Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) round-up: July 2020

Welcome to the first of our EDI round-ups. Members of our internal EDI working group are going to take turns to share what we’ve been reading and thinking about over the last month or so. Although the working group has been active for over a year, we feel as though we’re very early in our journey. We’re hoping to share things that’ve made us think, or expert pieces that’ve helped us learn. 

Home Truths: Voice4Change and ACEVO report 

In June 2020, Voice4Change and ACEVO released the report: Home Truths: Undoing racism in the charity sector. The report centres over 500 BAME people who shared their experiences of racism in the sector and what they thought needed to change.

The online survey of BAME people in the charity sector showed, in the words of the report, ‘racism was a significant feature of their charity life.’ Over two-thirds of respondents had experienced, witnessed or heard stories about racism from their time in the sector. 

The report calls out the harm caused to BAME people by racism and discrimination. As well as the tendency of leaders and system-shapers to see racism ‘in abstract terms, rather than as a set of arrangements they can challenge and undo.’  

Almost a month on, the news cycle has moved on, but racism still exists and harm is still experienced by BAME members of voluntary staff. Undoing racism, as the report says, requires long-term concerted effort across the sector. Our own EDI journey has shown how difficult this work is and how important it remains. 

You can read the executive summary and the full report hosted on ACEVO’s website, and responses from NCVO’s BAME network and EDI working group. You can also read the lead writer Sanjiv Lingayah’s reflections one month on. 

The impact of coronavirus on Disabled people

Inclusion London launched its interim report: Abandoned, forgotten and ignored based on responses to its Social Care survey about the impact of coronavirus on Disabled people. The report paints a stark picture of how Disabled people have been further marginalised by policy responses to the pandemic, which have at best ignored their needs and at worst further eroded their rights.

The pandemic has exposed so many of the structural inequalities the voluntary sector seeks to address, including the systemic marginalisation faced by Disabled people. 

The report points out Disabled people are not inherently vulnerable, but they’re made vulnerable by government policies and lack of support. It illustrates how disability impacts diverse groups of people, who’ll face further marginalisation and exclusion.

It also shows how vital it is that Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) and Disabled people themselves are involved in developing and planning policies that affect them at a local, regional and national level. Only in this way can Disabled people’s rights be truly considered and help remove the structural barriers they face in their daily lives. 

Updated EDI content on Knowhow

We’ve made some small additions to our Knowhow guidance. We now have the following pages:   

The EDI working group helped the project team to decide what content to add now and what to revisit later and provided ongoing feedback throughout the process. Later in the year we’ll return to the content and carry out some in-depth research to find out what resources and guidance are most needed. 

This will act as a further opportunity to provide organisations with practical tools and guidance to actively work towards a sector that values and embodies equity, diversity and inclusion principles. 

In the news and blogs 


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