We have joined forces with local charities to launch the Anti-Racist Alliance.
We have joined twenty charities across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire to form the Anti-Racism Alliance.
Led by Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service (BCVS), Community Action Derby (CAD) and Voluntary Action Doncaster (VAD) the Anti Racist Alliance, made of Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure organisations, we support our wider membership of over 6000 organisations to go beyond a zero tolerance approach to racism and to commit to positive action to become and remain proactive anti-racist organisations.
Infrastructure organisations work across the country to support other charities to develop as new groups, support groups to grow through funding or governance advice and training, provide volunteer brokerage services and provide a voice for groups into policy decisions.
BCVS, CAD and VAD have been active members of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) National Anti-Racist Working group which has developed a set of Anti Racist principles and call to actions, which are outlined below.
NAVCA Anti racism statement and call to action:
‘One of the outcomes of the publication of the NAVCA Equality and Anti-Racism statement of intent published here in September 2021 was the establishment of the Anti-Racism working group. This group is made up of members, member trustees, NAVCA trustees and staff.
During the October 2021 meeting, working group members agreed to expand its reach and influence, inviting wider NAVCA members to sign up to the Anti-Racist principles outlined below. ‘One of the issues we have explored is that member organisations are at different stages of their work to be Anti Racist, depending on factors including their history, geography, relationships and their own membership. We are conscious of the challenges, and want to create the space for each organisation to move along its journey, wherever its now. This statement and principles are designed to be accessible as well as challenging.
The Anti-Racism Group sees a commitment to being or becoming Anti-Racist as core and aligned with the aims of most voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. Indeed where this is not the case, we invite member organisations to share their reasoning if they believe that becoming an Anti-Racist organisation is not appropriate for their organisation. It can be a useful
area to raise awareness, knowledge and action to address barriers to have what, at times, can be challenging / uncomfortable conversations with colleagues.
In acknowledging that each organisation signing up to these principles is at different point in the journey toward becoming or remaining an anti-racist organisation, we welcome a diverse set of approaches. Further work is needed to support action planning, and ensure these principles are actively embedded.
We the undersigned support the Anti-Racist principles developed by the CIPD here and summarised below.
Language is important, and we recognise there are many definitions of Anti-Racism and that our own practice and definitions will evolve. However we believe itis better to be proactive and start work rather than wait for a ‘perfect’ definition. We have highlighted our additions to the CIPD principles below in italics, to tailor them to the needs of the VCSE sector for transparency. We welcome additional members to the Anti-Racist Working Group to take this work and discussion forward.
Continual and ongoing work is needed to become and remain an anti-racist organisation including both embedded and explicit positive action.
An ongoing commitment to consideration of intersectionality (see for example What is intersectionality? | The British Academy) and how this impacts on the lived experience of racism whilst continuing to centre anti-racism within positive action.
NB: Language is important and we want to explain our terms.
By Anti-Racism, as a group we support the following definition:
"Anti-Racism is the practice of actively identifying and opposing racism. The goal of anti-racism is through working together to actively change policies, behaviours, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas, actions and structural racism".
VCS Local Infrastructure principles for Anti-Racism are set out below
- Clarify the organisation’s stance and values: set clear expectations of what the organisation stands for and maintain zero-tolerance to racism.
- Co-create a systemic approach for practical action by working across the organisation: scrutinise all operational processes, ways of working and people management policies.
- Commit to sustained action through visible leadership and a willingness to change: sustained action needs a long-term plan, ongoing commitment, led with firm commitment from the top. [In our role as infrastructure organisations we commit to lead the local VCS sector by example]
- Critically appraise the organisation’s people management approach from end to end.
- Connect your people by creating safe spaces, systems and times to talk, share experiences and learn from each other: ensure your plan is informed by employee voice, the VCSE sector, and bring in experts where necessary.
- Communicate your messages consistently and ensure the conversation is two-way: leave the workforce and wider stakeholders in no doubt about your key messages. Ensure they are reflected in people’s behaviour, in the organisation’s operations, and in the organisation’s interactions with stakeholders.
BCVS, CAD and VAD along with the wider infrastructure alliance members are able to provide support for voluntary and community sector organisations to develop their capacity to adopt and most critically to implement anti-racist principles. This will include diagnostics, action planning, training and referral to specialist support as needed.
Andria Birch, CEO of BCVS today said “We would love to live in a world where racism doesn’t exist, however there is still much work to be done. BCVS is actively committed to anti-racism and is pleased to be able to join forces with like-minded charities to learn, develop our practice and share our learning and resources with our wider membership to create a better world for everyone. We are always stronger working together and look forward to this next stage in the journey to become and remain anti-racist in all that we do".
Kim Harper, CEO of CAD added “We have been active for many years and are proud to have a diverse board which actively champions anti-racist practice. The voluntary and community sector has a key role to play in supporting our workforce and wider membership to remain or become anti-racist and we look forward to supporting our networks to develop their practice further”.
Cath Witherington, CEO of VAD, also said, “We are keen to raise the profile of this important campaign across South Yorkshire and have been working with the Black Leadership Group to connect and learn across sectors to bring this added dimension and experience into the campaign”.
Infrastructure organisations signed up to the Anti-Racist Alliance to date in alphabetical order:
- Amber Valley CVS
- Bassetlaw Community and Voluntary Service (BCVS) and Bolsover Together
- Community Action Derby (CAD)
- Community Accounts Plus
- Derbyshire Dales CVS
- Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA)
- Erewash Voluntary Action
- High Peak CVS
- Links: The Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire Council for Voluntary Service and Action (LinksCVS)
- Mansfield Community and Voluntary Service (MCVS)
- Multi Faith Centre (Derby)
- Newark and Sherwood CVS
- Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS)
- Rural Action Derbyshire (RAD)
- Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire (RCAN)
- Rushcliffe Community Voluntary Service (RCVS)
- South Derbyshire Community and Voluntary Service (SDCVS)
- The Church of England (Derbyshire)
- The Volunteer Centre Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire
- Voluntary Action Doncaster (VAD)
- South Yorkshire Housing Association
- Tackling Loneliness Collaborative - Nottinghamshire
- Re'ST Retford Independent Sustainable Transport Committee
- Sherwood Ladies Rounders League
- Derventio Housing Trust
- Our Centre (Kirkby in Ashfield)
In partnership with