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Anti-racism: an update on our work

Fellowship News

We believe in a world where everyone is able to participate in creating a better future.

Racism has no place in such a world and, as such, the RSA is working to ensure that we are an actively anti-racist organisation in all we do. 

We promised in a statement last month to update you on the actions we are taking internally and through our Fellowship, following our Board meeting at the end of July. 

The RSA Board wholeheartedly endorsed steps that we are taking to do better.

An update on the current status of each commitment is below: 

Urgently address the lack of racial diversity in our governance and representative structures including our Trustee Board and Fellowship Council to ensure that it truly reflects the communities we collaborate with.  

Update: We have advertised and received 11 applications for our available Trustee role. Of the 11 applicants received, 10 identify as being from a BAME background. We are working with BAME Recruitment, the consultants assisting us with the selection process, and a member of their team will also participate in the interview process. We will continue working to ensure our Trustee Board is diverse, inclusive and equitable both in how we recruit, and support Trustees on an ongoing basis.  

Use specialist recruitment agencies to help us work towards recruiting a senior leadership team that truly reflects the communities we engage with 

Update: BAME Recruitment have also assisted us in the selection process for our latest senior management role.  The selection process is now complete and candidate interviews will be completed by (the beginning of) September. 

Ensure diversity of speakers and audience at our events

Update: Having collated recent speaker diversity figures (gender/ethnicity), our events team will continue monitoring and recording the proportion of BAME and female speakers participating in the programme on an ongoing annual basis, and actively work to ensure representative balance across our public platforms. 

Establish a representative advisory group that centres Black and minority ethnic experiences to assess our progress and challenge the Board and the Executive team(s) to go further

Update: Work is underway to review existing governance structures, create a Terms of Reference and identify the skillsets required for roles in this newly formed advisory group.  

Honestly and openly explore our history and relationship to colonialism and slavery and recognise the responsibilities of the RSA today and in the future. 

Update: Our historian in residence has been commissioned to write a long-read essay as a starting point. We are exploring the piece can provoke critical thought and conversation piece and how to ensure input from a range of voices, including historians whose ancestors were victims of the slave trade.  

Our diversity and inclusion audit is underway, being carried out by an independent collective of consultants: Vanessa Faloye, Priya Ghai and Alex Lyons. We will share an update on how findings and the resulting recommended actions can be integrated into our key performance indictors in due course.  

Further to the update above, we will share additional steps as they arise as our ongoing dialogue with staff, Fellows and partners continues and develops.   

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