Leesland C of E Federation Anti-Racism Statement
There has been much in the press and on social media recently about the #BlackLivesMatter movement both in the USA, across the world and here in the UK. We are aware that some of you will be having discussions with your families and friends about what is happening at the moment.
You might like to watch these clips:
We are appalled by the death of George Floyd and the manner in which his life was taken. We are also aware that this is not an isolated incident, and that everyday people are living in fear because of the colour of their skin, their race, their heritage and their circumstances.
At Leesland C of E Federation, we fully support everyone’s right to be safe, valued and accepted as equals in society. Because of the historic inequality and oppression of people from the BAME community, we agree that ‘Black Lives Matter’ is the correct slogan. Whilst it’s true that everyone must be valued in our community and across society, stating ‘all lives matter’ can be deemed as counterproductive and even offensive. The ‘house on fire’ analogy at the bottom of the page explains this well.
Our Leesland community is richer for our growing diversity, but we know that both our schools and our local community are not truly representative of all groups of people in wider society. We are committed to building and sustaining an inclusive learning community, based on our values of Love, Grace and Respect, in which we celebrate everyone’s identity, whatever their race, gender, religion, sexuality and beliefs.
Within our federation, we acknowledge that there is much more we can do in terms of anti-racism. We promise to do better. We promise to both listen more actively to those who are under-represented, oppressed and marginalised, and to take greater action, even when it is easier to stay silent. We promise to not stay silent.
Those at Leesland who are not part of the BAME community seek to better educate themselves. All people in the Leesland family know that what we choose to ignore, we accept. Ignorance will be challenged at every level at Leesland.
We know that ‘White Privilege’ does not mean that people who identify as ‘white’ cannot face hardship, disadvantage and discrimination in many ways, but that they do not have to fear that the colour of their skin increases the likelihood of prejudice and greater inequalities.
Education is the key to success for everyone. We have a huge role to play in improving and securing life chances for every young person in our care and we are committed to achieving this fundamental right for everyone.
We see the pain that both recent and historic events have caused for so many people. Those at Leesland with cultural and white privilege do not pretend to know or fully understand. All of us stand beside our friends, neighbours and family from all communities and commit to learning from others and supporting each other towards true equality and an end to brutality, inequality and discrimination.
Be Safe; Be Respectful; and Be Ready to own your words and your actions.
Live with Love, Grace and Respect