• Blog

    I Love You But… (a microaggressions poem)

    By Rebbecca Hemmings This poem was written and performed by Rebbecca Hemmings, Director of Strawberry Words for Lauren Currie OBE’s 7×7 event on 31.3.22. In celebration of Lauren’s 2 year newsletter anniversary, 7 black and brown women were invited to speak about matters close to their hearts. This poem is written for white women to hear how microaggressions affect black women. Get an antiracism education now by signing up to our Time to Talk About Race online CPD accredited course. Join Lauren Currie’s newsletter here I love but… (The microaggression poem) By Rebbecca Hemmings Dear white sister, I love you. I really do. From a young age, I admired all…

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    Do You REALLY Know What Constitutes Racism?

    It is imperative that, when talking about racism, we start by defining it. Far too often, I find that people have a very narrow and misinformed definition of racism. This is very unhelpful when trying to discuss how organisations can work towards becoming antiracist. Therefore, this blog aims to help readers understand the different types of racism and, thereby, better position individuals and organisations to make positive change.

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    Be Honest, Why is your Organisation Booking Antiracism Training?

    By Rebbbecca Hemmings Mid-sentence, I was interrupted. The lone black man in the room accompanied by his white colleagues gently but insistently interjected “Rebbecca, can I stop you there?” From the look on his face, I could see he needed to speak in that moment. I nodded. “In my 30+ years of working for this organisation, I have never had my white colleagues describe and acknowledge racism for what it truly is.” He shared. Noticing the loaded emotion behind his eyes and knowing what he was experiencing, I asked “And how does that feel?” There was a pregnant pause followed by one simple word which I understood symbolised so many…

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    Ten Ways to Develop Racial Awareness with Primary Aged Children

    By Rebbecca Hemmings Children are born without prejudices but as they become more influenced by the outside world, they begin to form views about it. Some believe that since this is the case, racism should not be discussed for fear of planting ideas in children’s minds but actually what is more likely to happen is that as the child grows and learns, any racist views held will be strengthened if not challenged. Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, we have created a list of our top tips for talking about racism with children. This is targeted at primary schools but most points can also be utilised by parents/carers and for…

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    Every Little Thing Children’s Antiracism Song

    Earlier this year we were asked to visit a primary school to help children to think about racism to encourage pupils to treat one another equally as there had been some racial incidents. The headteacher wanted pupils to be clear that racism has no place in their school. The idea was to teach them gently cover antiracism aims through workshops designed to talk about race. The children were very open about seeing different skin colours. Some innocent disparaging opinions were discussed and this made for great learning opportunities. By the end of the sessions, all children were clear that everyone should be treated fairly regardless of the colour of their…

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    Children See Colour

    By Rebbecca Hemmings Statements such as ‘I don’t see colour, we’re all the same’ and questions like, ‘Why do we need to talk about race?’. are very common during my antiracism training sessions. However, the problem with them is that they invalidate the experiences of racially marginalised people. As I often share in the antiracism training sessions, I do not wake up in the morning, look at my skin and think ‘Oh yes I am still black’. I just think of myself as a person. However, when I leave my home, I am often reminded of my skin colour. This happens when I look for things like makeup for my…

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    Antiracism Reading List

    The following is a set of reading material we have found very useful in understanding, teaching and facilitating conversations around systemic racism. This list is often shared with course participants. We believe everyone needs an honest education on how systemic racism works, therefore we are making this available to all. Please feel free to share this list. Learning about racism can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. Therefore, books recommended for beginners have been highlighted. Books Olusoga, D. (2016) Black and British: A forgotten history Winters, M.(2020) Black fatigue: how racism erodes the mind, body and spirit Frost, S. & Alidina, R.(2019) Building an inclusive organisation:…

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    Three Questions to ask when Considering Antiracism Training

    The spotlight on systemic racism in 2020 has led to a strong desire to discuss and redress racial imbalance. Leaders must embark on this work in a considered and pragmatic manner. The stakes are far too high for antiracism learning to be dealt with in the same manner as First Aid training for instance. It is process driven and must factor in impact, resources, time, emotional tax, bravery and much more. This article focuses on three high priority questions leaders must ask before engaging in antiracist work to improve chances of success. What is the desired impact? Just with any other training, it is imperative to have a clear idea…