The Jo Cox Foundation wants to speed up the pace of change for a fairer, anti-racist, inclusive society.
For many people around the world, the summer of 2020 brought to light the need to develop a greater understanding of, and support for, anti-racist action. Since then people around the world have acknowledged the need to reflect on their own behaviour and actions, and to work together to ensure a fundamental shift occurs to look towards a future that is more equal for all. At the Jo Cox Foundation, we’ve spent time reflecting on some of the essential elements of our work, understanding where we may have made assumptions or not considered things fully enough, and thought about what we can do in the future.
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. We believe that helping people to recognise this common ground allows them to feel more connected, which provides a basis for increasing understanding of the stark inequalities that some groups face within our society and strengthens the collective sense of urgency to take action. In this way, showing that we have more in common and tackling inequalities go hand in hand.
For us to fully achieve our vision of a kinder, more compassionate society where every individual has a sense of belonging, 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.
During 2021, the full Jo Cox Foundation staff team, joined by a representative from the Board of Trustees, undertook anti-racism training. As an organisation we have made solid steps in this work, but we know that there is much more to do, and we, as a Board and as a staff team, 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 increasing the diversity of our staff team, including dedicating resources to widen the channels on which we advertise any vacancies, and continued learning about how we can improve our recruitment process.
- Ensuring our Board has members with a diversity of backgrounds and lived experience.
- Continuing to explore what 'More in Common' means in an anti-racist context.
- When we are asked to join coalitions or speak at events, ask the question ‘who isn’t at the table that should be?’ and taking 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.