Please note that this blog post on #BlackLivesMatter predates our current website. We’ve left it here to show you BCM’s journey through the years. Please forgive any missing links at the foot of this article.
Birmingham Community Matters stands with the Black Lives Matter movement. The story of George Floyd is heartbreaking. The individual tragedy of his killing is the latest reminder that oppression and violence against black people has never gone away.
The world needs justice and change.
Birmingham Community Matters stands in solidarity with anti-racism protesters in America and here in the UK. And with those who are hurting or scared.
We live in a diverse, wonderful city, but we have a long way to go. Birmingham still experiences racism against black people, racism against Asian people (escalated when there have been terrorist incidents), racism against European people both from before and after the referendum. Lately it has seen racism against Chinese people because of Covid-19 fears. The list goes on, spanning cultures and communities.
And of course racism is not only about skin colour or religion or fear. It is not limited to hateful actions or words. Racism is far more complex – and insidious. It’s about ideas and structures, often unseen, that perpetuate inequality of power, white privilege, unconscious bias, and apathy.
To paraphrase Angela Davis, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.
Our charity is new and our team is small; definitely not as diverse as we’d like to be. But no-one is too small or too new to speak up. So here we set out BCM as an anti-racist organisation.
We will speak out against injustice, and continually teach ourselves to recognise it.
We ask others to call out racism in any form when they see it.
We will seek to amplify the voices of black people and people of colour in the community organisations we work with.
We will educate ourselves about ways to break down the social and political structures that allow racism to persist.
We accept that we won’t get everything right, but we are committed to doing better.
These are not pledges we can write down in a policy and tick off our list; rather they represent our ongoing, evolving commitments.
BCM will continue to work to strengthen our city by bringing together our communities.
Ideas for all . . .
Read and share this workbook from Dismantling Racism. It’s big, and worth tackling in stages. (Thank you to Meg Lightheart for making us aware of it in her newsletter.)
If you are able to donate money, here are 10 anti-racism organisations that would benefit from funding, including the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Stop Hate UK.
There are many valuable resources out there. We like this Twitter thread from @heygirldreamer, outlining ‘simple changes and small steps’ that everyone can take to further the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Here’s a great video from Politics JOE, delivered by Obioma Ugoala, for people who want to be allies to #BlackLivesMatter.