Simone James is our Director of Inclusion. Here, she explains how we’re marking Black History Month, and why equality, diversity and inclusion should form a golden thread throughout our work.
As we step into October, we embrace an important annual event: Black History Month. It's a time to honour the achievements of black individuals, recognise the challenges we still face in dismantling racism, and aspire towards a fair and equal society.
This year, the theme for Black History Month is "Saluting Our Sisters," a tribute to the remarkable work of black women and their place in our collective history.
Throughout this month, we'll be sharing stories and experiences on our national social media accounts, encouraging everyone to reflect on the inspiring black women who have made an impact.
These stories exemplify why it's crucial to salute our sisters and celebrate black history. However, let's acknowledge that championing equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) should not be confined to just one month of the year; it should be a constant and integral part of everything we do.
EDI – a golden thread throughout our work
At Change Grow Live, we work closely with some of the most marginalised and stigmatised individuals in society. The people we work with are disproportionately affected by health and social inequalities – so every prejudice or stigma we challenge breaks down a barrier that might otherwise deter someone from reaching out and seeking help.
As an organisation we can help to drive this change by making sure the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion run through everything we do. EDI shouldn’t stand alone; it should permeate every part of our work. It should be a golden thread that runs through all our actions, policies, and processes. Our vision is to be an EDI leader in our sector, fostering an inclusive environment where every individual's voice is valued – and this vision can begin with making sure our own organisation is living up to its values.
Reporting on our Ethnicity Pay Gap
To help this year, we will be publishing our first ever Ethnicity Pay Gap Report. Reporting on our ethnicity pay data is not a statutory requirement – instead, we believe it’s an opportunity to understand where we can make improvements that live up to our values. It is one of the ways we can identify and investigate disparities in the average pay between white employees and black, Asian, mixed race and other ethnic minority groups in our workforce.
The report will be published later this year, and will come with an action plan to address any areas of improvement that are identified. At the same time, we are also working with an external agency to assess our sustainability as an organisation, including our approach to EDI and race quality.
The aim of projects such as these is to ensure that everyone at Change Grow Live already considers EDI in everything they do. By making these principles a golden thread through all of our work, we can ensure that we are welcoming, inclusive champions for the people we support.
Building a culture of inclusion
In line with our commitment to EDI, Black History Month holds a special place. However, it's essential to go beyond just the month and celebrate black women throughout the year. Intersectionality comes into play here, reminding us that our celebrations and efforts should encompass and uplift all women, recognizing the unique challenges they face.
Our staff, volunteers and the people who use our services can all play a part in helping us achieve these goals. Together, we can continue to promote an open and considerate culture where people feel able to express themselves freely, and to act against prejudice wherever they encounter it.
Share this story on social media