SoR UK Council statement: Black Lives Matter

We have been complacent in regards to racism within our organisation

Published: 12 June 2020 EDI

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) wishes to express solidarity with Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people and communities. We condemn racism and racist behaviour in all forms and wish to declare zero tolerance of conscious and unconscious racial bias in our organisation.

The horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020 has rightly caused an international outcry. Recent history in the UK has also seen examples of deep-seated racist attitudes.

Those revealed in the investigation of the Grenfell Tower fire and at the heart of government in the Windrush scandal hit the headlines, whilst the daily experience of BAME people is a more hidden outrage.

The SoR states clearly that it supports the Black Lives Matter movement in condemning the killing of Mr Floyd and in bringing the pernicious evil of racism to the attention of people everywhere.

In making these statements, the UK Council of the SoR recognises that we have been complacent in regards to racism within our organisation. We recognise that a ’non-racist‘ position is insufficient and we now need actively to pursue and implement anti-racist values within every aspect of our work and structures.

We are sorry that it has taken an international outcry to make us aware that we have not given sufficient priority to anti-racism in the way that we portray our members, in the way that we promote our profession, and in the way that we conduct our business as the professional body and trade union.

The SoR UK Council, Chief Executive Officer and all staff now offer our commitment and promise to become an anti-racist organisation.

This should begin by the SoR listening to our BAME members. We will organise the first of a series of closed group events by the end of this month. These will provide a safe space for this to happen.

In the immediate future we will begin a process to review our organisational policies and procedures to ensure that they are actively anti-racist. This will include our member handbook.

UK Council will invite the Equalise network to nominate a BAME observer to attend all meetings of the Council.

We will work with our publishers to ensure our communications are representative of the diversity of our membership and that the ethnic diversity of the radiography workforce is portrayed faithfully.

We will include anti-racism as a central objective in our forthcoming strategy for 2021-2023. We will work to implement a culture that will see BAME members and staff in leadership positions. We want to encourage more BAME people to join the radiography community and become SoR members.

The SoR acknowledges that we have a lot of work to do to become the organisation we want to be. We commit to this effort and promise to hear, respond to and work with our BAME members to make it happen.