Race is a union issue: Prospect in Black History Month

20 October 2020

Black History Month speaks to the core of what Prospect does as a trade union. Our commitment to equality is written into our rule book ensuring that we ‘protect, represent, promote and unite’ the interests of members.

Despite the barriers created by COVID-19, Prospect has been active in responding to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement after the tragic killing of George Floyd.

Writing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary, said:

“We have a rich history of driving positive changes through our workspaces, often in difficult circumstances. Our work on the Theatre Diversity Action Plan – led by BAME members in our Bectu sector – is setting new standards on race equality and diversity in the arts.

“This is what unions should be doing. But we need to do more – to change our union, our industries and our country.”

Prospect’s Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) members of our National Executive Committee also made their views clear in this blog.

This Black History Month Prospect has been marking the work of our BAME representatives in supporting members, taking action to tackle racism and making work better:

But we know we need to do more as a trade union – to change ourselves, influence employers and to make equality real for all members.

We also have two webinars coming up for Black History Month to look at how members can support each other to tackle racism and to be better allies to our members of colour.

These will be on:

  • Black Lives matter and the pandemic: looking after mental health in 2020 Thurs 22 October – 1230
  • How to be a good ally to black colleagues Thurs 29 October – 1230

Members were sent the link to sign up to these recently by email. Please email if you cannot find this email and we will resend the link.

Janice Turner, Bectu’s equality and diversity officer, has recognised:

“the determination of our activists who are taking practical action to end systemic racism. Their inventiveness has really come to the force despite the obstacles created by coronavirus and lockdown measures.”

What can you do?

If you’d like to get more involved or to undertake work in your branch, then why not consider:

Joining our recently relaunched BAME Network – which brings together members from across Prospect to share experiences and ideas on how we tackle racism and create better workplaces.

Taking a look at our BAME resource pack – which as lots of ideas and resources for reps and members interested in tackling racism in the workplace.