As part of The Cares Family, Liverpool Cares’ mission is to help people find connection and community in a disconnected age – by reducing loneliness and isolation; deepening belonging, purpose and power; and bringing people together to bridge the gaps across social, generational, digital, cultural and attitudinal divides.
We cannot achieve those objectives without being an anti-racist organisation. That means we are committed to tackling racism wherever it occurs in our organisation, and to supporting the end of systemic racism in our communities and wider society. We recognise that our own policies and processes, built over nine years since we started The Cares Family, have not done nearly enough to proactively root out racism both in our own work and in our broader communities – and that, in fact, they are likely to have upheld the injustices and inequities, and the systems of oppression, that occur within and beyond our charities.
We believe that this is a fight for everyone.
That’s why, starting in June 2020 – and in response to the murder of George Floyd and so many other racial injustices in the US, the UK and around the world; the terrible impact of Covid-19 on Black people, people of colour and people from other ethnic minorities, which reveals again the health inequalities in our systems and cultures; and the inspirational leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement – The Cares Family is taking concrete action to make real our commitment to our values, and to help contribute to an awakening and sustained change in our communities.
Firstly, we want to own that we are part of the problem. For an organisation whose mission is to build community and connection, and to do so across perceived differences, we have not always had the courage of our convictions when it comes to racism. Yes, we have always had a commitment to equal opportunity and in the last two years we have instigated a diversity initiative. But trying to be equal, or attempting to be diverse, is not the same thing as being pro-actively anti-racist, and a piecemeal approach cannot solve rooted systemic injustices built up over centuries and hardwired into economies and cultures.
Our blind spots and our inactivity have led to failings. In our programmes and in our staff teams, we haven’t challenged racism everywhere it has occurred, for fear of upsetting people or overreaching on our charitable objectives. We haven’t protected colleagues enough when they have been confronted with racism in their jobs. We haven’t acted quickly enough to find space for Black and other ethnic minority leadership in our staff or board teams. In neglecting to do these things, we haven’t built a culture that is safe for everyone to work in and to thrive in. Instead, we have acted timidly in the hope that, ultimately, people might change.
But hope is not a strategy and change doesn’t happen without action.
Now, we are setting out on an altogether different approach – to be proudly anti-racist in everything we do – so that we can be part of the solution, and no longer part of the problem. To start out on that journey, since the start of June, we have:
The progress we make through this action will not happen quickly, nor will this work alone be sufficient. We know the path towards progress is not a straight line, and more people will continue to feel the trauma of racism every day, everywhere. But by educating ourselves and providing space for our communities to learn; by being accountable for our own actions as an organisation; and by speaking out when we see racial injustice, we can make a significant difference.
We are committed to holding ourselves to account on this agenda, so will regularly share the work we are doing, and the tools we find most helpful, to support others in their anti-racism work too. In the meantime, we’re grateful to all our partners and supporters for helping to build community and connection in disconnecting times and – relationship by relationship – helping to re-make the world as it should be.
We're proud to work in Liverpool, where there are a lot of brilliant organisations tackling racism and supporting those experiencing hate crimes, and we want to highlight some of those important organisations here. If you know of any other organisations you'd like to see included on this list then please get in touch.
The Anthony Walker Foundation is a registered charity established by Anthony’s family after his racially motivated murder in 2005. The Anthony Walker Foundation works to tackle racism, hate crime and discrimination by providing educational opportunities, victim support services and by promoting equity and inclusion for all. The Foundation aims to respond to hate crimes through their victim support services whilst working toward a better future through their educational work. If you have been the victim of a hate crime, you can report it anonymously on their website.
Mary Seacole House was set up to provide support to local, primarily BAMER communities, who are experiencing mental illness. They are based out of Toxteth, however they offer their services to individuals from across Merseyside. Mary Seacole House is a place where people with diverse social and cultural backgrounds can come together in a non-oppressive environment. Staff offer support, advice and guidance in both practical and emotional matters, and the organisation endeavours to address the needs of culturally diverse communities within Merseyside by providing a community based service.
Spark & Co is a Community Interest Company that provides education, information and connection for people in the UK disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
Runnymede is the UK's leading independent race equality think tank. They generate intelligence to challenge race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate, and policy engagement.
The Goddess Projects is a local organisation whose mission is to empower, inspire and assist Black women and women of colour to develop and achieve within their communities. You can also follow them on twitter and instagram.