Modern racism is subtle, reinforces exclusion, maximises unfair, punitive measures and limits opportunity. In the criminal justice system, we refer to this as race disparity.
In October 2019, the NBCPA hosted a conference on race disparity called ‘The Journey’. The murder of George Floyd drew important significance to the findings of our post-conference report, and Rebecca Lawrence, our Chief Executive Officer and Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, expressed their commitment to tackling this issue head-on.
July was certainly a busy month for the NBCPA. The NBCPA has been resolute in supporting the CPS to get beneath the fear and hesitation that staff may have in dealing with such a socially emotive issue.
We asked our members to provide us with their experiences of racism at work, and they provided evidence of their experiences of racism, microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace, which we analysed. Following our analysis, we produced a set of actions for the CPS to address these concerns.
The actions were not extraordinary, just assurance checks as well as a few creative suggestions to address certain behaviours from some staff. We are now waiting to see the CPS actions concerning our report.
In response to discussions about race issues, the CPS has delivered a series of race confidence programmes to help educate staff around the issues of race and systemic racism.
In July, we hosted our ‘How to be an Ally’ event which celebrated our valued NBCPA associate members at the heart of our work to tackle racism. The event provided honest dialogues and experiences from our brave allies.
We are proud and delighted to be one of the few government departments to be celebrating South Asian Heritage Month. Please consider joining our final event on Monday 17 August to celebrate Asian music, food and fashion.
In August, we are running a survey to explore how Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in the CPS have been affected by COVID-19 to help the CPS to understand the specific adjustments needed to support the wellbeing of our Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff. Our full members should have received emails about the survey. If you are a Black, Asian, or minority ethnic CPS staff and you are not a member of the NBCPA, but you would love to take part in the survey, please contact us.
In addition to this, we are running a series of workshops called Reset Restore and Recovery. The first event in September will explore the immediate trauma caused by both the impact of COVID-19 and the brutal murder of George Floyd. The second event in October will explore transgenerational trauma and approaches to recovery and healing, and our final event in November will focus on grief and resilience.
Be sure to check out our anti-racism campaign as part of our fight against racism and systemic oppression and help to create a world that is fair and just. We have collated a set of resources that we hope will inspire and enthuse colleagues and allies to join in the battle for human rights and justice.
Grace Moronfolu MBE
Chair, National Black Crown Prosecution Association