Below is our response to the Booska Paper (see https://www.ubele.org/assets/documents/Booska-Paper-2021.pdf ) published in2021 by the Ubele Initiative. The paper sets out goals for funding organisations in addressing racism in the sector. We found the paper helpful in supporting us to prioritise our work on making our processes as accessible as possible to black and minoritised communities.
We endeavour to keep learning and strive for continuous improvement and welcome any comments or questions on our work in this area.
Language – TTT Will Use the term ‘Black and Minoritised Communities’ as per guidance in the paper.
1. Addressing racism requires sustained, long-term investment.
– TTT have offered to support / work with VAS and SYFAB as an intermediary infrastructure org with supporting Black and minoritised communities in applying for funds.
– TTT have changed their funding structures in the following ways to increase overall accessibility:
– We have created a grassroots and a larger organisation category to allow smaller organisations to apply more easily. The application form has been simplified and we have welcomed video submissions from groups to make the process more accessible. We have also welcomed groups into meetings where we have questions around their applications.
These actions are long term and will be reviewed annually.
2. In light of the recent report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, funders should now recognise that putting Black and minoritised people in positions doesn’t automatically equate to being antiracist. Despite the higher likelihood of a shared lived experience; that alone is not assurance individuals (including those in leadership) will act in the interest of Black and minoritised communities. In fact, the strength of institutional racism is such, they may knowingly go against the interests of their community, in an effort to sustain their own livelihood as an individual by a system that actively supports and rewards them for doing so.
– TTT have ensured that Black and minoritised communities is a specific funding area and will ensure that a proportion of each funding round is awarded to these groups in South Yorkshire.
– TTT is actively seeking to recruit more trustees from Black and minoritised communities – we have published trustee vacancies with a greater ranger of organisations, including grassroots groups and those specifically created to support black and minoritised communities.
3. Intersectionality has to be taken into account if you want to reach Black and minoritised women, LGBTQI people, disabled people and those who face additional structural oppression including institutional racism. Ringfenced funding for Black and minoritised people led organisations is a positive start, however it heightens competition within that group without the criteria being made any lower for the more marginalised.
– TTT will consider how to reflect / make accessible funding to intersectional groups. This will be discussed in annual strategic meetings of Trustees.
4. If funders rely only on insights from academic and white-led research, they fail to see the full and true picture. Whilst academic research has a place in knowledge generation, such research should consider decolonising methodologies and approaches. Building sustainable research capacity in the sector in this way, builds capacity for funding decisions to be made with appropriate knowledge and context.
– TTT do not fund research but do aim to stay up to date with current research and recommendations from the sector.
5. Exclusion takes many forms, and a harmful experience for Black and minoritised people to go through in social and professional networks that eventually erodes their health, wellbeing and eventually life expectancy. Funders building their own networks and relationships with more people in the sector to build and nurture trusting relationships, fosters a much more open dialogue.
– TTT have increased connections with Black and minoritised groups & are reviewing this at every funding round. We welcome connections with any new groups and seek to continually build on this network.
6. We hear of rejections more than we do of successes with achieving funding, from our community. This has a devastating effect on confidence for community groups to go back and re-apply. Publishing data about the application processes is just one aspect, we need to understand who is being turned down and for what reasons; for Funders to demonstrate accountability.
– During strategic meetings, TTT will consider the most suitable approach towards publishing funding outcomes.
7. Gaslighting of Black and minoritised people has been intensified to an even stronger degree by the recent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities by the UK Government. In the sector, too many Black and minoritised community organisations are receiving feedback that the reason they are not getting funding they need is because their applications are just not good enough.
– TTT will make clear the funding criteria, publish clear guidance and welcome groups to ask for advice before submission of applications
8. Despite the common experience of racism of all Black and minoritised communities; the same mindset that regards everyone as “BAME” means people are often pitted against one another in competition for the limited ring-fenced resources available. London-centric narratives mean even fewer resources are available for communities outside of London to share between them. This fuels toxic competition.
– TTT will endeavour to assess each application on merit.
9. Prove your legitimacy by publishing and demonstrating how you are taking accountability for where your money comes from.
– TTT will have an open conversation with investment managers who support our fund management and ask what relevant information we can have on companies / organisations we have shares with. Trustees will then assess this information as a group and decide if all funds are appropriate.