This year’s events, including the murder of George Floyd in USA and subsequent global protesting, and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people of colour, has highlighted unprecedented levels of public attention on the continued existence of structural and systemic racism and bias. In response to this Barnet has committed to undertake the necessary steps to review how we can become a more inclusive employer (and Council) and a cross-cutting organisational Equality, and Diversity and Inclusion plan is being developed to set out our intentions and goals; alongside this, a series of training workshops have been delivered to the Council’s top 100 leaders and further learning and development is being planned.
Within Family Services, we have been consulting and reflecting on what we need to do to support a diverse and inclusive service, where all staff feel a sense a belonging and an opportunity to contribute to how we break down structural racism and bias. We have begun this journey by, initially, facilitating a series of staff conversations, establishing a strategic focus group of Race Equality Representatives from each service area and selecting an Equalities Lead. The group will represent staff and service user views, ideas, feedback and experiences. Participants will receive consultation and support to ensure they feel equipped to take on this crucial work. We have been developing the anti-racism strategy and action plan and each of us in all roles will be responsible for actively implementing.
As a starting point, we know that it can be uncomfortable or challenging to talk about race. We recognise that problems which cannot be named and discussed cannot be solved, as such we want to ensure all staff within the service are equipped to talk about race and anti-racism