Our Shared Language

We are excited to publish Our Shared Language. This document is live, and forms part of our anti-racism action.

How did we get here?

Diversity and Integrity are two of our core values at The Kids Network. A key strategic pillar for us is amplifying voices, particularly peoples who are minoritised. As an organisation in the charity sector, we are part of a wider system, and a system in ourselves. These systems are inherently white supremacist, and the ways in which this manifests must be continually interrogated and dismantled in the interest of permanent systemic change that promotes anti-oppression and justice.

The Kids Network as a system is powered by people for children. Intersectionality is absolutely vital at every level of strategy and delivery in the interest of amplifying the voices of the children we work with, learning from what they share, and ultimately contributing to systems change. 

Over the past 24 months, we have held internal conversations and established an external partnership with The Black Curriculum, which has involved a training programme in racial literacy for staff and training for mentors. We created an anti-racism learning document as a starting point to direct our anti-racism action. During this process, we determined that uncertainty around language, fear of ‘saying the wrong thing,’ often prevents people – particularly those who are white-passing – from being proactively anti-racist in the way we all have the responsibility to be. To remove this barrier, our team completed surveys and workshopped this document to come to a shared language. Everyone in our team and board of Trustees has consented to the use of this shared language, with the aim of instilling confidence in talking about race, racism and poverty – and their intersections – to enable our community’s racial literacy.

What happens next?

The publication of this document is one aspect of our anti-racism action, which we’d be doing wrongly if in isolation from any of our work. As next steps, we will be building on our learning document, reviewing our external and internal communications and policies, embedding anti-racism explicitly in our safeguarding practice, and creating action plans to hold each of our stakeholders accountable in their anti-racism action. For us, being brave is vital; we may not always get it exactly right and we appreciate our community’s support and direction. Platforming the voices and experiences of our children is integral to this work and finding ways to for them to be heard at strategic and policy-making levels, such as the workshop in which they contributed to the UN CRC review with Just for Kids Law, will always be on our agenda.

In the words of our Child Advisory Panel, “We should all come together as anti-racists, educate everyone on racism, and speak to the government so they do better.”

Watch this space – there is more to come!

To feedback on this document, or connect with us, please reach out to your contact at The Kids Network or complete this survey. We are committed to holding ongoing conversations on this topic.

Prior to feeding back, if you are not already, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the work of the below organisations. There are many more!

The Black Curriculum are changing the future of education through teaching Black British history and racial literacy.

The Runnymede Trust generate research to challenge racial inequality in Britain.

Kids of Colour hold spaces for young people to consider race and campaign for change.

Action for Race Equality champions fairness, challenges discrimination and pioneers innovative solutions to empower young people through education, employment and enterprise.

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have resources for supporting children with their mental health and a range of Anti-racism resources for schools.

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