Like many people around the world, we are outraged and horrified by the killing of George Floyd in the US. George’s name joins a long list of Black people in both the US and here in the UK who have been killed as a result of police brutality and systemic racism.
Global Action Plan stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Watching people take to the streets to demand a better world - from Minneapolis to here in London and right around the globe - has inspired and moved us.
But being inspired and moved is not enough. We are an environmental charity and social justice cannot be separated from that.
We are taking some time to educate ourselves on how to be a proactively anti-racist organisation and to better use our position and voice to amplify Black voices and those of people of colour through all that we do. We know that there are uncomfortable questions for the environmental movement around inclusion and racism. We should feel uncomfortable. This is a moment in history when we are all being called upon to do better. To acknowledge the scale of the problem, to listen, learn and commit to taking action to be anti-racist and improve the world.
We commit to learn and do better. Global Action Plan will (1) actively highlight and challenge institutional racism through our work and (2) increase the ethnic diversity of voices and decision making within the environmental sector.
Our first actions are:
LEARN: To develop an education plan (with external input) to continually explore racism issues with our team and build on our action plan to do better.
CHANGE: To set transparent targets and plans to ensure ethnic diversity in the recruitment of our staff team, Board of Trustees and Advisory Panels, aiming to be at a minimum nationally representative. We also recognise the need to increase the ethnic diversity of young people entering the environment sector and so plan to collaborate with other NGOs and young people from underrepresented backgrounds to reduce barriers to entry.
AMPLIFY: To seek out diverse voices within our projects and be upfront about the racial justice implications for the issues we are working on.
CALL OUT: To challenge funders, panels, platforms and forums that we work with to be more ethnically diverse and where we can, introducing that diversity through inviting underrepresented voices to speak with or instead of us.
ACT AND BE ACCOUNTABLE: We will continuously hold ourselves accountable to our commitments and will update on our progress on an ongoing basis, with the first update in three months’ time (September 2020).
The current wave of global protests demanding that Black Lives Matter gives us hope for change. There can be no environmental justice without racial justice.
Sonja Graham & Chris Large
Global Action Plan