We commit to playing a leading role on diversity and inclusion, both within the organisation and across our membership.

Last updated: 16/02/2021

February 2021

Locality works in a diverse society where massive inequality exists, often perpetuated and sustained by in-built structural issues. The places in which our members work can offer connection, community and identity but can also be defined by division on areas such as sex, race, gender and ability.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are hugely important areas for our work if we are to achieve our vision of a fair society where every community thrives. Our strategic plan adopted in 2019 restates our ambitions and commitment for us to play a leading role on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Although we have made some progress in achieving this, we recognise that we still have a long way to go. Our board has committed us to being much more active in our approach to see real change. We will:

• Use our own lived experiences and ally with others to challenge all forms of discrimination to effect change – e.g. moving from a non-racist stance, to an anti-racist position

• Recognise our own power and privilege and challenge ourselves to be the best we can in everything we do

• Understand we do not have all the answers in all these areas, and that this area is constantly evolving. We commit to educating and challenging ourselves and working with others to do the same

• Make sure we lead by example in our internal practices and policies from staffing to how we plan and prioritise our work

• Use the influence we have with our members and others to build a fairer society.

June 2020

We have appointed Changeout, consultants in equality and diversity

We are working with Changeout, an equality, diversity and inclusion specialist, to look across our work and see where we can improve our diversity and inclusion practices to achieve better outcomes in these areas. This work is on-going, but we are looking forward to seeing the results of their review, findings and recommendations in the format of a structured action plan for us to work on and achieve.

Immediate actions we have taken

1. We have made our statement, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, public following the events in the US, and protests taking place globally and in the UK:

Locality’s core principle is a belief in the power of community to build a fairer society. One of the greatest barriers to this fairer society is racism, and a lack of action to tackle it in all its forms. The killing of George Floyd in the USA was horrific, and a manifestation of the racism that blights all countries, including here in the UK.

June 2020’s Public Health England report was a stark reminder of the way socioeconomic inequalities and structural racism translate into deadly health inequalities.

We do not have the answers, but we have a duty to educate ourselves and work with others to replace the current system that isn’t working for so many – to build a fairer society. We are committed to doing that through our activities and whatever influence we have with decision-makers and policymakers.

Across the community sector, we all need to challenge ourselves and ask whether we are tackling racism in our work? Are our systems set up in a way that tackles these injustices? We will be saying more in the coming weeks about how we are working to tackle inequalities and discrimination with a clear focus on race equality, and welcome input to help us do this. #BlackLivesMatter

2. We have revised policy calls to include more action to support BAME communities

• Our report, We Were Built for This, has policy calls for Government which focus on race inequality, with recommendations around co-designing funds with BAME-led organisations and ring-fencing 20% of new funding for BAME-led groups and those working with BAME communities.

3. We’ve agreed to support and sign up to sector campaigns and pledges:

• We have signed up to the Acevo principles to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership.

• We are fully endorsing the new report from Acevo and Voice for Change, Home Truths and will be working to ensure that we deliver against the recommendations for organisations.

• We have signed up to and are supporting the Young and Black campaign and will be encouraging members to promote this campaign to young people in their areas to give them an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

• We’ve pledged our commitment to dismantle racism in the charities and voluntary sector working collaboratively within the sector.

This is what we have done so far, but there is so much more to be done to address the many structural inequalities in our society. We will continue with this work and believe that the Power of Community is key to building a fairer society.