After a year where many women and girls have felt unable to put their own needs first, This Girl...
Black Lives Matter – Active Partnership Network Working Together
It has been virtually impossible to ignore the conversations sparked by the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. For me, it has led to conversations at home and at work (virtually), making sense of what this means to me, to who we are, what we do and how we work as an organisation.
Following conversations within my team at Wesport, I wrote and shared a personal and organisational statement, which then led me to speak to a few colleagues – CEOs in other Active Partnerships (APs). This led to the establishment of a small group of 10 APs, who then worked on and sent a memorandum to our national team, board and shared with the network. It set out initial thoughts and principles for us to respond as a network to the issues raised by Black Lives Matter, here in England.
Around the same time, Sadie Mason (CEO, Active Sussex) and I took part in a podcast talking about our personal experiences, particularly related to our experiences in basketball.
As a network, our potential to respond collectively and positively to the inequalities that black people face in this country is significant. It has been rewarding to see the willingness of my colleagues to act… and to act together.
Through a number of meetings in the summer, the small group (now 12 AP CEOs) have been developing our thinking and ideas for moving forward and acting together on an issue of huge social importance. With the support of our small national AP team, we have developed a starting point to take us forward, building our ability to act on this issue, individually, as organisations and as a network.
Every AP CEO was invited to the first of 3 learning events, which took place on 5th October. The first session aimed to:
- Build awareness, create confidence and provide a safe space to learn and share
Two additional sessions will follow on:
- Identifying the commitment to what we want to achieve and the tools available to help to do so; and
- Agreeing actions at AP national , local and individual levels
We had some excellent insight from psychologist John Amaechi as our opening speaker at our first event – please look him up on twitter, Linkedin or google – he has been very active and vocal on this and related issues.
This is a beginning. It is time to start to make the changes that will lead to long-term changes in how this country deals with race. This is the time to use our influence, teams and networks to be part of the solution. We will be working together across the AP network to ensure Black Lives Matter.
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