REAL’s Ethnicity & Diversity fortnight
Written by — Jon Barker, REAL Calling Manager & Equality & Diversity Champion
As the UK celebrated Black History Month REAL launched its first annual Ethnicity & Diversity fortnight. Over the course of two weeks, REAL Fundraising focussed on showcasing cuisines, music & books from around the world as well as setting daily challenges in an effort to celebrate different cultures. The overarching theme was to increase discussions within the company about ethnicity, diversity, equality, understand the history behind Black History Month and also promote discussion and engagement around the BLM movement.
The opening task was “14 for 14” — In return for everyone who completed 14 sets or reps of a task, REAL promised to make a donation for each person who took part to the Equality Trust and HERA. This prompted a flurry of activity; from baking cake for their team members, to running 14 km, REAL Activists rose to the challenge.
Each day the spotlight focused on different food from regions as diverse as the Caribbean, East Asia, South America and Central Africa, with fundraisers even going so far as to create a few of those dishes for themselves and their teams to enjoy (think coconut curry, oxtail stew & dumplings and jerk chicken with plantain). We also learned a great deal about the musical genres, instruments and artists of those regions from Abdullah Ibrahim to Buena Vista Social Club.
One of the most poignant aspects of the fortnight was Anti-Slavery Weekend, covering events such as the Haitian uprising and Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 and learning about the horrors of transatlantic slave trade along with the origins of “spirituals” and field holler music.
The goals of the fortnight were to focus on the diversity that makes the world the amazing place it is, to learn and educate the REAL family about key moments in history that have shaped the world we live in but also ensure that there is an understanding of subjects not widely taught or discussed. By increasing our knowledge and understanding in regards to diversisty we can continue to build a diverse family at REAL. Diversity Fortnight was a huge success which helped to bring everyone in the company together to celebrate everything across the globe that makes us different.
Lastly a total of £350 was raised through REAL Family engagement of activities and events and REAL Fundraising donated this to 3 organisations, Anti Slavery International, HERA & The Equality Trust.