Voscur recommits to being an anti-racist organisation

Image Credit: 
Brett Sayles, Pedels
7 March, 2022


In the aftermath of the ‘culture wars’ and the pandemic, both of which underlined the historic and continued structural inequalities and racism in our society and institutions, Voscur has recommitted to being an anti-racist organisation.

Creating a more equitable and inclusive society requires taking proactive, targeted steps and such positive action underpins all Voscur's work to support and develop the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

On the first of March NAVCA https://navca.org.uk/ (the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action of which Voscur is a member) launched their Anti-Racism Statement.

‘Anti-Racism is the practice of actively identifying and opposing racism. The goal of anti-racism is through working together to actively change policies, behaviours, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas, actions and structural racism.’

We have publicly committed to the anti-racist initiative by signing up to the statement’s principles, and as such we agree to: 

  1. Clarify the organisation’s stance and values: set clear expectations of what the organisation stands for and maintain zero-tolerance to racism. 
  2. Co-create a systemic approach for practical action by working across the organisation: scrutinise all operational processes, ways of working and people management policies. 
  3. Commit to sustained action through visible leadership and a willingness to change: sustained action needs a long-term plan, ongoing commitment, led with firm commitment from the top.  
  4. Critically appraise the organisation’s people management approach from end to end. 
  5. Connect our people by creating safe spaces, systems and times to talk, share experiences and learn from each other: ensure our plan is informed by employee voice, the VCSE sector, and bring in experts where necessary. 
  6. Communicate our messages consistently and ensure the conversation is two-way: leave the workforce and wider stakeholders, in no doubt about our key messages. Ensure they are reflected in people’s behaviour, in the organisation’s operations, and in the organisation’s interactions with stakeholders.

As well as scrutinizing and improving our own processes, we are playing a key role locally in encouraging others in the VCSE sector to do the same.

Since 2017, as part of their Commission for Race Equality, https://www.bristol.gov.uk/policies-plans-strategies/commission-for-race... Bristol City Council has been collecting data from the city's largest public sector employers, to monitor how organisations are changing (or trying to change) to be more representative of the city's population.

Last year was the first time that VCSE sector organisations have also been involved in submitting data.  Voscur managed the coordination and response process and we are delighted to report that we encouraged almost 2,000 people to take part. Accurate data is the foundation that will enable employers to identify any gaps in processes, build on strengths and address any shortcomings.

The data collection process begins again early next year, and we will work hard to encourage even more of our VCSE partners to get involved in order that benchmarking takes place and progress is monitored. For more information, please contact tom.burnett@voscur.org