'Dear son, I know it might seem strange, me writing to you when you are just a baby, but when you are old enough to read this letter, you will know why I had to write it now'
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Black British Network
In light of recent killings of black people there has been a groundswell of awareness and momentum focused on the experience of the black community globally and how we bring about positive change.
A poignant moment that caused for the whole world to look inwardly and reflect on all of our feelings towards the black community, the reality of the black communities perceived position in society, the frustration informed by overt racist acts and the lack of economic advancement through the years due to systemic racism and prejudice that exists both within the workplace and the wider landscape.
There is hope that for one moment, people will no longer be afraid to listen to the black community, accept the realities of the inequalities experienced and work with us to usher in long lasting change. On top of this, there needs to be a united effort to focus time and resources on ensuring we strengthen, support and uplift the black community who have had to suffer in silence for so long; to make sure that 5 - 10 years from now, or even 30, we are not having this same conversation again.
We have positioned ourselves as a custodian of our trajectory, to work hand in hand with the black community and our non-black allies to ensure that change does not just happen as a short term knee-jerk response to sorrow or guilt, but that we are able to systemically root out racism and prejudice in our society and throughout the working world.
At the same time the aim is for our allies to strategically work with us in creating a fairer landscape for the black community.
With the understanding that there has been a lack of focus on the black community for many years, also understanding our position within the wider economic landscape and how this has had a negative effect on black people in working environments and the wider society from generation to generation, we do not believe that black people should be systematically held back based on the colour of their skin.
This is not a BAME conversation, neither does it want to be a 'people from disadvantaged backgrounds' conversation. This is a systemic issue, and a moment where the world is finally waking up to the stark reality of people of African decent. We are now in a position to be laser- focused about this issue and bring it to an end, making life better and fairer for the black community.
Not only when people feel guilty because they saw someone get horrifically killed, but throughout our lifetime to eradicate racism, both overt and systematic, in our organisations and throughout the country. Our ambition is to create a better and more just playing field for the black community and subsequently the wider world. We need to commit to having those direct and frank conversations at board level and with those the seats of power.