Why we need your help
We have some really exciting creative projects in the pipeline, as well as a library and lots of resources to support anti-racism and learning in the community.
Support our crowdfunder to bring these projects to life and get yourself some beautifully illustrated postcards or prints by Robin Hood Shaw, who has generously donated his talent and work to make this possible.
1. We have an official SAR postcard for a small donation of £6 featuring an illustration of influential figures from diverse cultural communities, by Gloucestershire-based artist Robin Hood Shaw.
2 Grab yourself an exclusive set of 6 illustrated postcards by Robin Hood Shaw for £30
3. We have special-edition prints at £50 each, illustrated by Robin Hood Shaw! We have 21 people to choose from. The prints will be printed by a Gloucestershire Printer to 'keep business local'. Below are two example illustrations.
4. SAR Fundraising Sponsor. For £250 you can make a big difference to our campaign. It's not an official role but you can let people know that you supported our fundraiser as a fundraising sponsor!
Why Support SAR?
We are a grassroots, anti-racist, organization with the mission of replacing systemic racism with a system of equality and equity.
We are committed to placing the needs and voices of people who suffer racist abuse at the center of our decisions and resulting actions.
We accept responsibility for stimulating a paradigm shift in the anti-racism movement to place the burden of responsibility for facilitating change on the shoulders of those who do not suffer the devastating effects of racism.
We believe that anti-racism must be tackled in the white community, by the white community. It is not the place of the abused to change the behaviour of those perpetrating the abuse, but the responsibility of those in the community from which the abuse stems.
We are focused on education and action from a place of empathy, art and conversation, both on an individual and organisational level.
AND we are shaking up the UK curriculum!
Other Reflections Anthology
Our National Curriculum is almost exclusively focused on the excellence of white men. Our society has grown from a breadth and richness of humanity that is currently under-represented. This means children are growing up with the subconscious belief that only a certain type of person can achieve. We aim to change that.
The Other Reflections English unit that Stroud Against Racism CIC is producing, is designed to showcase and celebrate quality literature, and representations of people who have achieved greatness, from a multitude of voices. We do not aim to erase established names but we aim to bring balance to and celebrate voices that have previously been unheard.
This unit has been created by teachers for teachers, in consultation with specialist academics, and is focused on building students’ skills to prepare for their GCSE exams.
We are now at the stage where the pilot is going live in 2 schools in Gloucestershire.
We are excited to have 3 poets that have agreed to do commissioned pieces for this project:
Rohan is a school teacher in Croydon, London, who is on the frontline witnessing the effect that our curriculum has on racism and division. He is fairly new to the poetry scene, and it would be fair to say that he has made an incredible impact. Although quite shy, and humble, he has been active in spreading the word about the need for diversity and representation in UK schools.
Quinton AKA Mr Milise is an established poet who is dedicated to raising awareness around knife crime. He is heavily involved in the Stephen Lawrence Foundation and is the founder of “Civil Writes” He works in Milton Keynes, Northampton and London with youths offering them the creative outlet of writing poetry and prose as a way of keeping them away from knife crime.
Lorraine has been writing for years and has recently curated her work into a collection. She has been a part of creating “Culture” which is a school launched in February 2021 to explicitly teach black history.
This unit will not only celebrate the greatness of literature from history but will be introducing students to literary voices of the future.
We need the funds to pay them for their work. As well as this there will be cost in the production of the work for graphic design, artwork, and copywriting etc.
Please help us to bring this exciting project to all schools in Gloucestershire, and beyond.
Bank Gardens mural
We are planning a mural to go alongside the mural already in Bank Gardens. It will be a tribute to Stephen Lawrence, and many others who have lost their lives in the UK due to racism and unnecessary police force. It will also be an awareness-raising piece to help those outside of the echo chamber understand the danger of the Sewell report and why it needs to be challenged. We have a volunteer artist willing to do the work, but he needs to be provided with the materials.
Our library needs a place to live, and it needs the administrative and staffing costs to be run properly.
Stroud Against Racism CIC is still entirely run by volunteers, however, we need to pay for the administrative tools to run SAR. Things like zoom, the web page, and general office costs. A monthly pledge would be a fantastic way to keep SAR going.
Banners of Art
We have commissioned several artists to create visual and poetic work to be displayed on banners in a prominent position around town.
A series of six banners are in production, and they will showcase the excellent work of people from diverse communities living in Stroud and Gloucestershire. The banners will be adding beauty and representation to our town.
Stephen Lawrence tribute evening
Coming up this April the 22nd, SAR CIC is co-producing an evening of poets, academics and politicians to explore the impact of Stephen Lawrence’s legacy, and the links with the Sewell report. This event will be free to all and will be broadcast live on several Facebook pages, as well as Stroud Love Radio, and West Wiltshire Radio.
This needs money to pay towards the costs of the participating artists, and for the administrative tools to make it happen.
Join the SAR Community
Please join the Stroud Against Racism community on Facebook and follow our Instagram account @stroudagainstracism. We need volunteers to help spread our anti-racist message and projects throughout our local community and facilitate our projects locally. Please get in touch if you'd like to become a SAR volunteer.
More about SAR
Stroud Against Racism CIC (Company number: 13225296) (SAR) was created on the 3rd of June 2010 in response to the presenting injustices today. The volunteer lead organisation has been using skills and resources, in a bid to try and sculpt the local social landscape, in order to make it a more inclusive and positive environment, for our local residents and visitors. SAR believe that living in a predominantly ethnically homogenous area, means there is ever more reason to educate locals.
The majority of people in Stroud believe that racism does not exist in this town, unfortunately, that simply isn’t the case. Many members who suffer from racism face loneliness and rejection and feelings of marginalisation even after several years of living here. Their stories are of exclusion and isolation and they feel too vulnerable to step forward, fearing their societal position will only become even weaker if they are seen to complain. This is the most common form of racism that we have heard, but it is not only these quiet and passive-aggressive levels of hostility aimed at our residents. Crippy Cook, wrote to us about the open verbal abuse he suffered outside of his child’s school, as a woman threatened to call the police because he was parked in front of her house. A local family walking through the countryside were chased and sworn at as the resident did not want them on “his land” despite it being public land. It was obvious what he meant. The team at SAR have been inundated with stories like Nikki Nathan’s and Crippy Cook’s. These aggressions build-up and leave our people who suffer from racism traumatised and exhausted and isolated. We need to change that.
We have raised the profile of anti-racism, and quite rightly, it is an important one to be discussed. By openly denouncing racism, SAR has validated the experiences of many people from diverse cultural communities, as articulated by Patricia Camp, a local artist, “I felt like I couldn’t open my mouth, like I had no voice. When I couldn’t speak for myself, you spoke for me, and gave me the strength to see that it’s not OK. It’s enabled me now, I have found my voice again.”
SAR started with 4 increasingly well attended BLM gatherings immediately after George Floyd’s murder, culminating in a gathering of 600 people on the last day. This led to a flurry of interest in anti-racist activity. So far, we have organised several successful projects using education to try and help people to investigate their own part in systemic racism, through book clubs studying literature and non-fiction, and through public art. We have opened a public library for residents to gain access to material that will help them on their journey to understanding racism. We have had the Ecotricity banner installed proudly stating Stroud’s anti-racist intentions.
Several shop windows got involved in projects to decorate their windows with anti-racist art, helping to normalise anti-racism, as well as a huge mural along the canal path and a council building in the centre of town. SAR also had a column in the local newspaper, the Stroud News and Journal, that is used to help inform residents of the relevance of anti-racism, even in a predominantly white town. SAR is not the main point of contact when people see racist abuse, such as leaflets being circulated by white supremacist organisations. Zoe Kingston, Director of Photography and art teacher from Homleigh Park High School has used SAR as a consultancy for her current in-school project to redress a lack of diversity in the photography curriculum. Local poets use the Facebook page to host anti-racism poetry slams (the latest, aired on Wednesday 27thof January lasted 4 hours and had over 1,000 views).
Florence Nysamo from Lives Of Colour’s has taken responsibility for mentoring SAR’s CEO and founder Polly Stratton with the aim of ensuring the success and longevity of SAR, and they meet at least once a month to strategise and for general support.
Khady Gueye of the Local Equality Commission has also been involved as a partner and consultant to the organisation and actively administrates the Facebook page.
Gary Huskisson, founder and CEO of anti-racist poetry foundation Say It Louder is a consultant to and mentor of SAR’s ongoing work.