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Black Lives Matter Protest in London 2016. Credit: Flickr / G Miessi

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Race / 28 Aug 2020

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The Media Takeover - Marcus Ryder, visiting professor in media diversity at Birmingham City University, Guest Editor

The Charity Takeover - Martha Awojobi, Organiser and Treasurer, #CharitySoWhite, Guest Editor

The Education Takeover - Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies, Birmingham City University Guest Editor

The Justice Takeover - Ife Thompson, Barrister and founder of Black Protest Legal Support UK, Guest Editor

Words from our contributors

Michael Etienne, barrister
Michael Etienne, barrister

“In reality, we, like many of those in marginalised communities, fight the discrimination we face because too often our lives depend on it. Ultimately, enduring change will only happen when those who benefit most from the privileges of our current structures are prepared to acknowledge and then relinquish them.”

Allison Munroe QC
Allison Munroe QC

“When structures and systems are not fit for purpose be that in education, policing, mental health provisions, access to employment opportunities etc; they have to be dismantled and root and branch changes made. That involves changing the mindset, rationale and motivating forces of organisations both internally and at a societal level.”

Ann Tayo, barrister
Ann Tayo, barrister

“Behind systems are individuals and individuals make value judgements. But if their thinking is skewed or imbalanced, their actions and decision-making will be too. Racism is a disease of the heart.”

Ife Thompson, Guest Editor - Justice (Founder of Black Protest Legal Support UK)
Ife Thompson, Guest Editor - Justice (Founder of Black Protest Legal Support UK)

"I would advocate that now is the time to outright create a movement in the UK that is centered on social and racial justice within the explicit idea of movement lawyering."

Professor Kehinde Andrews. Guest editor - Education. Birmingham City University
Professor Kehinde Andrews. Guest editor - Education. Birmingham City University

"The uncomfortable truth is that the rights we take for granted here are built on the principle that Black life does not matter."

Martha Awojobi, Guest Editor - The charity sector. Organiser and Treasurer, #CharitySoWhite
Martha Awojobi, Guest Editor - The charity sector. Organiser and Treasurer, #CharitySoWhite

"Good intentions do not give the charity sector immunity from the pervasive nature of systemic racism".

Marcus Ryder, Guest Editor - The media. Visiting professor, Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity
Marcus Ryder, Guest Editor - The media. Visiting professor, Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity

"Without a representative media not everyone’s human rights will be properly reported on & therefore protected. If we care about our human rights we must all fight for media diversity"

Zita Holbourne, co-founder & national chair of anti-racism campaign group Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC UK)
Zita Holbourne, co-founder & national chair of anti-racism campaign group Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC UK)

"The systemic racism we face has at its roots the legacies of colonialism and enslavement"

Miranda Grell, barrister at 10 King’s Bench Walk
Miranda Grell, barrister at 10 King’s Bench Walk

"The government is placing boulders and impediments and bureaucracy in the way of justice."

Abimbola Johnson, barrister, 25 Bedford Row
Abimbola Johnson, barrister, 25 Bedford Row

"The answer to the question of how we incorporate anti-racism in our work is not a simple one. It requires retraining, constant reading, and self-reflection but we should view it as essential work."

Sofia Akel, Specialist in race equality in higher education
Sofia Akel, Specialist in race equality in higher education

"If we don’t challenge the colonial roots of our education, we are ultimately breathing life into an ideological framework borne out of an empire steeped in blood. The task then, is for each of us to consciously and intently work to decolonise both our own minds and the institutions that uphold this."

Kadra Abdinasir, Head of Children and Young People's Mental Health, Centre for Mental Health
Kadra Abdinasir, Head of Children and Young People's Mental Health, Centre for Mental Health

Racism is a stress factor and must be recognised as such within mental health so that professionals can better understand its impact as a trigger for symptoms.

Ugo Ikokwu, Grants Manager, Trust for London
Ugo Ikokwu, Grants Manager, Trust for London

"My view is we have to create the market in a manner that works for black-led charities and social enterprises"

 Anne Alexander, Senior Political Producer, Good Morning Britain
Anne Alexander, Senior Political Producer, Good Morning Britain

"The fresh perspectives of people from different ethnic backgrounds, as well as different social backgrounds, are needed if we are to truly, fully reflect the concerns and interests of modern Britain".

Big Questions

Raphael Rowe

After serving 12 years in jail for a crime he has always maintained he did not commit, Rowe has forged an almost two-decade-long career as an investigative journalist. He currently presents Netflix’s documentary series Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons. There are few people who possess Rowe’s intimate knowledge and experience of life behind bars.

Read the full interview