BASW’s voices for Black History Month…and beyond
Pamela Shodeinde, member of the Black and Ethnic Minority Professionals Symposium
The idea of black history is important and should be a progressive discussion, however, I do not believe that black history month has done enough to promote the equality and liberation for Black people.
Black history cannot be limited to one month because our struggles did not start and end in October.
If we must liberate ourselves from the shackles of racism, we need to push for black history to be embedded within the educational curriculum for children and young people to be educated on what black history truly stands for.
There is a lack of recognition of black talent within organisations due to structural and societal norms that are set up to marginalise black people in the workplace.
One example that comes to mind is the lack of cultural competence in the workplace which fails to recognise the intersectionality of people beyond their skin colour.
Social work is no exception to this with racism being identified as a major factor in the lack of diversity in senior social work roles.
There should be a call to action to examine the current practices within social work that undermines the ethics and ethos of what underpins social work.
A push for an accountability procedure that holds organisations accountable on what is being done to progress black talent is required, as is a fair processes to deal with complaints raised about black staff or complaints made by black staff.
The last few months has been eventful to say the least, from the outbreak of the coronavirus and its disproportionate impact on Black and Asian communities, to the murder of George Floyd by police brutality.
More than ever before, the need to recognise and promote anti-racism has become very pertinent in our society.