Our commitment to equality and diversity
Black Lives Matter and our commitment to change.
At Blood Cancer UK we have been reflecting. We know that we stand for a world where no-one dies of their blood cancer. Following the global outpouring of grief and anger that has swept the world, we have paused to ask ourselves – ‘why haven’t we done more to ensure we stand with everyone who has blood cancer?’
The powerful, raw action of the Black Lives Matter movement has once again brought to the surface a level of injustice and inequality that is often overlooked, ignored and denied. The high number of Black and Minority Ethnic deaths from COVID-19, the death of Belly Mujinga and the violent murder of George Floyd have made this very painfully and explicitly clear.
We operate within this system of structural inequality and by not doing enough to redress the balance we have been complicit in perpetuating these problems. We cannot beat blood cancer if we aren’t doing our part to beat the inequalities that exist in our health systems and within our own organisation. We cannot support all people with blood cancer if we separate our core purpose from the inequality and racism problems that plague our society.
It is an inescapable fact that systemic inequality and racism impacts the lives and wellbeing of Black and Minority Ethnic people. We will no longer remain silent and we will not ignore our role or responsibility. As a charity focused on beating blood cancer, we are not immune from these issues nor can we remove ourselves from them.
We know that we have a long way to go as an organisation, but we are all completely committed to making this change as we wish to be judged by our actions and not our words.
It is not enough to "not be racist,", which is why we are committed to becoming a better organisation and an anti-racist organisation that fully represents the community of people affected by blood cancer.
We wanted to take a moment to share our plans with you.
- We are an organisation with a majority white staff. We recognise the lack of diversity across our power structures, staff and volunteer teams. We know that if we are going to be successful in our mission, we need to improve our organisational diversity and inclusion. We are currently developing our action plan to fundamentally change this and significantly improve our recruitment and retention levels of Black and Minority Ethnic staff and volunteers.
- In our journey to becoming a charity that meaningfully and effectively engages Black and Minority Ethnic people, marginalised or seldom heard communities we are committing to becoming an ally. This will involve the development of partnerships with Black and Minority Ethnic groups and organisations, building trust with communities, improving our connection to diverse networks and improving engagement and consultation with Black and Minority Ethnic people to achieve our aim of becoming authentic, community led, responsible and informed.
- We will use our social media, website and other platforms to amplify Black and Minority Ethnic voices and community agendas. We will demonstrate that Blood Cancer UK is a space for everyone and turn the volume up on Black and Minority Ethnic voices and experience within the blood cancer community.
- We will proactively use our voice to highlight inequality in policy and healthcare environments. Wherever we are able, we will campaign on issues that disproportionately affect Black and Minority Ethnic communities - such as improved access to treatment and care for Black and Minority Ethnic people with blood cancer
- Through our research programmes we will work to significantly improve ED&I. We will fund and highlight research and clinical trials that include Black and Minority Ethnic people living with blood cancer. We will also do more to improve the diversity within the research community we fund, as well as amplifying the voices of Black and Minority Ethnic scientific communicators. We are also working to understand the part we can play as a research funder in unrooting racist inequalities in scientific research, both historic and current.
Our core values as an organisation are to be united as a family, stand in each other’s shoes, strive for results and make our knowledge count. By taking action and being vocal in our opposition to racism in all of its forms, we hope to be able to live up to these values.
Finally, we at Blood Cancer UK want to make it really clear.
Black lives matter and they have always mattered.
We are sorry that we have not done enough and we are going to do better.