A joint statement, on behalf of Tom Bremner, Chair, and Tracey Lees, Chief Executive
The Black Lives Matter (#BLM) movement has inspired thousands across the world to gather together to protest police violence, the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others in the United States, and to proclaim aloud #BLM.
The shout of voices in the UK resound with this country’s own legacy of lives lost to historic racist injustice and the entrenched covert and overt racial inequality, that forms the fabric of the lives of black people.
At Wandle we are listening to the voices of our black colleagues and residents. We hear that the reality of their experience across all aspects of daily life, most recently starkly reflected in the disproportionate impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic on their community, is driving private and public protest. They have been vocal in their desire for Wandle to speak out against racism and to act. We are proud to take a stand, shout that racism in any form is unacceptable and to make a commitment to take action.
In 1967 the founders of Wandle had one simple aim: “…to provide homes for homeless families, regardless of colour, language, race, or creed.” 53 years on we continue to strive to be inclusive, with a Board, leadership team and employees who reflect the rich cultural and racial mix of the communities we serve, and to improve the lives of all.
Tracey Lees, our Chief Executive, is a mentor for Leadership 2025, a development programme which seeks to address the diversity leadership challenge in the social housing sector. An Executive team member has participated in the programme and we anticipate other employees will follow. We know that actions speak louder than words therefore aim to continue promoting and supporting the progress of our black colleagues into leadership roles, learning from our peers in the sector and other industries.
As Tom Bremner's role as Chair of Wandle is coming to the end of his three year term, the Board is actively considering proposals to ensure that our leadership reflects the communities we serve, including how to make sure we attract a diverse pool of applicants in our summer recruitment for a new Chair of the Board. We invite our residents, communities and colleagues to share their ideas to support this intention.
Our residents are vital to meaningful action, they are our allies and we’re actively listening. We encourage anyone in our communities to get in touch, talk to us about what we need to do to get better.
Links to more #BLM campaigns, support and information
Talk to us if you need support, where we are able, we will do everything we can to act, where we can’t, we will put you in touch with someone better placed to help you.
- https://www.blackthrive.org.uk/ (Lambeth only)