“Racism is a profound deviation from the standard of true morality. It deprives a portion of humanity of the opportunity to cultivate and express the full range of their capability and to live a meaningful and flourishing life, while blighting the progress of the rest of humankind.
It cannot be rooted out by contest and conflict. It must be supplanted by the establishment of just relationships among individuals, communities and institutions of society that will uplift all and will not designate anyone as “other”. The change required is not merely social and economic, but above all moral and spiritual“. – The Universal House of Justice
WHO WE ARE
We are a grassroots BAME-led social enterprise based in the City of York.
Our commitment is to work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders in the city and beyond to make sure that we tackle the root-causes of structural racism.
We have a growing network of people from Black and Asian backgrounds. We seek to ensure that policies and decisions are made with full awareness and representation of our BAME communities.
HOW WE WORK
We are a diverse group of volunteers from different backgrounds voluntarily working to dismantle racism. Our belief is that this issue is not a black issue or a white issue – we believe racism is a human rights issue that requires us to work together.
So, help us do something real about racial inequality and injustice, join us in speaking up and working to end systemic and institutional racism in York and throughout the UK.
Please learn more about our strategic initiatives and provide your feedback.
How Can You Help?
Meet Our Team
My name is Haddy (Pronouns: she/her). I was born in the Gambia, grew up in Huddersfield, lived in London and now living in York, one of the most beautiful cities in the United Kingdom. I have like many of you, that looks like me experienced systemic racism. But not the daily overt and pervasive racism that I now see in York. My work to tackle racism in the City of York started in 2017. We have now formally established ourselves with four strategic initiatives to deal with the root-causes of racism in the UK.
It is an injustice to keep talking about this issue with no real actions. It is an injustice to argue for further reviews and reports, and it will be a gross and unforgivable injustice to continue as we are for the next generation.
My name is Kirstin (pronouns: she/her). I am originally from Scotland and have been living in York for the last 6 years. I’m a mum to two amazing children and they are part of my motivation to be a part of the brilliant Speak Up Diversity team. I want them, and other children growing up now, to live in a world where diversity is celebrated, everyone is treated with kindness and they know how to stand up for what is right. I am proud to be a part of this team and the amazing work that is being done.
My name is Ellie (Pronouns: she/her). I am a Social Policy student at the University of York. Growing up as mixed race and with multicultural family and friends, I have been passionate about racial equality and unity for as long as I can remember. I hope that as a group and a growing community, we can channel our effort through Speak Up Diversity to act on this historic opportunity for change.
My name is Amy (pronouns: she/her). I am an English teacher, only recently returned to York. Having spent most of my working life teaching abroad, I have seen the effects of racism world-wide and the insidious damage it does from the earliest stages of development. I am proud to be part of the Speak Up Diversity team, promoting equality, unity and community in York, and am honoured to be on this journey striving towards real, actionable change.
My name is Lucy (Pronouns: she/her). I am currently studying Archaeology at the University of York. I was extremely lucky to grow up in a very liberal household that openly discussed the social and political issues surrounding racial inequality from a very young age. Moving to York for my undergraduate degree, I became increasingly aware of the value of my upbringing through living in a city perhaps less diverse than the one I grew up in. Through Speak Up Diversity, I believe it is important to educate others who are less affected by racial disparity and so forth do not make conscious decisions to better their understanding. I’m honoured to be part of this incredible movement that is challenging and disarming the deep-rooted racism in our society that often goes unnoticed by many.
My name is Ndidi (Pronouns: she/her). I am a contributing writer for Speak Up Diversity. I am an author, life coach and health and well-being consultant. I share my life lessons to encourage women to recognise their worth and maximise their potentials. So far, I have written two non-fiction books with the latest written in the African context which critically looks at the reasons why in spite of the local and international funds made available to financial and non-financial organisations for the purpose of empowering women, closing the gender gap has been very slow and insignificant.
My name is Julie (Pronouns: she/her). I believe systemic and personal racism, and especially ignorance and complacency of these, are actively harming people. Understanding that some people endure the harm of regularly being presumed to be dangerous; excluded; treated unfairly or indeed with violence—the pain I feel from knowing others are being harmed motivates me to keep engaged in this work. I grew up in the white supremacy of America and have lived most of my adult life in the white supremacy of Britain. When we examine the historical legacy of British and American colonisation and slavery and the continuity of oppression and exploitation that leads through to the present day where the capitalist economies and institutes of law of our white supremacies have brutalised black and brown people not just at home, but throughout the global south, and exposed them disproportionately to pollution at home and to climate chaos in the global south, we find that the foundations and sustenance of my and other white people’s relatively comfortable lives in Britain and America are built on an abhorrent catalogue of wrongs. Recognising that I am an unwitting benefactor of all this motivates me to keep engaged in this work. But we are all harmed by living in a white supremacy, regardless of the colour of our skin, by the deeply corrosive underlying fear that sustains it, and by it stunting our collective whole for the beauty, creativity, intellectual brilliancy and diversity that it excludes: love and admiration of diverse people motivates me to keep engaged in this work.
We are building an advisory board and it will be announced soon.
We are establishing a governance body to enhance the transparency of the initiatives.