Recently we have seen international, national and local protests against the structural and systemic inequality which led to the loss of another black life, George Floyd.
The conscious and unconscious bias which underpins privilege and power and is insensitive to the world experienced by others is rightfully being challenged.
People of all ages but particularly young people are saying enough is enough, expressed in the heart-rending cry of ‘I can’t breathe’.
At the same time, reports published by Public Health England show that those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 with higher death rates.
Homelessness disproportionately affects young people from BAME communities reflecting wider socio-economic inequalities.
St Basils has a proud track record of challenging the systemic inequities and providing a voice for young people as well as an investment in a better future. As young people have said to us consistently, ‘Believe in us and support us to achieve’.
One of our key principles to work by is ‘Strength and Unity through Diversity’
‘Our diversity is our strength and we are united in our purpose through a collective framework of principles and priorities. Like the pieces in a Jigsaw, we are all different but only by fitting together, is the whole picture complete. We believe that our different experiences, skills and heritage better enable us collectively to respond to the individual needs and experiences of the young people who come to us.
We have an opportunity to reflect, to listen to the experiences of others, to facilitate discussion with colleagues, stakeholders and young people and to understand what this unprecedented time has been like for each of us. To listen without judgement to what we need to take from this to make things better for all.
We stand in solidarity with colleagues and young people who challenge racism and inequality and ask that this is done in a safe way. This unprecedented period has shown that we can do things differently. We can make the future better, more human and more equitable. We must grasp that opportunity.
Jean Templeton, Chief Executive of St Basils