Meeting 7 – 5/2/21


1) Hellos and any apologies

2) Introductions

3) Go round

4) What it would be helpful to focus on at the next meeting

5) AOB – including sharing of information relevant to the group

6) Agree date, note-taker and leader for next session


1) Hello’s and any apologies:

James welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2)  Introductions:

James went through the proposed ground rules and noted that with the expansion of the group it was important that everyone felt a collective ownership of the group as we all seek to promote racial justice within our organisations. The group aims to be a supportive and safe space to share practical ideas and challenges. It was also important that each member of the group  brings a clear sense of what they are looking for and what they are able to contribute. It was also acknowledged that the group might not be right for everyone at this stage. All meetings will take place under Chatham House rules.

Everyone then introduced themselves and gave a brief background of their role and organisation.

3) Go round:

Joe introduced this agenda item, and each attendee was invited to share any current issues, topics and dilemmas related to the group’s focus on racial justice.

Common themes for wanting to join the group included:

  • Being able to access a safe space to better understand racial justice issues and seek constructive challenge from each other
  • A supportive forum to help keep us accountable for advancing racial justice within our own trusts and foundations
  • Enabling white trust and foundations CEOs to take responsibility to educate themselves and take practical action on racial justice

Some of the current issues identified by the members of the group included:

  • While it was noted by the majority of group members that their Trusts had increased funding to BAME-led organisations, and work on organisation culture was underway, this was only a starting point and that further work needed to be undertaken to embed a racial justice approach in organisational cultures
  • The role of the CEO in leading on racial justice and how we bring Boards and staff along with us. And what is our role/responsibility in affecting wider sector / system change?
  • The role of the Chair and the wider Board in championing racial justice within organisations
  • What are the most effective practical steps to move from talking to action and how do we bring external challenge into the work of the Group so we are not working in isolation

4) What it would be helpful to focus on at the next meeting:

Celia summarised the main issues from the wide range of ideas discussed that would be helpful to focus on at future meetings. These included:

  • The CEO leadership role and responsibilities for racial justice and how we navigate this with Boards and staff
  • And linked to the first bullet above – what is our responsibility to the wider sector / systemic change
  • Org culture – how to shift the majority white culture into something more inclusive and diverse
  • How to turn racial justice conversations into practice
  • Dynamics of family boards

It was decided that the focus of the next meeting would combine the first two bullet points:

What is the CEOs responsibility for advancing the racial justice agenda and how does/should this interplay with wider sector responsibilities and system change?

Celia recommended that we all try to think of someone we might invite to the next session to give us a bit of challenge or provocation on the topic of CEOs’ responsibility for advancing racial justice.

It was also suggested that as the group has expanded, we may wish to separate into two working (zoom) groups which feeds back to the main group in the next session.

5) AOB – including sharing of information relevant to the group

Information was circulated on BRAP’s Equality Republic prior to the meeting

James mentioned Fozia Irfan’s recent question on Twitter asking whether any foundations are examining their links to slavery:

Some of the responses on this topic below: 

Mark mentioned the Baobab Foundation: 

They are launching a learning review in March and are inviting funders to a meeting to hear about the experience of funds tailored to Black and Ethnic Minority communities.  To attend, email Joe Ferns at 

Paul mentioned that the Funders for Race Equality Alliance are undertaking a mapping exercise of the race equality sector, more info here Equally Ours research request: Help us map the Race Equality Sector in England | Equally Ours

6) Agree date, note-taker and leader for next session

The next meeting was set for the 5th March 2021, 1.30pm to 3pm.

It was agreed that Clare would lead the topic session as described above supported by Mark. Joe would be happy to help structure the session timings into the agenda.

Julia volunteered to take the notes for the next meeting.

Meeting ended at 1pm

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