Anti-racism at Headway East London

Following many discussions and reflections within our staff team and board of trustees over the last month, we would like to publish a statement from our Chief Executive Anthony Bonfil:

HEADWAY EAST LONDON REJECTS RACISM AND INEQUALITY AND STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER

In recent weeks, we have witnessed how protests across the world have risen in response to the continued brutal and unjust treatment of people based on the colour of their skin. These protests have started a conversation around the world about the pervasiveness of systemic inequality and we are once again reminded of the need for inclusive cultures and diverse leadership here in the UK. The Black Lives Matter movement has demonstrated the urgent need for all of us to make an active commitment to eradicating racism in all its forms.

The rights and representation of underrepresented and marginalised people are at the heart of Headway East London’s core values and mission. We constantly work to ensure that brain injury survivors who are often disempowered and unseen in society, are supported, respected and valued. However, as part of this, we need to acknowledge that we have not made as much progress as we should have on issues relating to race and representation. Headway East London is an organisation with a workforce and board of predominantly white people – the community we support are significantly more diverse.

We recognise the need to listen and learn to enable us to recruit a workforce and board which is more reflective of the diversity of the members we support.

These are our initial commitments in taking the first steps to achieving this:

  • We publicly state our commitment to anti-racism, recognising the fight against inequality and racial injustice is an ongoing and everyday commitment.
  • We will establish a working group, which will involve stakeholders from across the organisation.
  • The working group will meet at regular intervals to develop an action plan and timeline that addresses racial equality within our organisation and our practice. We will publish this on our website within the next six months and update it regularly.
  • We will equip ourselves with more knowledge; learning and growing together so that we can remove processes and barriers that sustain systemic racism.
  • We offer our full support to any member of our community affected by issues of discrimination and racism.

These initial commitments are just the start, and we know we need to go further. Real change needs to come from across all of the organisation and, importantly, needs to be informed by the experiences and views of all our stakeholders, particularly from the diverse community we serve.

If you would like to hear more information about this work, or you have any questions please email our Chief Executive Tony: anthony.bonfil@headwayeastlondon.org