Whilst we have made some progress, we are also aware of our shortcomings as an organisation and that we have not done enough in the past to dismantle the systems, policies and processes that keep systemic racism alive.
What we have done
In June 2020 we created an Anti-Racism Action Group ‘to explore Youthscape’s practices, structures & relationships, with the intent of implementing anti-racist strategies’. The group included members of the senior leadership team and staff. They identified key areas to investigate including communications, HR and recruitment practices and policies and leadership and staff development to explore. As part of their work, they listened to a wide group of stakeholders including many of the young people with whom we work.
Their internal report was published in November 2020 and has formed the basis of our anti-racism strategy going forward.
Our senior leadership team is committed to making the changes needed from this report and our anti-racism work is now a standing item for meetings. We are accountable to the Board of Trustees for our progress and this is reviewed by them as an agenda item at a Board meeting each year.
One of the priorities identified is the urgent need to be more diverse in our staff and senior leadership team, and our failure to do enough to address this. We are committed to addressing this and acknowledge that we have not been as diligent as we should have been in taking practical steps to change this.
What we are doing
In January 2023 we held the first diversity and inclusion workshop for staff and offered staff the opportunity to participate in a reflective group study. We are committed to further Diversity and Inclusion training and awareness across the whole organisation.
In May 2023 we published our first resource for youth groups to help young people explore and understand anti-racism. We are committed to using our influence and networks to share the importance of anti-racism through further resources and events.
Our long-standing commitment to having a diverse speaker and contributor team remains a non-negotiable requirement for all our events including Satellites and The National Youth Ministry Weekend.
We will continue to educate ourselves about racial injustice. We will work to become more diverse at all levels of the organisation. We will speak out where we see racism.
Although we have made some progress, we know we still have much to learn and do. We are willing to listen, to be challenged and to do what is needed.