Black History Month offers a unique space for reflection. Reflection on what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we can do better. Last year we felt we made great strides in laying bare our intentions by introducing our Inclusion Champions. Our ambition for these volunteers was to help us to better represent protected characteristics and provide us with some much-needed insight into the challenges people face.
But as our values state, we are honest – even when it is difficult – and so we’ve taken the time to assess what we’ve achieved but also recognize there’s more we could do.
The deeper we have discussed our thoughts around Black History Month, the more we realised that there is a gap in our resources. We can’t expect one person to be truly representative of such a far-reaching, diverse and disparate group.
Thanks to the honest conversations with our team, we’re pleased to be able to extend our approach by developing an Inclusion Network in the hope that this will allow our colleagues the opportunity to get involved and alleviate the pressure on our Champions to represent such a diverse group of people.
We’re delighted that Amanda Johnlewis has stepped forward to be an Inclusion Champion for race, joining Eva to help ensure our organisation offers an environment within which people of all backgrounds can thrive. Amanda already has plans to host Black History themed internal sessions for staff and will be working with the team to address our approach to recruitment, addressing what we need to do to attract more diverse candidates for our varied roles.
“To reiterate a well-known quote, ‘you cannot have change without disruption’ – we know that growth cannot happen without change and change cannot happen without some discomfort. I welcome the opportunity to provide insight, challenge perspectives and being part of this growth within this area, allowing us to grow as a team and as an organisation.”
So, for Black History Month, which this year is about ‘Saluting our Sisters’, we’re excited for the sessions that Amanda has planned, to take the opportunity to celebrate the long list of incredible black women who have and continue to shape not only the NHS but our wider culture and importantly, for us to start working on our new projects together. We also look forward to supporting the Salford based events run by our partners Africa Community in Surrey and Sussex – running from 26 – 28 October, they will focus on a number of topics including Arts, Literature and Health Advocacy. More information on their facebook page.