The death of George Floyd and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 highlighted a need to further the commitment and actions at Camden Council to becoming a truly inclusive organisation. Therefore, as part of their larger Race Equality Action (REA) Plan, Camden engaged IDC to develop and deliver an organisation-wide learning offer that aimed to educate all employees and inform the structural changes required to combat systemic racism. The objectives included creating a psychologically safe workplace for everyone, understanding the impact of racism, and learning to be an active bystander and ally.
IDC created a comprehensive anti-racism learning offer (ARLO) underpinned by social and behavioural psychology principles and focused on behaviours, habits, and team learning. This offer was designed as a series of sessions including education sessions, manager sessions, and reflection sessions. The education sessions worked as a foundation of understanding for all employees within Camden Council, whilst the manager sessions helped managers exclusively to grow the skills to lead with anti-racist allyship mindsets. Finally, the reflection sessions, which took place 6 weeks after the education sessions, worked as a refresher session for the ways in which employees can maintain their motivation in practicing anti-racist allyship.
Additionally, IDC facilitators trained a group of Camden facilitators to conduct the Education, Manager and Reflection sessions along with them and in the future. This ensured continuity of the programme and increased the reach to the frontline workers, thus covering all employees of the council.
Finally, IDC supported the internal communications team at Camden to ensure that the learning is being backed by the right messaging. The communication pieces such as videos, webinars and podcasts prompted the right conversations between employees even outside of the learning sessions, which helped change behaviours and mindsets towards anti-racism.
By implementing ARLO, IDC was able to:
1. A White participant, for the very first time in her life, called out an act of racism that she witnessed outside the workplace. She felt that she was more equipped to do so after the session and felt confident in supporting the victim. Though she was extremely uncomfortable doing so, she did it and that was her starting point in this journey she plans to continue.
2. Maria was discussing how frontline workers, from marginalised backgrounds, were being targeted for racial abuse by the public. She said that this was an ongoing problem, where an elderly white woman refused to be served by anyone of colour, and Maria’s manager assisted the woman to be served by a white person instead of addressing the racism that his colleagues were being subjected to. Maria’s manager, a white man, was asked to intervene repeatedly but instead allowed the abuse from the customer to continue. Post the ARLO sessions, Maria felt emboldened by the content, and the fact that everyone had been on the course; she spoke to senior leadership above her manager, and they have decided to ban the elderly white woman from the building
The council has since engaged with us to provide 1-to-1 coaching sessions to help employees obtain insights & skills to cope with difficulties and to increase their levels of wellbeing.
This space also helps them personalise the concepts that ARLO introduced them to, as well as to process trauma.
Camden London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Camden in Greater London, England. It is a London Borough Council, one of 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. It is also known as the ‘rebellious borough’.
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