Safer London’s vision is a world where all young Londoners can thrive, free from exposure to violence and exploitation. Right now it feels that we are further away from this than ever before.
We are currently witnessing structural racism and violence playing out across the world. However, the recent events we have seen are nothing new. It is something we have seen time and time again. It is crucial that we recognise the fact that the ongoing existence of structural racism and such levels of continued injustice will take a physical and psychological toll on Black people.
This and the current pandemic will have an impact on everyone, but I would argue that it is young Black Londoners that will bear the brunt. Therefore, we know our task has become even more urgent. We know that we will have to work harder, as well as be courageous, brave and unafraid to challenge.
As an individual I understand and feel the emotion which could so easily overwhelm and paralyse us. However, as a CEO my role is to ensure that Safer London is able to move beyond this and act.
My primary concern is to ensure we are equipped to work alongside young Londoners and their families. In order to do that every one of us has to be at our very best. It is my responsibility to ensure we are all working to the highest of our abilities and I understand that we must be supported to be able to do this.
We are supporting our Black staff to have a safe space to work with the issues they are experiencing, whilst having the means to access any additional support they may need and this will continue for as long as is needed. For white colleagues we are supporting them to unpack issues around white privilege and understand the critical role they must play. It means we are working as a whole, whilst honouring different needs
As a team we reflect the diversity of London. This wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding allows us to build strong relationships with the young Londoners and families we work alongside. We have outstanding staff who can contribute to this debate across the city and we will support their voices to be heard. As an organisation we’re committed to demonstrating how to operate to address inequality and we are open to learning from others on the same journey.
To be clear – there is no middle ground regarding racism. Now more than ever we need to listen to those who need to be heard and amplify their voices, so that we can bring about real change. As an organisation we will proactively act to become part of the solution, since we are not prepared to sit back, do nothing and be part of the problem.
Sherry Peck, Chief Executive