As a white male and probably middle class individual living on the outskirts of Shrewsbury I have been and am very privileged.  I haven’t lived here all my life but my background and upbringing has brought me unknown opportunities and benefits – which probably (and hopefully) will allow me to live a healthy and enjoyable life well into older age.  I could argue, as many others in a similar situation will do, that I’ve earned some of those benefits but the very fact that I have had the opportunity to do this has also been a privilege.  Many, if not most, people from ethnically diverse backgrounds – have not and do not have the privileges I have had.  All the data and evidence demonstrates that the imbalances – from childbirth survival rates through educational achievement on to career opportunities and likelihood of going to prison – are unfairly weighted towards people of my background.


And do you know what – that is wrong.  It’s wrong not just because it is not fair to people from different ethnic backgrounds but also because it’s not good for society or the world.  Which probably means it’s not good for me either. 


I’ve heard this mentioned a few times since the murder of George Floyd brought the topic of racial inequality and racism to the fore last year.  And it has really resonated for me – that racism and racial inequality is also a slur on white people and to stand by and do nothing is basically to be complicit and to agree with it.


At Energize all the Board and team are white – if we were reflective of our community something like two of us would not be.  We’ve done a bit of digging into projects and community groups we’ve funded and I’m afraid to say that our ‘unconscious bias’ has led to unequal funding for ethnically diverse communities too.  It’s nothing illegal and we could say that people / groups haven’t come forward for funding help but let’s be honest – this isn’t good enough.  Or as my teachers used to say “must try harder”.


And that’s what we’re trying to do – it will mean we have to have and be involved in uncomfortable conversations – we’ll need to reach out and we probably will be clumsy in doing this.  But like the rest of our work we have to be resilient and not give up.  It is our ambition that we are anti-racist - we know it won’t be easy and we’ll make mistakes along the way too.  But we wanted to make a statement – to let people know that we’re not sitting in the stands watching anymore – but we’re rolling our sleeves up and ready to join the fray. 

Our commitment to Racial Equality