Like many people and organisations around the world, we at Mencap have spent the last few weeks reflecting on our own record on inclusivity, equality and diversity.
Our focus on people with a learning disability has overshadowed the needs of other people who suffer from inequality and prejudice. In particular, we have recognised that we are not doing enough to support the thousands of people with a learning disability from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities who experience ‘intersectional’ or double discrimination.
With the horrific killing of George Floyd in America, as well as the recent findings that in the UK people form BAME communities are two to three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the population as a whole – it is essential that Mencap addresses some of these prevailing issues within our organisation.
12% of our Mencap colleagues are from minority ethnic groups. We must get better at supporting them and our BAME volunteers, so we can really hear their voices. We recognise that we need to better account for the different lived experiences of people from marginalised communities, and prioritise coordinated action to centre them in our guidance and our risk and welfare assessments.
We would like to hear from people with a learning disability, and their families, from BAME communities. We would love to work with other charities and learn from them as we go forward.
I would be grateful for any thoughts or suggestions as we continue to cultivate inclusiveness, equality and diversity within our organisation; to always do our best for the people we directly support and for the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.
Please send your thoughts and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To start these conversations, Mencap has also produced an easy read guide on racism and Black Lives Matter which can be found here.