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Charity workers share personal experiences of racism via social media

JANUARY 13, 2020

The hashtag #CharitySoWhite has been trending on Twitter as people in the sector share their experiences of racism and discrimination. By 5pm on Tuesday, there had been over 2,000 tweets, with many of them liked and retweeted multiple times over, and had attracted numerous comments of shared experiences and support.

The discussion on Twitter was sparked when Fatima Iftikhar raised serious concerns about training material used by Citizens Advice which was described as "horribly racist" by many Twitter users. Citizens Advice has since apologised and removed the materials.

The campaign launched on #CharityTuesday calls for ‘urgent action’ on racism in the charity sector and for a wider conversation and action so that people understand that the Citizens Advice incident is not seen as a one-off and that urgent action is taken to ensure that the institutional racism across the sector is addressed.

The campaign #CharitySoWhite has already exposed personal accounts and stories of racial inequality in the sector and Iftikhar believes that the sector is failing to take action to address inequality and lack of diversity and said “The snapshot I posted on Twitter from the Citizens Advice training session could have very well been a training slide from many other charities.”

Using the hashtag, people working directly and indirectly for charitable organisations have come forward with their personal experiences which has begun a much needed debate about the way in which charities recruit, pay, manage and care for staff. 

The campaign comes shortly after ACEVO and Voice4Change England launched a new survey to investigate the occurrence of racism within the charity sector. The survey forms part of the research phase of the project, and is open to BAME individuals who have been working in the sector for any period over the past five years, whether as staff, trustees or volunteers. The survey is open until 30 September 2019 and can be accessed here.

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