A word from Crowdfunder’s CEO, Rob Love.
Like many others we have been shocked and appalled by events in America last week.
We have subsequently spent a lot of time educating ourselves about the situation, listening and hearing, to try and understand where we fit in and what we can do to help. We didn’t want to be the first to put up a corporate statement, we wanted to make sure we understood the situation as best we could and we wanted to make sure that we had actions in place not just words. We wanted to make sure we’re doing what we can ourselves before we comment on the wider world. Although we know saying something and making a stand is important right now. Here are some of our thoughts, so far, in short form. There will be more… this is not just a today issue – it’s for all the tomorrows.
Our mission at Crowdfunder is to tackle society’s problems, to support communities and to provide a platform for those who need a voice or who are often disconnected from the mainstream. We have many projects supporting the black people in the UK and beyond, and we will continue to support and amplify their voices however we can.
However, that is not enough. We need to do more. Our biggest concern, on reflection, is that we as an organisation are also disconnected. Our HQ is in Cornwall in the UK’s far south-west, where less than 2% of the population has a minority background, and our team reflects that. Even as we have grown our team across the country, and now to Canada, we recognise that our make-up does not reflect the communities we serve. Nor do the applications to join our team. We need to rectify that.
My big concern is that we have found it more difficult to feel the temperature of this situation. We failed to pick up the feelings of our staff and friends fast enough.
We have been educated in our use of language this week too, we hope we can improve that going forward.
We have already begun to make internal adjustments to our policies and processes. This will be an ongoing process, and in all of our conversions we have agreed that any action we take is about what we all do 365 days of the year, not just now.
In particular, on Sunday, we spoke with a Cephas Wiliams who I met last year as he was advocating for change surrounding the lived experience of black people across the UK. We should have been listening harder then. But what I took away from him on Sunday was more hopeful than other conversations – yes, this should never have happened, yes, this is not the first time but this time, maybe, we can really make it the time for long term systematic change. Let’s not forget this time, let’s not allow this to just be a moment, but a time for real substantial change.
These seemed to be obvious wise words, from someone who lives and breathes this and has been working tirelessly 365 days a year to do something about this, not just jumping on the band waggon and doing something tokenistic.
This became particularly poignant as our conversation was just hours before the Colston statue was pulled down and dumped in the harbour. I’ve worked in Bristol, I’ve walked on by. The issue about Colston has been on the agenda for years, but no-one had done anything significant until now. Until now. And I’m happy they did.
Cephas brought my attention to a campaign he recently launched titled ‘Let’s Not Forget’, to help capture this moment and encourage us to not move forward with business as usual, but to remember how we feel now, for the long run and use those real and genuine feelings to encourage and support change.
It’s not time to walk on by anymore. And we all need to continue to do what we can “to change the narrative for life”. This time #LetsNotForget *
- with many thanks to Cephas Williams
While we continue to improve ourselves, here are some projects we are supporting on the platform: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/black-lives-matter