Since 2020, the murder of George Floyd, the subsequent protests and the the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the deeply entrenched racism in the world has been highlighted on a global level. This has acted as a catalyst for organisations working on international development to grapple with the complex and oppressive legacy of colonialism and start to seek to address racism and oppression in the present.
In the past, racial heirarchies were entrenched to justify the genocide, enslavement and marginalisation of People of Colour across the world. For centuries, these hierarchies placed White Europeans as ‘modern and civilised’ and Black peoples as ‘savage and uncivilised’ in need of the guardianship of Britain. After the Second World War, many formerly colonised countries took steps for independence; however, narratives changed to helping these newly independent countries ‘develop’. Consequently, a different hierarchy of ‘developed’ and ‘underdeveloped’ nations was created. Politically powerful, white-majority countries positioned themselves at the top of the hierarchy, and formerly colonised countries with majority black and brown populations were at the bottom.
At RESULTS, we have embarked on a journey of doing more and doing better to be anti-racist and to address oppression and privilege in all their forms. This involves continuously learning and acting to break down harmful stereotypes that perpetuate historical hierarchies of inequality. This is a central aspect of our mission to end poverty, because where injustice and oppression exist in the world, they always create inequality and poverty.
This month, we encourage you to ‘listen, learn and act’ on anti-oppression, and consider what this means to you and your advocacy. The Action Sheet contains resources and ideas that you can use to help guide your discussions.
You can catch up on the recording of the August grassroots conference call here.