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Our new director of people, culture and inclusion, Woosh Raza, shares his reflections during Race Equality Week.
The theme for this year's Race Equality Week is #ItsEveryonesBusiness. As I reflect on this theme, my mind takes me to a conversation I was having with our chief executive, Sarah Vibert, ahead of joining NCVO this week.
The tragic death of Tyre Nichols was weighing heavy on my heart as I am sure it has for many people of colour across the globe. After chatting through my concerns with Sarah, on the evening of joining, I was struck with the compassion that I received, and the solidarity I felt from her. The next day I noticed a company-wide communication go out to all staff from Sarah offering strength and solidarity and offering space for people to process this traumatic event. At that moment, I felt seen and heard.
And so, I can’t help but reflect on the fact that addressing racial inequality is everyone’s business. Breaking through the silence is key to tackling change.
In the wise words of Desmond Tutu:
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor
Finding my voice in this world hasn’t been easy, but I know my words matter, and I use them now more than ever to advocate for and champion my communities in all that I do. In fact, it’s a key reason I have joined NCVO. The platform our organisation gives us can make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of so many people in a sector that has historically been ravaged by white saviour complex. I am delighted to be joining an organisation in which I feel seen and heard.
But we know we have a way to go at NCVO and that race equality is everyone’s business. So, we are going to be taking some deliberate and intentional steps in the coming months to build on our efforts to become an anti-racist organisation. This will mean as an organisation there will be a period of listening, learning and building a shared vision. This is predicated on the notion that to truly move the dial, both within NCVO and across our sector, race equality is everyone’s business.
From being an ally, educating ourselves together, holding space together, grieving together, celebrating together, challenging each other, nurturing psychological safety together, instilling a culture of accountability together, healing together. It's everyone’s business. I pray it's yours too.
NCVO's chief executive Sarah Vibert reflects on the outcomes of independent investigations into complaints submitted to NCVO's board of trustees