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Events

This is where you can find out about meetings and other events that are coming up as well as links to recordings of past events. Join us to receive early news of events and how you can get involved.

 

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Upcoming events...

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‘Play close attention…because microaggressions are deeply, deeply problematic. They are the way everyday discrimination and everyday racism seep in, spread like a virus and stick to the cells of the DNA of this country’ - Nova Reid, The Good Ally (p.86).
 

In this first of a series that will bring into sharper focus the racism that is less obvious and doesn't always make the news, we will explore how we can recognise microaggressions and challenge them in ourselves and others. And why they can feel anything but 'micro' when you are on the receiving end.
 

White Allies Network (WAN) Steering Group Member, Angela Young, will be guiding our conversation and drawing on a mix of video and written resources from Prof Derald Wing Sue, (one of the first to research and write about microaggressions), author Nova Reid and others as we explore this important topic.
 

As with all our sessions at the White Allies Network - all are welcome - whether you are an aspiring white allly or a person of colour, from the Global Majority, who is willing to journey with us as we seek to be better allies against racism.

 

We endeavour to create a space where all can feel safe enough to share their experiences, perspectives and questions and have developed 'Qualities of our Spaces' to help us to achieve this.
 

As usual there will be a chance to share our experiences and views during the session and a time to catch up with each other and continue the conversation at the end after we officially close the session after 90 minutes.
 

NB All our sessions are on Zoom and we record them so that those who miss the session can catch up later on You Tube. All faces and names, other than that of the presenter, will be blurred out on the recording, although your first name may be used and your voice recorded if you ask a question or make a comment. But these too can be excluded from the recording on request at the end of the session.

Further Events planned for 2024

Later in 2024, we plan to tackle the following issues:

  • Hidden racism Part 2 - 26 June 2024* - in this session we will bring in to sharper focus the racism against people groups that doesn't often make the news. (Details to be confirmed).
     

  • Decolonisation Part 2 - 16 October 2024 - Decolonising the Curriculum* - in this Black History Month session we will explore how colonialism persists in our education systems, in the way we teach history and beyond and what is being done to correct this (Guest speaker to be confirmed).

 

*Please Note - these dates and sessions are yet to be fully finalised and are subject to change.

 

Sign up here as a member to be kept informed when dates, details and speakers are confirmed.

Previous events...

The need for decolonising our thinking in both colonial powers and former colonies is increasingly being talked about in a diversity of contexts. There are calls to decolonise education, theology, financial relationships, government structures and even more importantly, our thinking.

 

But what do we mean by ‘decolonisation’, what are its implications and what are the consequences of ignoring such calls? And hasn’t decolonisation already taken place? Didn’t this happen when colonial powers finally lowered their flags over far away nations and grant them independence? If not, how does colonialisation still endure in both the colonial powers and the former colonies, and what are its consequences?

 

In Part 1 of this series, we focussed on understanding colonisation before considering the need for dismantling it. Drawing from an excellent online resource posted by Andrewism, we explored four types of colonisation that have occurred over history. After the video, WAN Council of Reference Member, Neil Charlton, helped us to unpack the issue with some powerful additional facts and figures and helped us see that colonial structures and colonial thinking are still having a devastating impact today.

 

For copyright reasons, we could not include Andrewism's video resource within the recording, but you can access it on his channel here: Do We Still Need To Decolonise?  (20 mins)

 

Timings

0-13 mins - Intro & Racism in the News

(Do we need to Colonise Video [20 mins] not included in this recording)

13-38 Mins - Neil unpacks the subject

38-63 mins - Large Group discussion on three questions

63-69 mins - Notices and close

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The momentum has been building and the voices getting louder. Reparations is an issue for our time. Or is it?

The transatlantic slave trade was so 19th century (and a few centuries before that!) - surely it's time to move on? Or if it's not, isn't an apology enough? Isn't it time to forgive and forget?

Our expert panel members share their stories and views as we define what we mean by reparations, explore what is happening now, and what they might look like. Finally, we will discuss what might need to happen at a government, corporation, family and personal level, if the call for reparations is to be heeded.

 

After we heard from our panel, they tackled some of the questions nominated by the live audience.

 

There are three recordings of this event.

1. Whole session (88 mins) - including:

  • Introduction and Racism in the News (15 mins)

  • Panel Interview (44 mins)

  • Panel Q&A (29 mins)

2. Panel Interview only (44 mins)

3. Panel Q&A only (29 mins)

Click the button below to access all three recordings on the Deeper Leaders' You Tube channel:

Panel Members

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Professor Robert Beckford, is the Director of the Institute for Climate and Social Justice at the University of Winchester, UK. Robert is an activist scholar, working interdisciplinarily to address, confront and overturn injustice in African mainland and diaspora communities. Robert is a BAFTA Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose credits include the hard-hitting 2005 Channel 4 documentary The Empire Pays Back that focused on the case for reparations. Among Robert’s most recent media projects are an independent film project funded by the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation, exploring the meaning of reconciliation in response to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (‘After Noah: Christianity, Slavery and Reconciliation 2022’). Also a BBC World Service documentary on the environmental impact of colonialism on Barbados (2022).

 

In autumn 2022, Robert hosted the first national symposium for global majority peoples in Britain advocating climate and social justice. In 2023, he turned a long-running family argument into a BBC Radio 4 series dealing with the experiences of the Caribbean immigrants who came to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation. Robert recently contributed to The Brattle Report on reparations (2023) - the most comprehensive global calculation for reparations ever compiled.

 

Alex Renton is an award-winning writer, campaigning journalist, broadcaster and historian. He has written for publications including Newsweek, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, The Sunday Times, the Daily Mail and Prospect magazine. In 2022, Alex presented and co-wrote the award-winning BBC Radio 4 series In Dark Corners, based on investigations into child abuse and cover-up in boarding schools, and his book Stiff Upper Lip: secrets, crimes and the schooling of a ruling class.

 

Alex is the author of Blood Legacy - reckoning with a family's story of slavery that explores what inheritance – political, economic, moral and spiritual - has been passed down to the descendants of slave owners and the enslaved. Blood Legacy was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction in 2021. He is a co-founder of Heirs of Slavery.

 

John Dower is an award-winning director, teacher and mentor working in Film, TV and Games. His credits include Best Film at Cannes Short Film festival for The Day After Stonewall Died and over 80 episodes of Television drama including Silent Witness, Casualty and "EastEnders” for BBC1 and "Wolfblood" for CBBC/ZDF. He has directed Cinematic scenes for GTA V online, F1 2023, Space Marine 2 and 007 Legends. He is a Co-founder of and tutor for The Mocap Vaults – the worldwide Performance Capture School and a Trustee of the Directors Charitable Foundation.

 

After discovering his ancestors’ involvement in Transatlantic Chattel Slavery in 2016, he convened and coordinated the Trevelyan Family’s apology to the people of Grenada  presented in St George’s, Grenada in February of this year. He is a co-founder of heirsofslavery.org and an advocate and campaigner for reparatory justice.

 

John and Alex's ancestors were among those who received compensation from the UK government when slavery was abolished.

 

Please note - this event was postponed due to the sickness of our speakers. A new date will be arranged for 2024

The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded by Lavinya Stennett in 2019 to address the lack of Black British history in the national Curriculum.

Being excluded from the national curriculum and relegated to Black history month, sends the message that Black people are not valued, their contributions to Britain are irrelevant, and their stories (outside of slavery and Windrush) are not important. This impacts ALL students.

 

Join us as Network Member, Rob Taylor speaks live to CEO Lavinya Stennett and Head of Research, Elizabeth Kwaw and asks them about their story, what they hope The Black Curriculum will achieve and what we can do to support their Vision and Mission.
 

There will also be a Q&A session where you can put your questions directly to Lavinya and Elizabeth from The Black Curriculum.


About Lavinya Stennett:

Lavinya was recently named as Changemaker 2023 by Limitless Awards, one of the 40x40 Future Leaders by the Black Cultural Archives 2022, Future Bold Woman runner up for the 50th Veuve Cliquot Awards in 2022 and Sunday Times 50 Women of the Year 2021.

Find out more about The Black Curriculum here.


About Rob Taylor:

Father of two primary age children, White Allies Network Member Rob has been actively working with his children's school on a project to diversify and decolonise their curriculum.
 

Everyone is welcome at meetings of the White Allies Network - both aspiring white allies and people of colour that are willing to journey with us as we seek to be better allies against racism.
 

There is no charge for tickets, Lavinya and her colleagues are offering us their time free of charge, but please consider donating towards the important work of The Black Curriculum when you book your place. You can donate to The Black Curriculum here.

Our

 

 

programme

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Wednesday 26 April 2023

- with Ray Smith

“Before the 17th century, people did not think of themselves as belonging to something called the white race. But once the idea was invented, it quickly began to reshape the modern world.”

 

So wrote Robert Baird for The Guardian (20 April 2021). And so it did, resulting in those with ‘white’ skin holding a position of privilege on every continent on earth, on the basis of their skin colour.
 

If the idea of ‘Whiteness’ hasn’t always existed, what is meant by it, where did it come from and why does it matter?
 

These are the questions we explored in this webinar and discussion led by Network Member, and former UK Home Office Immigration Senior Officer, Ray Smith. We also looked at the implications of the concept of Whiteness for race relations and society today.

Ray's presentation lasted 37 minutes and you can access the recording here.
 


 

About Ray Smith: Ray is Anglo-German with a Swiss wife and is proud of a heritage that includes traces of French, Belgian, Nigerian, Dominican, Fijian, Korean and American among his kin. As well as his former roles in the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, Ray has managed a Sheltered Abbeyfield Society House for Older People and is a trustee for a Pre-School, an Early Years Alliance and Abbeyfield (Streatham) Society. He has a passion for history, anti-racism and Fly/Sea Fishing.

What White People Can Do Next
- from Allyship to Coalition
An exploration of Emma Dabiri's Six Challenges
with Angela Young
Wedn
esday 25 January 2023
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It’s been nearly three years since the death of George Floyd awakened many white people to the spectre of racism in our society.

 

In the months that followed his death, for the first time ever, white protestors were in the majority at Black Lives Matter protests across the UK from Brighton to Belfast, Sheffield to Shetland, Chester to Cheltenham, Weymouth to Woking, Cardiff to Cambridge. White people and white-led organisations were falling over themselves to declare that they were allies against racism.

But what next?

 

Racism has not gone away and barely a week goes by without it rearing its ugly head again on the news or on social media. For too many, racism is still part of their everyday experience.

It was this question that Emma Dabiri sought to address when she published her book; ‘What White People Can Do Next – from Allyship to Coalition’. From her perspective, while she welcomes the raised awareness, there is still much tokenism and ignorance on the issues. She offers white people six challenges to move from a superficial and somewhat patronising form of allyship to a more effective and respectful coalition. She challenges us: ‘…to talk about racial injustice in a different way: one that builds on the revolutionary ideas of the past and forges new connections.’

In this session of the White Allies Network, led by Network member and published author, Angela Young, we examined the main premises of Dabiri’s book and asked what the implications are for us as a Network seeking to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Making a Difference/The Art of Persuasion
with Claire Mathys of Impact Policy and Daniel Day-Miller
Thursday 13 October 2022
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As a Network, we have spent most of the time up to now on educating ourselves, filling in some of the crucial gaps in our histories as white people. In Black History Month 2022, we turn towards practical action and explore how we can make a difference as effective white allies against racism.

We will began with our usual reflection on 'Racism in the news', after which two of our steering group members, Claire Mathys of Impact Policy and Daniel May-Miller (formerly of Christians on the Left), led our conversation and helped us explore how we can be an influence for change at both an interpersonal and policy level. The evening included:

  • An Introduction to engagement and the different ways we can respond as individuals – including political engagement
     

  • Overview of what is currently going on in this space (organisations that are promoting policy change, Govt reviews etc)
     

  • How individuals can get involved
     

  • Group discussion to reflect on personal perspectives on getting involved interpersonally and politically
     

Unfortunately, we were unable to record this event due to the political sensitivity of our conversation, but you will find some of the resources we referred to at the event to help us be better allies against racism on our resources page.

The Windrush Scandal
What next in the fight for justice?
Wednesday 22nd June 2022
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On Windrush Day each year, (22 June), we celebrate the contribution of so many from the Caribbean that responded to the UK government’s request for help to rebuild post-war Britain. They came, suffered ongoing racial abuse, but struggled through, becoming part of the nation’s backbone, fulfilling so many of our keyworker roles, which many of their children and grandchildren still fulfil today.

And yet, the way we have treated this generation in recent years has made many of us feel ashamed to be British. (If you know little of this scandal - check out our blog here). And if you think the Windrush Scandal was a bad mistake that we have learned from, please note that the author of the Independent Review into the scandal in 2020 stated that there is a “grave risk” of this scandal being repeated – four years after it came to light.

How much has changed since that report? What next in the fight for justice for the Windrush victims – many of whom are dying before the issue has been resolved? And what is required of us if we are to be effective allies?

We were delighted that Jacqui McKenzie, Partner of Law firm Leigh Day, who has been representing Windrush Victims, shared with us her answers to these questions in this exclusive live interview for the White Allies Network on Windrush Day 2022.

 

Jacqui has worked tirelessly on behalf of this generation since the beginning and her exceptional contribution to social justice was recognised earlier this year when she was awarded ‘Hero of the Year’ at the British Diversity Awards.

Access the recording of this event here.

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As the world watched in horror while the imperialist ambitions of Russia's President Putin plays out at Ukraine's expense, we turned our thoughts to the events of 138 years ago when major European powers cemented their imperialist power grab of a land that was not theirs to take: the Berlin Conference and the partitioning of Africa.

Drawing on online resources once more, with the help of one of our Council of Reference Members, Neil Charlton, we explored the implications today for this beautiful continent and its people of the 'Scramble for Africa' by our European forefathers.

 

This 32 minute recording is itemised with timings if you want to view a specific part of the session. Even if you view nothing else, it is worth viewing Neil's 10 minute section where he shares some shocking facts and figures on the impact of partitioning and colonialism on Africa today.

Click here to watch the recording of this event.

All our yesterdays - filling in the gaps in our histories
Part 4: The Partitioning of Africa and its legacy today
Thursday 14th April 2022
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All our yesterdays - filling in the gaps in our histories
Part 3: The Opium Wars and their legacy today
Thursday 13th January 2022

This is a recording of the White Allies Network meeting held on the 22nd January 2022. (Click on the picture above to access the recording).

 

In this third part of our series on 'filling in the gaps in our histories', we explore the Opium Wars of 1839-60. It was an era that China looks back on as starting their 'Century of Humiliation', which they only began to climb out of with the Maoist revolution of 1949. We explore the implications today of these events of 180 years ago on China's relationship with the West today.

 

This video contains the following items:

0-11 mins - Introduction and recap on recent Race and Racism items in the news

 

(At this point we viewed two online videos - one from Captivating Histories lasting 13 minutes and one from BBC Teach lasting 9 minutes. We are unable to embed these here due to copyright restrictions, but we suggest you view them via the links below and then come back to this channel for the follow up conversations:
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDwoBC_DtGc&t=1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dfe7ct3Xvs&t=1s )

 

11-15 mins - Summary of key facts about China from the early 19th Century including key Chinese caricatures from that time seen in the videos

 

15-17 mins - Ten Qualities of our spaces - a reminder of our ground rules

 

17-18 mins - Our breakout group questions

 

18-31 mins - Our post-breakout groups plenary discussion

 

31-33 mins - Summary and closing thoughts

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'All our Yesterdays' - filling in the gaps in our histories
- Pt 2 Empirelands...


Wednesday 20th October 2021

 

We listened-in to a wide ranging conversation between Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4's 'Ways to change the world' as he interviewed Sathnam Sanghera about his latest book 'Empireland - how imperialism has shaped modern Britain', a book he wished he had been given as a child.

 

As well as talking about his book, Krishnan and Sathnam dip into their childhood experiences of growing up in the UK and discusses whether political correctness has gone too far.

 

After listening to the recorded interview, we discussed what we'd heard in breakout rooms and think about what it means for our aspiration to be true allies against racism.

 

For copyright reasons, we could not include the recorded interview within the overall recording, but you can access them both via the two links below. We suggest you play the introduction then pause, listen to the interview and then go back to the first recording to listen-in to our post-interview discussion?:

Introduction and recap on last time plus discussion afterwards (30 mins)
 

Interview recording (33 mins)

Enjoy!

 

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'All our Yesterdays' - filling in the gaps in our histories
- Pt 1 The journey begins


Thursday 2nd September 2021 @ 8-9.30pm BST on Zoom

Drawing on material from authors and broadcasters David Olusoga, Clive Myrie and Afua Hirsch, we began our journey of exploration into the history we as white people are rarely taught but has massive implications towards our understanding of racism today in the UK.

The links to the three short videos we viewed are below:

 

  1. Who owns history - Clive Myrie - 5 mins

  2. The Alt History you don't learn at school - David Olusoga - 7 mins13 sec

  3. Where are you from - Afua Hirsch - 4 mins

And here are the slides we used that included our individual reflective and small group discussion questions we used to stimulate our learning.

We hope you can make use of them in your own circles of influence in some way.

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White Allies Network Inaugural Meeting - via Zoom 30th June 2021

At this meeting, we shared our plans for the White Allies Network and invited participants be a part of designing our future programme and way of working.

 

See 'Our Spaces' for the ground rules we agreed on that occasion for the quality of the spaces we wanted to create for the most constructive dialogue on these difficult issues.

 

You will find a list of topics that members suggested for future meetings here.

 

It was not recorded.

George Floyd: One year on - has anything shifted?

 25th May 2021

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Click on the image above to view the webinar recording on the Deeper Leaders YouTube channel.

Overview

Schedule: 0-6m 30s - Intro to topic and panel

6m 30s - 53m - Panel answers the 3 core questions

53m - 1hr 1m - Launch of the White Allies Network

1h 1m - 1hr 21m - Panel respond to questions from the chat

 

Content:

On the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we asked leading black academic, Prof Robert Beckford, a black counsellor and author, Suzann Douglas and James Clarry, the white COO of one of the world's oldest banks: ‘Has anything truly shifted?’

 

We asked them:

Q1. How did the death of George Floyd impact you, personally? And has anything shifted for you personally since then? Q2. What has shifted in the world around you: in your organisation/the work that you do/your sphere of influence?

Q3. What needs to happen next to ensure the catalyst towards change offered us by George's tragic death is not wasted?

 

Before we took questions for the panel from the chat, we also launched a new initiative from the Deeper Leaders Collective: a White Allies Network (www.whiteallies.com)

 

Open Mike Session - the last 20 minutes was dedicated to questions from the chat and an open mike session where participants put their questions directly to members of the panel.

 

We didn't charge for tickets for this event - all three panel members waived their usual appearance fees as their personal contribution towards the vital work of Blueprint for All (formerly The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust). They do fantastic work with young people and communities to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background, can thrive. Participants made voluntary donations and helped us exceed our £1000 target to raise £1155.

The Abolition of Modern Slavery: what is needed now?

- via Zoom on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
2nd December 2020

Click on the image above to view the webinar recording on the Deeper Leaders YouTube channel.

This recording lasts 60 minutes.

Overview

In 2015, the UK government passed the Modern Slavery Act aiming to combat Modern Slavery. Since then, other governments have followed suit and citizens of many countries have become more aware that slavery is not only a past but a very real and present problem that touches us all.  But has any of this made any tangible difference to the lives of those blighted by slavery, violence and exploitation?

 

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2020, this webinar explored these questions with the help of an expert panel. We heard:

  • An up-to-date global picture of the state of modern slavery from the world’s largest anti-slavery organisation

    • from Alianore Smith from International Justice Mission

  • An independent progress report on the UK Government’s approach to tackling modern slavery by the report’s author

    • from Peter Grant from Agulhas Consulting

  • How leaders can build on their organisations’ modern slavery statement to really make a difference and

  • How individual citizens can play their part in eradicating modern slavery

    • both from Adrian Lock, Founding Director of Deeper Leaders

  • How chocoholics can help end modern slavery

    • from Nicola aka ‘The Countess of Cocoa’, UK & Ireland Marketing Manager, Tony’s Chocolonely

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