The death of George Floyd, at the hands of the police, has brought to light the deep-rooted realities of systemic racism towards black communities around the world. We understand the pain and hurt this has caused, and we stand in solidarity with black communities.
Racism causes harm and breeds hate. Citizens Advice Redbridge exists to help people find justice by giving them the advice they need to respond to life challenges. Our social purpose is not being fulfilled if we do not challenge the way we work, how we behave and what we say and think.
We help people deal with the consequences of racism every day in our advice work. Our trustees, staff and volunteers have been deeply shocked by the events that led to the death of George Floyd, and similar events that led to the death or harm of too many others. It has given us cause to reflect.
This statement sets out our response.
We must ensure that we identify and avoid being complicit in racism ourselves in the provision of our services. Furthermore, we must ensure we take all possible measures to address and eradicate racism within our communities.
We think our service can do more to provide effective advice and support to victims of racism, and also take action to highlight its continued existence in our communities and society.
We want to be more accessible – we want more people to get the help they need from us. Whilst this is partly dependent on the resources we can attract as a small local charity, we know we can do more to open ourselves up to people who face racial discrimination and need our help to challenge it.
We want to communicate more effectively – we could do more to talk about discrimination and the harm it causes, and use our data and campaigning expertise to stand with those who find themselves affected.
We want to question our practice more frequently and more directly– we need to be more prepared to challenge our thinking, our words and the way we work, so that we avoid the trap of complacency in the face of big injustices.
To make all these improvements we will, as a first step, review our Equality and Diversity Action Plan so that you can be confident that tackling racism is not just an empty commitment but backed by tangible measures.
We want everyone to know that we take our responsibility seriously and if we fail in our mission and commitment then we want to know about it. To help us in our mission, we would like to hear from you as to how we can improve our services and deliver the advice our citizens need in the fight against racism.