Christian Aid says it will address racism after report finds culture of ‘colour blindness’

21 Oct 2020 News

Christian Aid has promised to address racial injustice in the workplace, after Britain-based staff shared experiences of discrimination.

The charity commissioned a report, Integrity & Collaboration, which makes clear that it  needs to tackle the racism and inequality in its own organisation.

The report identified an organisational culture in which Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff encountered racism at work and did not feel confident in the organisation’s willingness to name and challenge it.

The report was carried out by Xtend (UK) Ltd, and involved interviews with Christian Aid staff in Britain. 

It found there was a need to ensure that the leadership of Christian Aid, at all levels, understands the racial dynamics within the organisation, and is adequately equipped to address racial injustice. 

A total of 69% of respondents considered that there was discrimination within Christian Aid in the UK, and 69% of the respondents considered that there was no strategic or leadership visibility in engaging with race equality and injustice in the UK.

The report also included a number of recommendations around tackling a culture of “colour blindness and silence on race”.

Steps ahead

Christian Aid said that a three-year race and diversity plan of action will be set out and implemented.

It has also outlined a series of interventions to ensure the charity tackles structural and systemic racism. 

The steps agreed upon include the recruitment of a race and diversity lead who will form part of the organisation’s leadership team, increased oversight of race and diversity within the board, the revision of policies and behavioural goals, the creation of safe spaces for continued dialogue, and regular race and diversity training for the board, directors and wider staff team.

‘The report makes for painful reading’

Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, chief executive of Christian Aid, said: “The report makes for painful reading. I am thankful to the staff who bravely shared their lived experiences in order that Christian Aid might do better. Christian Aid’s mission is rooted in the belief that every human being is made in the image of God and has innate dignity. And yet for these colleagues, it has not felt that way.

“We have raised our voices with conviction and stood in solidarity with marginalised communities from the time we were established. But the report has shown us that we cannot rely on our long history of fighting injustice elsewhere and ignore the longstanding issues of racial injustice that have made Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff feel less valued, for far too many years, in our own organisation. 

“We must now do better. It will be tough all round. It will be difficult. But we must now take forward the commitment to rooting out the inequality and injustice within. We must begin the process of creating an environment where all staff can have a lived experience of our values of dignity, equality, justice and love.”

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