This blog was written by Bilal, Senior Organiser on Anti Racism
Our society is structurally racist and deeply embedded in the workforce, policing to healthcare and our justice system. We have launched Amnesty’s Anti-Racism Network to contribute to the work of the thousands if not millions of people working to bring down racist structures and systems.
Together we are stronger.
Together, we can build a more just world for us all to live in.
What is the Anti-Racism Network?
Through the network, we will bring people together to fight for the rights that racism as an institution has taken away from people of colour. Our anti racism network is set up to make a difference and bring about a fairer society by campaigning on racism in the UK. We will work on campaigns against racism in all its forms starting with Amnesty’s campaign on the Government's Prevent agenda. Prevent is a policy that has had a negative impact on human rights since its conception.
The anti-racism network will also encourage activists to work on campaigns against racism where there is an appetite to do so, for example on:
- Racism in the healthcare system
- Racism in the workplace
- Racism in wider policing and in the legal system
Our network will provide a platform for people to gather together and build campaigns on issues affecting our rights.
Any of that sound up your street? Join us!
Launch of the network
At our launch earlier this year, 80 anti-racism activists gathered to plan and learn. We heard from our director, Sacha Deshmukh, about his and the organisation's commitment to centralising the work of anti-racism across all aspects of Amnesty UK and its campaigns.
We will see anti-racism as the work of Amnesty- not just the work of a part of Amnesty.
Here’s some of what we explored together:
- Sadly, the media oftentimes times plays a part in perpetuating racism, but it can also be a voice on anti-racism
- Focussing primarily on the role the UK has played in racism and the Government’s attempt to normalise white supremacy particularly in the Sewell race report
- We looked at what structural racism means exactly and how structures and systems have been set up to discriminate
- The role people racialised as white can play in anti-racism, making the point that the work of anti-racism is inclusive of all who want to commit time, energy, and expertise to building a fairer society,
What will we work on?
Then we got to planning- we talked about what the rest of our year could look like. Prevent is going to be a big part of our work.
We are going to:
- Work on bringing together activists from all regions of our country to work on the effects Prevent is having on schools, local councils, businesses and other statutory authorities across our regions and nations
- Form a campaign looking specifically at local leadership's role in preventing (pardon the pun) its most pernicious consequences.
We then looked at the campaigns that we could run in local communities and the work we could do to fight racism across different aspects of our lives. We also thought about organisations we could partner with.
Amnesty has a lot of expertise and a reputation for building accurate and thorough research, but there will always be areas of work where we could benefit from the expertise of others or the influence of grassroots groups. We know that in order to tackle this problem we must tackle it in relationship with others.
What can YOU do?
Join us and be a part of the change you want to see!
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.