25th May 2022
Active Sussex’s ongoing commitment to oppose racism as we mark the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd
Wednesday 25th May will be the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Two years ago the Active Partnership Network came together, to unequivocally stand in solidarity in response to the shocking event in 2020.
As an Active Partnership network we recognised we must do much more to address racism and racial inequalities within sport and physical activity. The network worked together as a learning community in order to build a more in depth understanding of the issue in our communities and to agree tangible actions to make a difference at national and local levels. As a result of this learning, we collectively launched a commitment to tackling racism and racial inequality.
Two years on we want to reaffirm our commitment to being an anti-racist organisations and proactively tackling the racial inequalities that prevent or discourage people from leading active lives and enjoying the benefits of sport and physical activity, whether as participants, volunteers or by working in the sector.
Reflecting on the anniversary, Sadie Mason (MBE), CEO Active Sussex said: “Unfortunately, I can attest to the many instances where the colour of my skin has affected my participation in sport and prejudiced my career opportunities, so it’s absolutely important (no matter how unpalatable) to speak about and commemorate instances of racial injustice, and together we must continually work to bring about an end to discrimination in the sector and wider society. Let’s all just do the right thing and be kind.”
Over the last year the Active Partnership Network has focused on the 6 key areas from the Racial Equality Commitment and we have put our own plans in place working alongside local partners and communities. We have spent time looking internally around our own practices, recognising our weaknesses and how we lead by example to support our partners to learn alongside us.
We know that shifting the dial towards eventual anti-racist and non-discriminatory behavior in sport will take time, but progress is being made.
“Active Sussex staff and trustees are committed to continually reviewing how as an organisation and individually, we can work together to tackle discrimination of any kind. The Trusts newly formed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering group will ensure we have the appropriate resources and processes to listen, both internally and externally and to check and challenge the Trust’s accountability around its plans.” Alex White, Active Sussex Trustee & Board Equality Lead.
Our work since the launch of the commitment
Active Sussex is working at multiple levels, i.e. personal, as a staff team and as a wider organisation, to lead the way where we can in Sussex.
Strong Diverse Leadership
The CEO is a member of the national Active Partnership steering group on Tackling Racism, and has herself delivered a keynote on experience as a black person in sport and society to peers.
EDI Steering group
Creation of an internal Equality, Diversity & Inclusion steering group to ensure an appropriate processes to listen, (internally and externally) and to check and challenge the Trust’s accountability.
Staff voice & ideas
Ongoing mechanism for all staff to provide their thoughts (anonymously if they wish) around Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, both within the workplace and our approach with external partners and work.
Equality Audit - Culture check
As part of the Trusts Annual Equality Audit, additional questions have been added to sensor check the organisations inclusive culture, both from the staff and board perspectives.
Prioritised funding to support Black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities across Sussex with a particular focus on areas with higher numbers through our Tackling Inequalities/Together Fund.
The adoption of recruitment platform to remove the possibility of unconscious bias coming into our recruitment process. It also uses data to further improve the process.
Diversifying the Workforce
Developing a more ethnically diverse physical activity workforce by identifying key individuals to become role models, such as Project 500 Champion Danielle Lewis-Collins.
Community of Learning
Session to connect and learn as part of our Active Sussex Network - Let’s Talk Equality and Take Action (Sept 21) and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 'How are Active Sussex taking action?' (Mar 22)
Raising the profile of dedicated volunteers working with underrepresented communities, such as Semeena Khan - Sussex Sports Awards 2012 Volunteer of the Year and TGC Sussex Champion.
Investing in projects engaging with ethnically diverse children and young people such as, the Futsal Stars Foundation that delivered a Futsal and football Holiday Camp in Newhaven.
Training & Development
Participating in the one-year Leading for Renewal Programme open to Sport England funded partners, to support the aspirations of Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy.