences are affecting how people move and progress in their lives.
For these reasons, we have had to recruit an in-house wellbeing and mental health specialist to provide a talking service to ensure our participants will walk into new work experiences knowing their worth, values and rights in work.
We did not start this organisation because we want to enter into the political forum. Still, we simply can not allow a report such as this - which conclusions have left no one surprised as it was written by people who already knew what it was going to say before they ‘investigated’ the issue - to guide government policy.
Academic papers and reports undergo rigorous peer reviews, meaning that they have to withstand other academics' intellectual criticism. This paper has not even withstood the criticism of academics who ‘took part in the research. Many of the academics cited in the report have expressed anger at having their research misused, mis-interpreted or just missed out. Within a day, the venerable and considered British Medical Journal felt compelled to respond with a flat refutation of its conclusions. Even Boris Johnson is embarrassed at its brazen denial of evidence, having overplayed his hand by appointing a commission of like-minded individuals. If ever there was an argument for NEURO-diversity, this is it.
We will continue to work with employers and organisations and encourage them also to REJECT this report.
We ask that they remember the conversations they had in 2020 during the BLM protests and reflect on the moments they took to listen and learn!
We ask that they remember what the movement was asking for: Equality, Fairness, Opportunity, Equity, Respect, Belonging and Justice.
We ask for ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY.
You can start by signing this open letter asking Boris Johnston to Reject the Report.
SIGN the Open Letter HERE