The Cumberland Building Society
After the global response to George Floyd and what happened with the BLM movement, the Cumberland Building Society, through their People team began following Anti Racist Cumbria’s LinkedIn platform. They watched with interest the educational and informative posts and eventually contacted us to ask how they could essentially do better. After several meetings with Shelley Hayward, Head of Development and Talent , we set up Power Hours across the course of two consecutive weeks to work with their staff at all levels on an introduction to What is Racism and What is Anti Racism. These sessions were done virtually in a space created to be both safe and resilient. This enabled those attending to have open and genuine conversations, ask questions and start to really think about their roles and responsibilities, both as individuals and as an organisation.
“Over the last few months Anti Racist Cumbria have been supporting us with educating our colleagues to better understand anti-racism and creating safe spaces to explore what we each need to do. To date, over 100 colleagues have started on their anti-racist journey and a small group have taken a proactive step to set up an anti-racist working group. We have been overwhelmed by the feedback and impact of these sessions. Colleagues have astounded us with their openness and willingness to really think deeply and what we each need to do differently – all of this couldn’t have been achieved without the safe space created by Janett and the Anti Racist Cumbria Team.”
Recently the staff have attended a third Power Hour – Building confidence in talking about race and racism. Since the quote above, the staff have moved a long way, able to talk openly about issues such as ‘appropriation’ and ‘wokeism’ offering thoughts and views and how they can make an impact. The organisation is in the process of overhauling its D&I Strategy and have invited Anti Racist Cumbria to attend their full Board Meeting to begin working on the anti-racist element of this. Shelley added
“These sessions have opened up the space for the Conversation and to begin the work we now need to do”