The Jo Cox Foundation wants to speed up the pace of change for a fairer, anti-racist, inclusive society.
At the heart of our work is Jo’s belief that we have more in common than that which divides us. Jo recognised that the needs and desires we share as human beings provide common ground and a basis for mutual understanding and connection. Too often our politics and society emphasises our differences rather than our commonality. We believe that helping people to recognise that commonality allows us to feel more connected, build empathy and increase trust. It also builds understanding of the stark inequalities that many groups face within our society and strengthens the collective will to take action.
As we seek to bring about change across all three of our workstreams, we must acknowledge and tackle these inequalities. Being an anti-racist organisation is crucial in order to do this effectively. Racism plays a part in many of the problems we seek to address, including divided communities and the abuse and intimidation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic MPs.
We recognise that there can be many forms of diversity. While specifically recognising the ten protected characteristics, we also acknowledge that diversity goes beyond these and can comprise other differences. This includes those that may not be obvious when first meeting someone, such as socio-economic background, caring responsibilities, and neurodiversity. We also recognise that everyone’s experience is unique and complex.
We commit to change both through our organisational structures and staff, and through our programmes.
As a Board and as a staff team, we commit to:
- Explicitly adopting a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination throughout the organisation.
- An ongoing culture of learning, development and discussion for all staff and Trustees on issues of anti-racism and discrimination.
- On-going commitment to an inclusive recruitment process.
- Ensuring our Board has members with a diversity of backgrounds and lived experience.
- When we are asked to join coalitions or speak at events, ask the question ‘who isn’t at the table that should be?’ and take steps to get them there.
We know that we’re not at the end of a process, and are committed to continuing the journey that we have started on. We will continue to reflect on the commitments that we have made, measure progress against them and challenge ourselves to more ambitious future goals.