2020: Time for structural change and racial equity


The events of the past few weeks serve as a powerful reminder of the racial injustices in our society.

As leaders, at this time, we have a responsibility to engage in honest dialogue about working to dismantle structural racism and addressing issues of discrimination and inequality within our own organisations, communities and in wider society.

We want a fairer and more equitable world and we support the social changemakers who are speaking out and working to that end.

At the Social Enterprise Academy, we have started to have these conversations and reflect on how we can do better as individuals and as an organisation. Educating ourselves and learning more so we can understand more; considering how we can live our values in a more proactive way and looking at our organisation to identify where we can make effective changes.

We know that this may not always be comfortable, but being uncomfortable is how we can grow and have the meaningful conversations that will help to tackle systemic injustices that have no place in our society.

Like many organisations, we know that social change requires action not just words. As an initial step, our Leadership Team will be leading a review of where we are as an organisation. Engaging with and drawing on the experience of staff, facilitators, learners and those working on anti-racism and equality and diversity, we will identify areas for attention and what actions need to be taken.

Some areas already identified to focus on include ensuring that:

  • The set up and delivery of our learning programmes are fully inclusive and accessible, stress testing them through an anti-racism and discrimination lense
  • The content, theories and models used in our programmes reflect a wider range of culturally diverse global thinkers 
  • We engage with and learn from individuals and organisations locally and globally tackling systemic racism and injustice
  • We robustly monitor the demographics of our learners to ensure we are attracting learners that are more culturally representative of the communities we serve
  • Our recruitment practices and facilitator selection processes operate in a way that attracts and provides opportunities for more people from culturally diverse backgrounds

As we progress this work, we know that more actions are likely to become apparent – this will be an ongoing process for us. We are committed to reaching out, listening to and learning from our colleagues and communities who have lived experience of racial injustice.

As a learning and development organisation, we are also committed to sharing our learning from this experience with other organisations seeking to make their organisations more equitable and free from racial discrimination.

As individuals and organisations across all sectors speak out and pledge action against racism, we have a unique opportunity to do more to create a society that is rooted in equality of opportunity and equal access to power. A society that supports the social innovators of today and emerging leaders of tomorrow who are fuelled by the passion and the purpose required to drive change. A society that makes sure no one is left out or left behind.