Black Lives Matter – statement in solidarity
Date posted: 5 June 2020
Wilsons joins those across the world in protest against the racist murder of George Floyd. We stand in solidarity with our Black and ethnic minority clients and colleagues and renew our commitment to challenging racism and discrimination wherever we find it.
We’re proud of the work we do at Wilsons alongside colleagues across the sector: securing the rights of migrants in the UK, holding authority to account and challenging discrimination. We, alongside many others, seek justice for people detained, separated from their families, unable to live without fear for many years because of a racist immigration system. It is a privilege to represent these clients and to play a small part in their journeys. We keep fighting with them, in hope of a better and fairer world.
This week however is yet another devastating reminder that systemic racism continues here in the UK and across the world. It’s a reminder of the systemic racism which has resulted here in the UK in recent years in the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell Tower disaster, the hostile environment and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minoritised communities, among other atrocities. A reminder of the systemic racism which continues to permit and normalise state violence, particularly against Black people such as George Floyd. We know that the impact of these events and the structures which cause them is amplified for our Black and ethnic minority clients and colleagues, and we stand alongside them.
This week has also been another reminder that we all can and should do more, collectively and individually, within our formal work and beyond, to challenge and dismantle these racist structures around us. We understand that the responsibility is on us all – and particularly on those of us in positions of authority – to learn more, to listen actively, and to take action where we can to counter racism and its impact. We understand the importance of white colleagues across the sector stepping up as active and meaningful allies, learning more, listening better to Black and other minoritised voices, and speaking out and taking action when needed, using privilege when others cannot, making sure conversations and actions centre on those most affected.
We know that many others are doing this work, and that only in our collective struggle can we effect meaningful change. We encourage readers to donate to and support the Black Lives Matter movement here, and to support other organisations working for racial justice in the UK in the links below, as well as others. As another first step we have posted below some links for further reading and anti-racist work.
We will be reviewing our Equality and Diversity policy and our Training Plan to ensure that we are addressing the issues in the workplace including anti-racism training for managers of people.
We have made a donation to the Stephen Lawrence Trust to fund one student on the Building Futures Programme with a mentor for one year and a donation to the Inderpal Rahal Memorial Trust which gives grants to enable women from an immigrant or refugee background to further their legal education.
We continue to believe in justice for all, and renew our commitment to working towards it together.
10 anti-racism charities in the UK to donate to
Progressives Everywhere (bail fund for protestors arrested in the US)
Split donations between bail funds, mutual aid funds and racial justice organisers (in the US)
Further reading and action
Alex Reads reading list (on Instagram)
Petition to update national curriculum to teach children about the racism and the British empire and history