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Statement on George Floyd and our work on a Racism and Mental Health Toolkit

Rest In Power, George Floyd 2020

Today, May 25 2022, marks two years since George Floyd’s murder which sparked an unprecedented worldwide outpouring of rage and pledges for change.

George Floyd became a powerful symbol of persistent inequality and systemic injustice against Black Americans and a wake-up call for all.

Here in the UK, Black people experience racism in various ways, explicitly and implicitly.

Experiencing racism can make us more likely to develop mental health problems. It can also lead to internalised racism, internalised colourism, and racial trauma.

Our experiences of racism are personal to each one of us.

Our Racism and Mental Health Toolkit

Last year, on the first-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we teamed up with Cephas Williams to promote a message of hope from Black boys in the community. On the 25 May 2021 ‘The World I Want To See’ campaign was launched.

‘The World I Want to See’ is a collection of letters from, and portraits of, Black boys in West London that was published one year on from the murder of George Floyd. Inspired by ‘Letter to Zion’, the campaign put the pen in the hands of Black boys through a series of workshops.

In two of the letters, one boy aged 9 and one ages 14 said:

“There were many times that I was called names related to my colour and had horrible things said and done to me because of being black”.

“We should be in a space where we all feel safe no matter our race. I have vowed to contribute positively to the world I want to see. So, to my future self, if you are reading this, I hope I have made you proud.”

Following this, our team have been working behind the scenes to develop a racism and mental heath toolkit for school staff and professionals who work with children and young people called ‘My World.’

The toolkit is being developed in consultation with some of the Black boys who took part in the workshop, and the charity’s service user co-production group. The toolkit will draw inspiration from ‘The World I Want To See’ and better equip schools and education professionals to address racism and support those affected.

The toolkit will be launched in the autumn of this year. In the lead up to the launch, we will be sharing snippets of some of the content.

Sign up to our racism and mental health toolkit mailing list for updates as it is developed. 

Floyd’s dying words — “I can’t breathe” — spoke for us all. People of all races took to the streets to demand accountability, justice and reform. But most of all, Black people wanted security: to know they would not targeted or harmed because of the colour of their skin.

We are dedicated to creating spaces in which the young Black people we support feel safe, empowered and can develop a sense of hope. In partnership with our young advisors, services users, partner organisations and institutions, we will be unstoppable in striving to achieve safe communities where no Black child or young person will experience fear or harm because of the colour of their skin.

If you are interested in supporting the work we are doing to tackle racism and inequalities faced by black people and other marginalised groups, please contact us.

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Author: Jack Terry
Posted on: 25th May 2022

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