Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon
In light of the Covid-19 virus, and the impact it has had on Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, this report shows us that effectively inclusion is a choice. A choice that we have collectively failed to make for too long.
In light of the Covid-19 virus, and the impact it has had on Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, this report shows us that effectively inclusion is a choice. A choice that we have collectively failed to make for too long. But a choice that can bring profound and long-lasting benefits. The stories in this report show us that inclusion does not have to be viewed as a source of anxiety, or as a drain on our time or resources. Inclusion is something that can help to create more equitable outcomes for all of us – individually, within our organisations, and within our communities.
Ever since my son Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993, I have fought for justice. I have faced extraordinary challenges that should never have existed, but did. Whilst some progress has been made in the intervening years, 2020 has reminded us that the wider struggle for equality is nowhere near done. I often feel that I am having the same conversations now as I was 5, 10, or 25 years ago. Conversations about the need to understand each other better. Conversations about the importance of education and equal opportunity. Conversations about undoing all of the racial injustice and prejudice that continues to exist in our systems. The growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, in response to the murder of George Floyd, has increased awareness and intention. Now is the time to make good on that.
This year I was asked to lead the Labour Party’s review into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on those from Black and Asian minority ethnic groups in the UK. Stephen Frost, Nick Basannavar and the Included team have contributed to the review, and I have had the chance to understand the work they do and the experiences they have had. Whether it is Wellcome creating more equitable medical research cultures by embedding diversity and inclusion in their thinking, or the Bank of England taking action to improve the experiences of minority staff, the stories in this report reveal to us the benefits of inclusion.
After everything that I have seen and experienced over the last 27 years, we still have a long way to go. But there is hope. Hope that has been re-sparked by the energy, intention, and passion for change that so many have demonstrated in the face of adversity in 2020. I believe that the first impact report from Included paints a picture of what can be achieved with that energy, and reveals a path to better cultures, better systems, and better outcomes. For all of us.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE December 2020
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