Statement: Racism is unacceptable
Published: 12 Jun 2020
Racism is unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with those in the fight against racism and with our Fellows from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. We aim to do all in our power to combat racism and promote diversity and inclusion.
We understand that there are structural inequalities and injustices in society. We recognise that issues affecting people from BAME backgrounds have not received equal investment and support.
As a funding organisation, we promote equality, diversity and inclusion through our Fellowships. These embrace all groups and issues in society, and prioritise people and projects from under-represented and under-funded groups. Our commitment to equality and diversity can be read here.
In the past five years, 15% of our Fellows have come from BAME communities. This year 24% of our funding on Covid-19 went to projects led by Fellows from BAME backgrounds. Over the years we have funded many campaigners on BAME issues and we are proud of their achievements.
There is more for us to do, in order to live out our values. We are working to ensure that our activities, structures and processes are fully inclusive and reflect society today.
Our Fellowship was set up after the death of Sir Winston Churchill, in memory of his wartime leadership. It reflected a nation’s gratitude and was funded by public donations. The original purpose was to provide international learning for ordinary citizens, a mission that we continue.
Today there is controversy about aspects of Sir Winston’s life. Many of his views on race are widely seen as unacceptable today, a view that we share. At the same time, he is internationally admired for his wartime leadership in saving Britain and the world from Nazism. We acknowledge the many issues and complexities involved on all sides, but do not accept racism of any kind.
As a forward-looking charity aiming to improve lives throughout the UK, what we take from Sir Winston’s example are values for the future: global learning, public service and, above all, a belief in the potential of all individuals.
We are hugely proud of all of our Fellows and the important work they do across all aspects of life and community in the UK.