Jules Sebelin, NCVS Head of Business Development & Deputy CEO, writes...
Although we have been busy the last few weeks with various campaigns to celebrate volunteers and charities (for Volunteers' Week and Small Charity Week) we have been closely following the global response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement catalysed by the callous murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer.
I have my own opinion and perspective as someone with dual US and British citizenship. However, there has been so much written and talked about by people with far more experience and knowledge that I don't feel it would be appropriate to express this here. In fact as a white woman in a relatively privileged position maybe it is time for me to mute myself and just listen while fully acknowledging that systemic racism exists.
Here at NCVS, we have been reflecting on our organisation to take stock of how we can better support Nottingham's BAME community groups and organisations to have their voices expressed at all levels. We understand that in order to do this we need to educate ourselves further. We want to provide a platform for you but we do not want to attempt to speak for you or on your behalf. We need your voices, your experiences and your expertise to be leading the conversations. We can facilitate discussions, host meetings, share your messages and concerns using our reach into the sector and beyond, but we need to know what you would find most helpful from us and what would provide the biggest impact. Ultimately we want you to challenge us to do better for you.
We are also reflecting on our own internal make up. We have some diversity across a number of protected characteristics but in no way do we reflect the diversity of Nottingham's ethnic population. I pledge, alongside our Trustees to examine why that is and to take steps to address it. This is a challenge for all of the charity sector, as inclusive and diverse as we like to believe we are. I would urge you to take a look at Charity So White, a campaign that started last year, long before the pandemic. Charity So White is a POC led campaign group seeking to tackle institutional racism in the charity sector, you can find out more about it here.
Please get in touch to share your experiences and ideas with us, we would really love to hear from you, call me on 07483 424 003 or email email@example.com