Racism has no place in society. At LGBT Youth Scotland we take our responsibilities to tackle all forms of prejudice seriously and we aim to ensure that we are anti-racist in our practice and culture. As a starting point, we must listen and learn; acknowledge that racism is a significant problem within the LGBTI community and take meaningful steps towards change.
October is Black History Month. This provides us with a fantastic opportunity to recognise the outstanding contributions of people of African and Caribbean descent. During this month we aim to amplify and celebrate the voices of Black LGBTI people, both historical and contemporary, to reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement and the events of the last year and, importantly, to identify where we go from here.
Our Journey So Far
At the beginning of June, we made a commitment to educate ourselves and improve our practices, led by an internal Black Lives Matters (BLM) Working Group.
This was established to ensure that - internally - we have the knowledge and resources to support young people to explore and take action around BLM movement. That group has created methods of sharing team learning internally and developed online workshops for our youth groups that have been delivered across the country.
Learning and Reflecting
Our BLM Working Group has sought out books, films, articles and other resources from Black authors, journalists, documentary makers and influencers, sharing this library of resources with colleagues across the organisation. Our aim was to increase knowledge and understanding of Black people’s experiences to help improve our youth work and internal practices.
During this time, we have considered how to become a more welcoming service for Black LGBTI young people and a more inclusive organisation overall.
We will provide anti-racism training for the whole team, and we will continue to develop relationships with Black, Asian and ethnic minority LGBTI organisations.
Using our Platform
We have been sharing resources and amplifying the voices of Black people and, where possible, Black queer people. During Black History Month, we will share learning and amplify messages across our social networks. We'll also be encouraging staff to post about Black voices they admire or have had an impact on them.
This sharing will take place on our social media channels and on our internal communications platforms, and we encourage you to get in touch if there’s something you would like to see shared.
We have a long-term commitment to an Intersectional Working Group which will look at how we continue to improve the accessibility of our services. This will include consulting with young people, staff, volunteers, and external organisations.
We recognise that our staff team is not racially diverse. We commit to actively engaging with ethnic minority organisations to address this in our recruitment going forward.
We will continue to learn, reflect and proactively change our practices to create the best service we can for all LGBTI young people in Scotland.
- Dr Mhairi Crawford, Chief Executive.
We continue to deliver our services throughout the pandemic. If you would like support, check what’s available in your area and online.