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In 2020, we released our anti-racism statement outlining Tearfund’s commitment to being an actively anti-racist organisation. We shared some of our plans to ensure that Tearfund is a place where everyone feels that they belong and that our work around the world is inclusive, making sure we reach those in greatest need.

We made ten key commitments in our anti-racism statement and we will continue to provide updates on our progress against these commitments at least once a year. We are pleased to share the progress we have made during 2021/22 and our plans for the future.

Please note: Unless otherwise stated, these commitments relate to Tearfund’s work practices in the UK.

1. Diverse recruitment and accountability structures

We said

We commit to doing more to recruit more diversely into senior leadership roles, as well as creating accountability structures to ensure we achieve this.

What we did

We will

What is positive action?

When an employer is faced with making a choice between two or more candidates who are of equal merit, positive action allows them to take into consideration whether one is from a group that is disproportionately under-represented or otherwise disadvantaged within the workforce. This is sometimes called a ‘tie-breaker’ or the ‘tipping point’.

This kind of positive action is only allowed where it is a proportionate way of addressing the under-representation or disadvantage. Using positive action will help Tearfund to recruit more candidates from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

2. Recognising and addressing how colonialism contributes to inequality

We said

There is a legacy of colonialism that has contributed to inequality in many of the countries Tearfund works. This has tainted the experiences of people who live, or have their roots in, these places. We have not been as diligent as we should have been in recognising this, or in understanding what it means for those who work for us, the people we serve, and the way in which we do our work.

What we did

We will

3. Creating an inclusive workplace

We said

Even though we believe that every human being is made in the image of God, we have failed to live this out by creating a workplace where all can feel included.

What we did

We will

4. Understanding how our theology has failed to call out racial injustice 

We said

We are committed to learning from the mistakes of the past, and we will look at how our approaches and theology have contributed to racial injustice.

What we did

We will

5. Intentionally recruit more diversity to our Board and Executive Team

We said

We are actively seeking ways to recruit more diversity to our Board of Trustee Directors and Executive Team.

What we did

We will 

What is The Well Committee?

The Well Committee is chaired by a Black Majority Church trustee, and made up of nine members, all of whom are respected leaders in the Black community in the UK.

Meeting quarterly, the committee is tasked – among other things – with helping to establish and shape new policies, processes and campaigns that are more inclusive for Black Majority Church audiences and Black Christians. Members of the committee are invited to sit on all the other Tearfund Board committees to ensure integration, representation, mutual learning and sharing of ideas.

6. Introduce reverse mentoring at executive level

We said

We will use reverse mentoring at the executive level as a way to build genuine awareness of barriers faced, initially focusing on the experiences of people from Black backgrounds.

What we did

We will

7. Understanding and addressing bias in the workplace

We said

We will have an unconscious bias training session in autumn 2020, which will be compulsory for all staff to complete on an annual basis.

What we did

We will

8. External reporting on race and ethnicity

We said

We are examining our internal processes to develop ways to determine how we can become more transparent about race and ethnicity in our external reporting, including in our Annual Report.

What we did

We will

Collaboration with Black Majority Churches

9. Improving recruitment processes

We said

We are improving our recruitment processes to provide a more accurate and detailed picture of our diversity.

What we did 

We will

10. Reporting progress on our anti-racism work

We said

We will pay more attention to reporting on what we are doing to embed anti-racist practices into the work that we do.

What we did 

We will

Collaboration with Black Majority Churches

We have continued to develop The Well, which seeks to gather together Black Majority Churches to bring an end to extreme poverty. We believe that powerful things can happen when we come together as one in the body of Christ.

Our vision for The Well is to align, engage and collaborate with Black Majority Churches and communities throughout the UK in a unified, hope-filled response to issues of global poverty, injustice and inequality.

This is an exciting opportunity for us at Tearfund to continue to learn, grow and change.

What's next?

The progress of the anti-racism action plan will continue to be monitored by our CEO, Nigel Harris, and our Director of People and Talent, Karen Brown, and by the Board of Trustees through its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

What can you do?

You can visit our diversity and inclusion hub to find out more and access our anti-racism resources for individuals, groups and churches. 

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