New Bond guide to help aid charity staff tackle racism

Melanie May | 1 March 2023 | News

Cover of Bond anti-racism guide

Bond, the UK network of international development organisations, has launched a free online resource to help staff across aid charities tackle racism.

Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations is designed to be used by individuals and teams across all functions of an organisation, and urges all charity staff to share responsibility for making positive change.

The framework maps out how racism cuts across all areas of organisations in the sector, and aims to support staff in building anti-racist practices and working towards decolonising the sector. It shows how this is necessary for a fairer, more equitable and racially just sector, and demonstrates how and why an anti-racist approach must be embedded into any attempt to decolonise international development organisations. 

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Lena Bheeroo, Equity and Engagement Manager at Bond, said:  

“The issue of tackling and dismantling racism is a priority in our sector and within our organisations. This work must not solely sit with HR teams or with the CEO of an organisation. This framework was created by people of colour from across the sector and is designed to be used by all individuals working in development organisations and can be used to start a conversation about how to become actively anti-racist.”

The guide includes starter questions for CEOs and staff in other functions, including governance, HR and fundraising to ask themselves.

Questions for CEOs include ‘Have you taken time to recognise your positionality, power and privilege that you hold and what it means for you as a CEO?’, ‘How diverse is your senior management team?’ and ‘Do you feel comfortable talking about race and racism?’. For communications, fundraising and campaigns, questions include: ‘Where is decision-making for communications, fundraising and campaigns situated?​’, ‘Whose story is it? And whose image is it?’ and ‘What does success look like when evaluating a campaign? Are you missing a perspective?’.

Anti-racism and decolonising: a framework for organisations has been developed by Bond and the Bond’s People of Colour in Development working group, as well as multiple Black people and people of colour working across the UK charity sector.

The anti-racism and decolonising framework follows the release of the resource, Becoming locally led as an anti-racist practice which aims to support organisations to become locally led and decolonise the development system.

Leila Billing, of the People of Colour in Development working group, said: 

“Building anti-racist, anti-oppressive organisations requires us to light many fires: it asks us to take action at individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels. This framework supports you to do just that. It poses critical questions about how seemingly neutral organisational functions and systems may be perpetuating racial inequality. In opening up new pathways for action, it is a real gift for all individuals working in development organisations.”

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