One Team Gov stand against racism, and support the Black Lives Matter movement unequivocally.

A letter from some of the UK One Team Gov team to the rest of the movement around the world

After the unlawful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others, and the recent protests around the world, to date @OneTeamGov have been silent on these issues.

Until today we have not released a statement to show that we stand in support of all of our black colleagues and friends working across the public sector around the world.

For our silence, we are sorry.

We understand that it means a lot to people in our community to hear from us, and we didn’t act quickly enough to show our combined support. We know that many are struggling right now. We recognise that you carry the weight of systemic inequalities and injustices. We recognise that we each have a part to play in understanding and redesigning those systems. We know that our black colleagues are under huge stress, and we must support one another.

One Team Gov stand against racism, and support the Black Lives Matter movement unequivocally.

Black Lives Matter Logo

The events of the past two weeks have served to remind us that, although diversity and equality issues are a key part of our work as public servants, there are times when we need to mobilise our communities to achieve more.

Diversity has always been one of our core principles, and diversity takes sustained effort. As many of you know, One Team Gov is run by a small team of volunteers, never invited or selected but self-nominated individuals who like the principles and take them as inspiration to run events. We’ve never been a formal structure or had funding or remit. We’re taking time to consider whether this has meant that the resulting group is predominantly white people. Does our privilege play a part in our ability to participate and how do we open that opportunity to others?

Our fourth principle: Be Diverse and Inclusive, you can read all of our principles here: https://www.oneteamgov.uk/principles

One of our other principles is “Take Practical Action” so we wanted to call out three immediate steps we will take to redouble our efforts to be diverse and inclusive.

We commit to…

  1. update @OneTeamGovMicro to include specifically anti-racist actions that our community can take
  2. reserve space for colleagues to discuss diversity issues every week at our One Team Gov Wednesday UK breakfast by prompting attendees to reflect on what they have achieved to be anti-racist in the previous week. We call on other One Team Gov meet-ups around the world to do the same.
  3. reviewing our Diversity workstream. Next week our Wednesday UK breakfast club will use Generative Decision Making to help us answer the question “How can we make One Team Gov meet-ups more diverse?”
Our second principle: Take Practical Action, you can read all of our principles here: https://www.oneteamgov.uk/principles

We know there is more we can do. We know we won’t get this right first time. But we collectively promise to learn, change and share what works.

A “Becoming Anti-racist” diagram created by https://twitter.com/AndrewMIbrahim

If you would like to join our weekly UK breakfast calls contact James Cattell on Twitter.

And the below thread provides details of what you can expect if you join us. when we say everyone is welcome, we really do mean that everybody is welcome.

Our colleagues in Canada will also be holding an event on Monday 15 June to discuss anti-racism.

If you would like to send us your feedback about this post or provide your thoughts and ideas about how we can do more, please contact us on Twitter, or through the comments below.

A photo taken at One Team Gov Global in July 2018. People stand on stage and in the background a slide deck reads “Please, Keep in touch, Write blogposts (with###), Make the world better”
A photo of a label written by an attendee at Wellbeing Camp in Leeds 2019, it reads “Inclusion is for everyone, there is courage in vulnerability”

Update on Saturday 13 June 2020: Thanks to constructive criticism we received yesterday, we’ve read Mireille Cassandra Harper’s “10 steps to non-optical allyship”. Step 7 reads, “Do not to centre this narrative around yourself”. We understand, agree and promise to keep learning.

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