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Black Lives Matter - Our update (November 2021)

Last year, we made a pledge in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, prompted by the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. In it, we set out a commitment to bring about positive change for people from Black and ethnic minority communities in the areas across Scotland where we work. 

As an organisation, we strive for people in Scotland to live in a supportive and resilience community, where mental health is understood, and people live fulfilling lives. Our pledge is a key part of this mission. 

For the past year, we’ve been working to take meaningful action to bring about change.  We published an update after six months, and as we promised we would share more after a year. Here’s what we have done to date:  

We started an open discussion with all staff

One of the first things that we did was to start an open discussion with our staff about how we can further create an environment that welcomes and respects every voice. We asked all staff:

  • What we can do as an organisation to listen and educate ourselves about systemic racism, discrimination and persecution
  • How we can best show up and act, living out our values
  • How we can use our privilege to work for a more just, inclusive and healthy society. 

We held a Black Lives Matter session at our staff conference

We felt it was important to hold a dedicated session on the Black Lives Matter movement at our September 2020 staff conference. During the session, attendees heard about our Black Lives Matter Pledge, and we continued the conversation around what steps we could take as an organisation to be more inclusive. A key agreement was the need to establish an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group.

We formed our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group

At the start of 2021, we established the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group at Health in Mind with staff members from across our organisation and members of our Board.  The group now meets on a quarterly basis. It looks at what barriers we currently have towards being more inclusive, and what we can do to tackle them. In particular, the group is focusing on our recruitment processes, our volunteers, the people who use our services, and ensuring our communications reflects the communities that we are supporting. 

We reviewed and updated our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

In May 2021, we updated our Equality and Diversity Policy, and have committed to reviewing it on a yearly basis. This policy underpins all other policies and procedures and is designed to promote equality of opportunity, equity of access, and protection for our Board of Directors, staff, contractors, people who use our services and our volunteers. 

We pledged to always show the salary

In a bid to address pay gaps and inequity that affect many ethnic minority individuals in the charity sector, we signed the charity pledge to always show the salary for the roles that we advertise. At the heart of this is a commitment to fairness and equity. 

We continued to be part of Charities Against Hate

Online hate speech is often targeted at people from Black and ethnic minority communities. We feel passionately about working to make online spaces safer for those subjected to online abuse, and have continued our work with Charities Against Hate, a coalition of UK-based charities working to tackle online hate speech. 

We reviewed our Internal Training Programme

We have reviewed our internal training opportunities and have included Challenging Racial Bias and Racism in Practice in our 2021-2022 Internal Training Programme. Staff across the organisation attended training in June 2021 delivered by The Diversity Trust. We will continue to review our internal training opportunities for staff through a diversity and inclusion lens. 

We are on a journey, and we know we still have a long way to go. We are up for doing the hard work that is needed and continue to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

We will report back on our progress each year and encourage our communities to act too. If you have any questions or suggestions for our work in the area, please get in touch by emailing contactus@health-in-mind.org.uk.

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