Valuing Diversity

Archway Learning Trust: Black Live Matter Statement

Following the events of the last two weeks and the abhorrent killing of George Floyd in America we wanted to state publicly that Archway Learning Trust is vehemently opposed to any sort of racism.

Our Trust is entirely committed to fighting racism and prejudice in all of its forms, and to the active promotion of equality for all. We recognise the distress caused directly to so many of our colleagues, pupils, families and communities in the current situation. Many of our young people have been involved in speaking up for this cause and we support them. If you have not already read the Evening Post article the actions of our students makes us proud to call ourselves the Archway family.

We are determined to work together to make positive change and to create a just society for all. Without justice there will be no peace.

As a faith organisation we believe that every person is uniquely loved by God and equally valued. We believe that through faith, education, humility and open mindedness we will strive to raise the levels of understanding and knowledge of the inequalities in our society to better challenge and fight against them.

It is vital that we work together as a community to support each other and to say:

Black Lives Matter.

Below, Rumbi Makondo (Sixth Form student at Bluecoat Aspley), expresses some of her thoughts on racism and how we can combat it together.

“I have come to the point where regardless of how I am feeling at that moment, I will always strive to fight all forms of social injustice in whichever way I can. In a sense, I am constantly questioning my philosophy and moral compass. As a result, I act out of moral obligation and empathy for past victims who never got justice, present victims that continue to suffer and future generations who should never become victims.

When I was cleaning up the graffiti I was thinking more about the hard work the protest organisers had put in to make the event peaceful and the passion for positive change that the speakers had than my urge to go home. I understood that their message would be lost if the media focused solely on the vandalism. Truthfully, I found it disappointing that there were more articles on the vandalism and cleanup than the strong words that were heard throughout the protest.

Therefore, I think it is crucial that those messages are channelled through other sectors such as education and the media industry. As they say, knowledge is power. Racism needs to be confronted more within society, starting from a young age. The most influential among us, other than family, are teachers and public figures. There is no question about how persuasive public figures are, however, a teacher’s role in shaping society is greatly underappreciated. Some of my unconscious biases and misconceptions have been dispelled by me just listening to a teacher, regardless of the subject.”