Five directors resign from Pride in London board to make way for 'greater diversity'

22 Mar 2021 News

Five directors have resigned from the Pride in London board days after its entire advisory board quit amid allegations Black voices are ignored.

The directors who have resigned include both co-chairs Michael Salter-Church and Alison Camps, with immediate effect. 

Pride in London was founded by Salter-Church in 2012, and he was a prominent voice in the campaign for marriage equality. Camps initially joined Pride in London as marketing director.

A transitional board, composed of some of the existing members, will remain in place in an effort to guide the organisation forward over the coming months.

The position of interim co-chair will be taken by Chris Joell-Deshields, community engagement director. Another co-chair will be appointed in the coming days for an initial period of 12 weeks, to help manage the process of appointing permanent co-chairs.

The transitional board “will seek immediate engagement with key community stakeholders from minority groups to advise on the action plan that has been created in the last 48 hours to evolve the organisation to be better supporters of people of colour”.

A working group will be inviting community voices and leaders to round table conversations over the coming weeks to help shape Pride in London’s diversity and inclusion strategy and team, headed by a newly created role of diversity and inclusion director.

A statement from Pride in London reads: “In response to recent critical media coverage and feedback received from former volunteers and the LGBT+ community on the urgent need for Pride in London to create a more inclusive environment, which centres black volunteers, people of colour and other marginalised community groups, the London LGBT Community Pride CIC (“Pride in London”) board is announcing immediate and significant changes to its structure and leadership, to make necessary way for new voices and greater diversity.”

It adds: “Pride in London would not be possible without its extraordinary volunteers, and our departing directors have given of themselves tirelessly and selflessly.

"Leading an organisation as volunteers, on top of day jobs, relationship and family commitments, let alone in a pandemic, is not easy, and they have done the job with passion, humility and grace.

"Pride in London has changed for the better in so many ways from where it started to where it is now and although they would be the first to say that deeper change is now needed, they all leave with our thanks and admiration for what they have achieved.”

Pride in London says it is committed to “rebuilding the trust of minority communities which it knows is broken, but we hope not irreparably”. 

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