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Our take on anti-racism and earning the right to respond

Updated: 5 days ago

What’s become clear is that we need to care about what’s happening right now. Businesses and brands have a responsibility to listen to new voices.

We must address the structural and racial inequalities that Covid-19 and George Floyd’s death have brought to mainstream attention at last.

Here are anti-racism resources we are curating and creating to help make diversity everybody’s business.

BAME over. If Black is the question, BAME is not the answer.

‘BAME’ continues to be used and thought of as the way to address Black people and the injustices they face right now. We had another Matt Hancock-up when the Health Secretary was asked if there are any Black people in the cabinet by Sky News. Read about why we need to challenge language right now.

Why BAME ain’t the same

The term BAME may be widely used but that doesn’t mean it can’t be questioned. By lumping BAME into one, we either see superficial casting (for example, a black family in an ad, living a white life with a dog – there’s always a dog), or important opportunities missed because our cultural understanding doesn’t go deep enough. Read about what BAME actually means.

How to earn the right to respond

The story of the coronavirus crisis began with messages of solidarity and equality: we were “all in this together.” The facts, however, revealed that these such messages were nothing short of platitudes - Covid-19 surfaced inequalities that exist at all levels of society.

We are seeing brands who are being inclusive by impulse, rather than by design. The urge to put out knee-jerk responses - which is perhaps exacerbated by remote working - has seen missteps that will become case studies for years to come.

We’ve put together a framework to help ground decisions and set out a structure for responding in a way that is inclusive by design. Click here to view and contact us if you’d like our help to navigate this with you.

Where next for diversity & inclusion?

Our Speakeasier podcast is our space to host a diversity conversation for everyone. Each fortnight, guests from the world of business, culture and the arts drop in to discuss how we make diversity something everyone can engage with and care about.

This week we talk to TV presenter, author, campaigner, and director of creative diversity at the BBC, June Sarpong. The recording takes place against a backdrop of BAME communities around the world being disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, and Black Lives Matter rallies being held in response to the police killing of George Floyd. With so much global inequality, unrest and uncertainty, we ask: Where does diversity and inclusion go from here?

Listen on Spotify, Apple iTunes.

What else can I read?

It’s not enough to not be quietly non-racist, now is the time to be vocally anti-racist. Education is the key for how we are going to assess and rebuild structures, which is why we are collating a rolling list of resources to help learn. Click here to view (best viewed on phone screens).

If there’s anything more you’d like to see or speak about, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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