Statement of Solidarity (July 2020)

Over a year on, and what has changed at Manuel Bravo Project?

Following the killing of George Floyd, Manuel Bravo Project (MBP) published a statement of solidarity, which can be found with our Equality and Diversity Statement.

This statement committed MBP to take further action to tackle racial injustice, and to reflect on all areas of the organisation through this lens.

However, we acknowledge that the statement has no value without action.

Reflecting on the commitments made and the work we have done over the last 12 months, we would like to share the actions we have taken, the actions we are developing and the actions we are planning.

We recognise that we are at the start of an ongoing process. However, we believe that by working through these actions and being transparent and held to account –  we are creating the opportunity for MBP to move towards being an anti-racist organisation.

Our commitments

We made a commitment in our statement to make changes to our internal structures including; to better reflect the ethnicity of the people and places we serve across our leadership, workforce and volunteers, and to address the under-representation of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse employees, trustees and beneficiaries within the wider charity sector.

We made a commitment in our statement to ensure our work includes and is shaped by people with lived experience of the immigration system and racism.

We made a commitment in our statement to continue to challenge oppressive systems and racial discrimination – specifically the ‘Hostile Environment’, through our core programme and delivery. In 2020 we opened 75 cases and were successful with 51* appeals enabling refugees and asylum seekers to remain in the UK:

What we have done and plan to do

In order to respond to these commitments we set up an Anti-Racist sub group in summer 2020 with representatives from MBP’s volunteers, staff and trustees; including ethnically diverse colleagues and reflecting lived experience of racism and asylum.

The group meets regularly and in line with commitments we have developed a working Anti-Racist Action Plan – to detail the actions we have taken, and plan to take between summer 2020 and December 2021.

The Action Plan addresses the aims we set out in our statement through a plan that is structured with the following themes:

  1. Initiating the work
  2. Data
  3. Organisation Culture
  4. Recruitment practice and Diversifying the workforce

4a. Workforce targets

  1. Training and Development
  2. Volunteer Programme
  3. Governance
  4. Finance
  5. Sector Support
  6. Service Delivery
  7. Monitoring, Reflection and Evaluation

You can read the action plan here.

Budget & Resource has been allocated to deliver the work.

Progress is reported quarterly at board level with Anti-Racism now a standing agenda item.

This is a living document and some of the actions are waiting for the completion of discreet tasks including data collection, sector support research and completion of confirmed training.

We will publish an updated version of the plan each quarter in line with our board meetings. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability as we continue in our aim to be an anti racist organisation.

*MBP casework 2020

4 out of 5 Discretionary Leave Applications

4 out of 4 Citizenship applications (all for children of DL applicants)

14 out of 20 Appeals

10 out of 27 Fresh Claims

17 out of 17 Refugee Settlement applications

2 out of 2 FLR (FP) Human Rights Applications