As Chief Executive of LPT and NHFT, I wanted to share some of my reflections over the last week. I was deeply shocked and saddened by the awful killing of George Floyd in America. Events over these last two weeks have really impacted me and I know it has affected many of you too. I touched on it in my staff video messages last week but I have to say, it took me several days to even be able to talk about this tragic event. I know this is an emotional and sensitive time for lots of our staff and our communities.
Make no mistake, we stand together. We no longer just stand against racism, we are striving to be anti-racist organisations and I want us all to work actively towards us achieving this.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on what being anti-racist is, and what we need to do. As an individual I know I’m doing all I can to listen, learn and challenge my own biases. I absolutely wholeheartedly support equality, diversity and inclusion, but the video that Haseeb Ahmad Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at LPT shared with me, really made me think. It takes you through what you need to do to be an Ally – it is actions, not opinions that really matter. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism where you find it.
I’ve recently seen information which talks about zones of becoming anti-racist.
- The fear zone – where people deny that racism is even a problem, avoid questions and don’t feel comfortable talking about it.
- The learning zone – where people recognise it is a problem and seek to educate themselves, and understand they are vulnerable to their own biases.
- The growth zone –where you sit with discomfort, educate peers, you don’t let mistakes deter you from being better, and identify where you unknowingly may benefit from racism.
This has been really important for me to reflect on as an individual, to consider where I am and how to stay in the growth zone whilst always learning. I have found this a useful exercise and I wanted to share with you for your own reflection.
Across both Trusts, we have held staff listening events with colleagues and managers to understand the impact of the tragedy in America and the Covid-19 pandemic. It is vital these conversations continue as it will help all of us to think about health inequalities.
I leave you with these points I’ve shared, to support you in your thinking, to perhaps help you to consider further and talk about it with other colleagues. I’ve relayed this message in a video message too which you can view here.
On behalf of both Trust Boards, all of whom I know share my passion and commitment; it’s time for us all now to truly live up to our respective values to show we all are collectively committed to anti-racism together, for our colleagues, friends, and our communities.
Chief Executive, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust