It is with a heavy heart that we post this statement from all colleagues working here at the Co-operative College.        

Racism is with us every hour of every day, in every street, in every community, and in every organisation. It stalks every land and lives deeply entrenched within our societies and within us all, whether we are aware of it or not.

Yet it is often only extreme and well-publicised examples, in this case the murder of George Floyd, that brings home the fact that racism is a common experience for black people, and that it is a deep faultline in human society. There is no excuse for it. It is based on ignorance and hate, not hope. 

In the UK as the facts of the COVID crisis emerge, we see the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community which in turn, is closely linked to racism and inequality.

Racism takes many forms. This is yet another example of structural inequalities and how the two interconnect.  

As co-operators, we work and live to a set of global values and principles. This means that our message acknowledges the privilege and unconscious bias of those without the lived experience of black people.

However, it's a message that's underpinned by a commitment to equity and social justice and rooted  in solidarity. There's an eagerness to learn how to overcome the challenges of inequalities and racism so that we can end this stain on our society. Once and for all.

It's all of our responsibility to educate ourselves on things we don't know, don't understand, and perhaps most importantly, don't experience. 

We stand in solidarity with the victims of this injustice, their families and their communities. At the College we are committed to our values of equality, equity and solidarity. 

We do not simply make statements; we do the work. And we will continue to do more. 

A full staff meeting was held today to launch further discussions specifically on matters of race, how we do more, and improve upon the work we already do internationally and domestically to challenge racism and support those affected by it.

We're creating a list of resources that will include educational materials and a wide range of links to charities and emergency funds that work in this area. 

If you have any resources which you would like to share with us to add to this please get in touch below.

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To see what's been added so far view the stream below