Let's work together to end racism in the Liberal Democrats now
By Greg Foster
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Dear Lib Dem friends,
I know already you are as keen as I am to improve the experience of people from under-represented groups within the party, particularly people who are not White. May I
thank you now for your excellent attitude, for listening closely to my suggestions on what to do. The improvements are immediately noticeable. Please keep going.
You will have access to information about my decades of experience in the field of equalities and governance inside and outside the Liberal Democrats in my manifesto when you vote, if you are interested to get more information please email me at [email protected].
You have also received information about the culture change in the way we work that I would like to bring to the Liberal Democrats in the email of 20th November from Dan Schmeising, again if you don't have it please contact [email protected].
Today I'd like to give you a few more hints and tips to try:
- Read the reports on diversity and inclusion in the party which you can get from the party President [email protected] and his team, attend talks by the people who wrote them or ask someone else who has read them to speak with you about them. Check that your diversity officer and chair of your local party or other bodies has done this also and ask them to arrange a session to tell you what they are doing about the findings of each of these reports, Make sure that they are planning to improve things in measurable ways and that they will be communicating this to you and to their regional or other coordinating diversity officer.
- Each member should focus on ensuring that people from under-represented groups aren't made to feel uncomfortable or excluded if they go to a campaigning session, Zoom or social event. Make sure that you greet them and say good-bye when you leave. If you are out and about you may want to exchange phone numbers and say that it's fine for them to keep your number if you feel comfortable with this. Say that you hope you will see them again if you do, if you don't say it they won't know it. Make sure that they know that they are valued as an individual not seen as a person who exists to deliver 250 leaflets in a set time. Get to know them as a person, why they joined, what they like and remember this. This is all normal stuff, but people often forget the basics when interacting with people of different characteristics. Have a chat individually about what they liked and didn't like about your social events if they are comfortable doing this.
- Make sure that you behave like this with them, every time, even if one of you was a bit off with the other the last time you met, unless you are still feeling uncomfortable to interact.