Christian Aid CEO says report on racism in its organisation “makes for painful reading”

Christian Aid has pledged to take action to “tackle the reality of racism and inequality” in its organisation.

The move comes after the charity commissioned a report called Integrity and Collaboration that found there was a need to tackle a culture of “colour blindness and silence on race”.

The report also highlighted a need to involve the charity’s leadership on “tackling evidence of racism in the organisation”.

Action to be taken by Christian Aid includes the recruitment of a race and diversity lead to its leadership team.

The charity also pledges to increase oversight of race and diversity on its board and create “safe spaces for continued dialogue” around race issues.

There will also be race and diversity training for the board, directors and wider workforce.

The measures are part of a three-year race and diversity plan of action.

The charity’s report found that there was an “organisational culture in which Black, Asain and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff encountered racism at work and did not feel confident in the organisation’s willingness to name and challenge it”.

Other findings where a need for leadership to understand “the racial dynamics within the organisation, and is adequately equipped to address racial injustice”.

The charity also needs to strengthen its human resources policies around equity and data on racial equality within the organisation needs to be ramped up.

“The report makes for painful reading,” said Christian Aid chief executive Amanda Khozi Mukwashi.

“I am thankful to the staff who bravely shared their lived experiences in order that Christian Aid might do better. Christian Aid’s mission is rooted in the belief that every human being is made in the image of God and has innate dignity. And yet for these colleagues, it has not felt that way.

“We have raised our voices with conviction and stood in solidarity with marginalised communities from the time we were established. But the report has shown us that we cannot rely on our long history of fighting injustice elsewhere and ignore the longstanding issues of racial injustice that have made Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff feel less valued, for far too many years, in our own organisation.

“We must now do better. It will be tough all round. It will be difficult. But we must now take forward the commitment to rooting out the inequality and injustice within. We must begin the process of creating an environment where all staff can have a lived experience of our values of dignity, equality, justice and love.”

At the online Charity Times Leadership Conference this month diversity, inclusion and equity campaigner Martha Awojobi warned that most charity leaders have little understanding of the scale of work involved in tackling racism in their organisation

Also this month it emerged that more than 50 charities have signed up to the Show the Salary campaign to improve equity in charity sector recruitment.

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