Racism is still a thing? Asking the tough questions and facing the reality

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And yet again we are confronted with the reality of racism in society. The Board of Cricket Scotland has resigned in response to findings that the governance and leadership of the sport are institutionally racist. Cricket Scotland inquiry hears 448 examples of racism -BBC News 

The investigation ran for seven months and heard from almost 1,000 people. SportsScotland ordered the independent inquiry after numerous complaints were made from within the game. It found that those who did raise issues were ignored or side-lined and a culture of "racially aggravated micro-aggression" was allowed to develop, highlighting 448 examples. The scale of the findings will be shocking to some, but predictable to many - particularly people of colour who have spent any amount of time living in the U.K.  

We live in a country where racism is a reality that does not change, even with the best intentions of many. But the biggest challenge that we face in defeating racism is helping those who enjoy “white privilege” to understand what this really means and the barrier that it creates for meaningful change. The challenge is to make everyone in society aware that racism pervades all our experiences. To address this, the same solution is required that has always been required. To educate us all around what racism is and the impact that it has on us all. 

The question that I put to white people to try to help them appreciate what racism means is this: what’s it like to be a white person in the UK? Of course if I were to ask a person of colour what it’s like to be a person of colour in the UK, that person could speak for hours in response without the need for any thought or preparation.  

However, the hardest question for leaders who want to address racism is this: do I genuinely want to find out why there is under-representation in my organisation amongst people of colour? The leaders that are prepared to ask this question and to take action in response to the answers are part of the solution to addressing racism in the U.K.  

At byrne·dean, our Strategy and Training & Facilitation teams work with leaders to greatly reduce the chance of issues arising in the first place. But if things do go wrong, or you’re worried something might be bubbling under the surface, our Resolution team are experienced in conducting independent investigations into individual allegations and also into organisational culture. We rigorously apply fairness, balance and objectivity when assessing the facts and are always honest in delivering them.

Details of byrne·dean’s services and support we can provide can be found here.

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