The Daneford Trust has been following the development of national and international protests and responses relating to the Black Lives Matter movement since the murder of George Floyd In Minneapolis.
We are pleased to see the heightened awareness this has led to across the globe on matters of racism and discrimination. We also recognise that many companies, charities and local authorities have taken progressive and proactive steps to address these issues within their organisations.
We have been disappointed to date with the response of some of the world leaders in relation to this issue. In the UK we welcomed the expression of emotions and symbolism behind the taking down of the Colston statue in Bristol. However, we felt a sense of missed opportunity when the response from the government seemed largely to focus on a narrative about other statues and further reviews into institutional racism. We feel this focus is at the expense of proactively listening to the voices and demands of black communities.
The Daneford Trust was established in 1981 with anti-racism at the centre of its founding ethos. We work in a reciprocal manner with all of our partner countries and agencies seeking to impart knowledge and learn at the same time. Our young people both those leaving the UK to volunteer abroad and those coming here from one of the many countries we work with are the heartbeat of our work. We train and prepare these young people to go out and complete their projects with an open-minded approach that takes account of cultural differences. We work to ensure these young people develop an understanding of these differences that goes far beyond tolerance and deep into celebration. All of our young people must share their learning on return to their home country and we continue to support and mentor them to apply their learning in all aspects of their lives.
The Daneford Trust is proud of its multi-racial history and make up. However, we must and we want to do more. The Daneford Trust will:
- Establish a Black Lives Matter working group as part of our trustee programme. This will serve to review our work including the programmes detailed 2, 3, and 4 below, but also seek areas and avenues nationally and internationally where the voice and experience of The Daneford Trust should be heard.
- Run and facilitate a series of international virtual forums with each of our partner countries, these forums will seek to learn about and from each country’s response to Black Lives Matter.
- Ensure that the job remit of the new Trust Outreach Worker is guided by the need to work in an anti-racist manner and that access to the Trust’s services is proactively promoted and shared with London’s black communities. This was included in recent recruitment to the role.
- Make a call across our membership to contribute to the Daneford Trust’s Black Lives Matter Poetry, Short Story, Essay and Workshop/Training Materials Project, all of which will be printed in our next newsletter.
The Trustees, Founder and Alumni,
The Daneford Trust